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ITsVISTA KB-Link: KB555913

HOW TO: Enable and disable Auto-activation feature in Windows Vista

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
 
 
Disable the Auto-activation feature
To disable the Auto-activation feature, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then click regedit.exe in the Programs list.
    Note: If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click Continue
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
          HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL\Activation
  3. Change the DWORD value Manual to 1.
    0 = Allow Auto-activation (Default)
    1 = Disable Auto-activation
  4. Exit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.

Enable the Auto-activation feature
To enable the Auto-activation feature, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then click regedit.exe in the Programs list.
    Note: If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click Continue
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
          HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL\Activation
  3. Change the DWORD value Manual to 0.
    0 = Allow Auto-activation (Default)
    1 = Disable Auto-activation
  4. Exit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.

 
If the end user chooses to automatically activate Windows online when he sets up his computer, automatic activation begins trying to active his copy of Windows three days after he logs on for the first time.

For more information on this issue, including potential causes, workarounds, and resolutions, see: Microsoft KB Article KB555913.

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