Windows Vista Activation Grace Period and 5 License States Explained

After installing Windows Vista, each Windows Vista install will have 30-days grace period to activate Windows Vista with various methods that provided by Microsoft, and depending on how you purchase the Windows Vista. And you should know that the term “grace period” refers to a length of 30 days, the time that users are required to activate Windows Vista, or time that Vista still allows any necessary actions to return the computer to the Licensed state. Although hackers have found way to mess with the activation grace period for virtually unlimited grace period, it’s still interesting to know about the 5 license states that available in Windows Vista.

License states are been used by Windows Vista to track activation. The five license states that are used by Windows Vista are Licensed, Initial Grace (OOB), Non-Genuine Grace, Out-of-Tolerance Grace, and Unlicensed.

Licensed Windows Vista State

A “Licensed” computer is a Windows Vista PC that has been properly activated. Activation can happen in several ways including Internet and phone activation. Additionally, KMS clients can activate themselves after contacting an activated KMS.

Initial Grace Windows Vista State

Initial Grace (or OOB Grace) starts the first time you start your computer after you install the operating system, and has a duration of 30 days. You can activate Windows Vista computer anytime during the 30 days. The Initial Grace period can be restarted by running sysprep /generalize, or by using slmgr.vbs –rearm. Once restart, these processes reset the Initial Grace timer to 30 days, but the reset will only work three times.

Non-Genuine Grace Windows Vista State

Non-Genuine Grace occurs only on a computer that has the Windows Genuine ActiveX control installed, and then fails Genuine Validation. The computer is marked non-Genuine, and the License State may be changed to non-Genuine Grace. If this happens, non-Genuine Grace provides 30 days for the computer to be re-activated and validated Genuine by re-visiting the WGA website at

Out-of-Tolerance Grace Windows Vista State

Out of Tolerance Grace begins when cumulative hardware changes on an activated computer push it beyond a tolerance level, or when a KMS client goes for 180 days without contacting a KMS. OOT Grace provides 30 days for a computer to be re-activated. A computer may be activated and then fall into OOT grace any number of times, and each time the OOT Grace timer will be reset to 30 days.

“Unlicensed” Windows Vista State

If you don’t activate Windows Vista within grace period, or when any grace period is allowed to expire, the computer becomes Unlicensed. An Unlicensed computer runs in Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM), where users has very limited access to the system in one-hour increments, and presents a window containing links to properly license and activate the computer. If the computer falls into RFM from non-Genuine Grace, the user is presented with a window containing links and solutions specific to recovery from non-Genuine RFM.


January 25, 2008 | posted in , | 0 comments [ More ]

Solutions to windows activation countdown timer stopper

Solution to Windows Vista Activation Countdown Timer Stopper (TimerStop) Not Working with ReArm Patch

If you crack Windows Vista activation with StopTimer patched service that stop the countdown timer of the activation grace period, and thus making the time left to activate Windows Vista is always 30 days, the steps in the tutorial guide should be able to permanently (well, sort of as time left is always 30 days or 43200 minutes) activate your Windows Vista, or freeze Windows Vista in an initial state that fooling or tricking Microsoft into thinking that your installation of Windows Vista is just happen, and still in the initial grace period. The trick should work out-of-the-box the first time, but if it fails, or starts counting timer again after Automatic Updates, try the following solution.

1. You will need the exactly same tools that used to apply StopTimer or TimerStopper, i.e. Re-Arm_Unlimited_Installer_2.0.exe, TimerStop.sys and Vista test crack.exe (download or
2. Uninstall TimerStop process beforehand by right clicking on “Vista test crack.exe” and select “Run as Administrator”, and then click on “Uninstall”.
3. You should see a “Service uninstalled” confirmation dialog message. Restart computer afterwards.
4. Install “Re-Arm_Unlimited_Installer_2.0.exe”. Do not restart computer.
5. Right click on Command Prompt icon, and select “Run as Administrator”, or run “Cmd” command as administrator. If you have problem, you can turn off UAC.
6. Type “slmgrhack -rearm” in command prompt window. Wait until process completed.
7. Reboot computer.
8. After start, go to Command Prompt as administrator again, and type “slmgr.vbs -dlv”. You should notice that the timer starts counting down again.
9. Right click on “Vista test crack.exe”, and select “Run as Administrator”.
10. In Vista test crack window, click on “Install” button.
11. You should see “Service installed” to confirm successful installation.
12. Exit from all program and reboot computer.
13. Start command prompt or Cmd as administrator, and type “slmgrhack -rearm”. Wait until the process completed.
14. Restart computer.
15. Press Win + R keys, and type “slmgr.vbs -dlv” and press Enter to check the activation countdown timer. If your “Time left to activate” Windows Vista field shows “43200 minutes (30 days)”, your bypass Windows Vista activation has been successful.

