Microsoft is shipping all variants of its newly
released Windows Vista on a single DVD, meaning that the disc found in the $199
Home Basic box is the same as the one in the $399 Ultimate package – the only thing
separating each in functionality is in the license. If you have a copy of one
of the lesser (or slightly nefarious) versions of Windows Vista on hand, and are
still undecided if it’s the right one for you, Microsoft offers a 30-day grace
period for any operation without the need for a special CD-key.
What if 30 days isn’t enough time to decideif you want to pay extra and
upgrade (or legitimize) a copy of Windows Vista? After all, an operating system
is the basis for anyone’s computing experience, and is that is unlikely to
change until the next big release rolls around – which Bill Gates confirmed could be 2010 or 2011. For those people
who need more than just 30-days to evaluate their copy of Windows Vista,
Microsoft has an interesting but rarely talked about feature to extend the
Unlike other methods that freeze the activation countdown timer, extending the
trial to 120 days requires no hacking, cracking or illegal third party files.
All one needs to do is log into Windows Vista with administrator rights, launch
the command prompt and type in:
After a restart, the countdown timer will have
reset to “43200 minute(s) (30 day(s).” Windows Vista will allow you to perform
this operation a maximum of three times, so in theory, if one issues the
“rearm” command on the last day of each trial period, a total of 120 days may
The –rearm command resets the licensing status of the machine. To check the
current license status of said machine, the –dli or –dlv parameters will yield
something similar to the following:
Name: Windows(TM) Vista, Ultimate edition
Description: Windows Operating System - Vista, RETAIL channel
Partial Product Key: XXXXX
License Status: Initial grace period
Time remaining: 43160 minute(s) (29 day(s)
Section four of the Microsoft Vista EULA, which
covers mandatory activation, contains the following:
Before you activate, you have the right to use the
version of the software installed during the installation process. Your right
to use the software after the time specified in the installation process is
limited unless it is activated. This is to prevent its unlicensed use. You
will not be able to continue using the software after that time if you do not
Of course, here’s the interesting bit – nowhere
during Vista’s installation is an actual time specified. The first time you’ll see any Microsoft
request to activate the product is after the installation process is complete,
and certainly after you agree to the EULA.
Is Microsoft’s “rearm” command a forgotten relic
from the beta trial period or working as intended? Microsoft could not be reached for comment
with regard to the issue, but as of now, it looks like extended grace periods
are the status quo.
quote: Odd that these bugs are making Vista more appealing than it is on its own...?
quote: Microsoft offers a 30-day grace period for any operation without the need for a special CD-key.
quote: Microsoft is shipping all variants of its newly released Windows Vista on a single DVD, meaning that the disc found in the $199 Home Basic box is the same as the one in the $399 Ultimate package