Vista Hands On #8: Delay activation
February 28th, 2007
Microsoft doesn't get enough credit for one major change in Windows Vista. Using the standard Setup program and installation media, you can install an evaluation copy of any Vista edition and use it for a minimum of 30 days, with the option to "rearm" that trial period up to three times, for a total evaluation period of 120 days.
In essence, this makes Windows Vista the ultimate shareware program. You don't need to enter a product key, and you can beg, borrow, or copy the media. When you're done, you'll have a fully functioning evaluation copy that is not limited or crippled in any way during the trial period.
0-= Ed Bott
===============================================Vista Hands On #9: Use Vista for four months, free
As I pointed out in yesterday's Vista Hands On installment, you can install an evaluation copy of any Vista edition and use it for a minimum of 30 days without having to activate it. As several publications have already noted, you can renew this evaluation period a total of three times, extending the evaluation period to roughly 120 days. But this post contains a secret technique that no one has yet published: how to automatically "rearm" the trial period at the end of each 30 day period.
The not-so-secret technique is simple: Open an elevated Command Prompt window (type cmd in the Search box, right-click the shortcut, and choose Run As Administrator from the shortcut menu). At the prompt, type slmgr.vbs -rearm and press Enter. Restart your computer. Done.