My First Vista Hack

Windows Vista requires validation within 30 days after installation. I don’t want to validate. I bought the OEM version, not the retail version. Apparently, once you validate an OEM version of Vista, that version is forever tied to the hardware that is on your computer at the time of the validation. So if I want to update the CPU, hard drive, graphics card, etc., I would need to buy another version of Vista. Currently Microsoft isn’t enforcing this, but it is in the user agreement. So Microsoft could bring the hammer down at any time.

So I hit the 30 day limit. Vista went into limited functionality mode. This means, I only had my default browser (Firefox) as my desktop. Fortunately, I can browse my hard drive using the browser. Which means I could run this hack. The nice thing about this hack is that I didn’t have to download some dubious program, just use the tools that Vista provided. The short version of the hack is, start up a command window as administrator, go to the /Windows/System32 directory, run the command “slmgr.vbs -rearm”, then reboot. I got an error pop-up message, but it still worked for me. I have a new 30 days.

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