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Get Windows Vista premium for Free

“How to Get Windows Vista for Free”. The article is plain lie and doesn’t inspired at all. And worst, in my humble opinion, the article is just a trick to draw Internet traffic in his blog. The 5 methods that he listed in “How to Get Windows Vista for Free” as below, is either not workable, obsoleted, expired, unachievable, or factually wrong. Here’s why.

The first method mentioned is asking you to buy a new Vista Capable PC from branded hardware vendor such as Dell and HP now, and upgrade to Windows Vista for free with Express Upgrade coupon. This is factually incorrect. Firstly, you need money to pay when buy a computer. Even is this is discounted, almost all hardware vendors, including Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, LG, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony and etc, will require you to pay at least shipping and handling charge when order for the Vista upgrade DVD.

Second method is to become an exhibitor in Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2007, largest technology industry’s conference in the US which will run from January 8 to 11 in Las Vegas. Microsoft will provide free Windows Vista copies to all exhibitors. This is also factually incorrect too. In truth, Microsoft will provide free copies of Vista to run on computers exhibitors are using in their booths at the show. Furthermore, you will need to pay for exhibit spaces in CES.

Third method asks you to nominate yourself or ask a friend to nominate you for the Microsoft MVP program. I am not an MVP, so not sure whether you can download full licensed Windows Vista with product key from MVP downloads. But according to MVP Program Benefits, you’re only entitle to MVP Source Licensing Program which allows access to source code, instead of binaries. Beside, if you keep searching for free Windows Vista DVD downloads, it usually mean you will be too busy to contribute to Microsoft, and hence disqualify yourself to win the MVP award during the annual review and nomination for MVP awardees, which evaluate your contribution and performance for the past one year. If you know how to become a MVP, then you likely no need a free Vista too.

The forth method is to submit a bug report during beta phase of Windows Vista in order to get a free copy of Vista as an appreciation. Wake up! Windows Vista has been released to RTM, which mean it’s now final, and no longer in beta. Or does Amit has time machine?

Fifth method is to register for webinars at PowerTogether promotion where Microsoft will ship full license with legit product key Windows Vista DVD to you. I wonder if Amit is actually living in the past. The Power Together site has crashed once released to the public for registration, and all 30,000 free copies of Windows Vista and Office 2007 giveaway have been snapped up within first few days of the launch.

Final method is to transform and convert Windows XP into Windows Vista with Vista Transformation Pack. Well, your wife or your girlfriend is your wife or your girlfriend. Paris Hilton is Paris Hilton. Can you ask your wife or your girlfriend to go for transformation or operation to become a Paris Hilton? Even if it’s possible, will she be the real Paris Hilton?

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Vista and Office 2007 Preview Handler Pack to Support More File Types

Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 has built-in previews functionality which enables you to preview or view the contents of certain files without actually opening it. The build-in previews feature comes with preview handlers that support Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, font files, video files, audio files, and a few other file types that are common and used regularly as email attachments. However, if there’s no supported preview handler for a particular file type, such as .aspx source code file, .zip, .rar or other files, you won’t be able to just click on it and view the contents automatically in the preview pane.

Luckily, Windows Vista and Office Outlook 2007 allow developers to develop and implement custom preview handlers for any file type, which after registering the handlers, users can instantly gain preview capabilities for those file types in Outlook 2007 and Windows Vista. Vista and Office 2007 Preview Handler Pack is one such custom previewers or preview handlers that provides support for .cs, .aspx and .sql source codes. With the handler pack installed, you can just click on the file ending with extension of .cs, .aspx and .sql with preview pane on, and instantly view the file content in the preview pane.

Vista and Office 2007 Preview Handler Pack can be downloaded here. To install it you will need run the installer as Administrator. Beside, if you have any other file types in mind that you would like to has the preview ability too, simply tell the author and he may include the support for that file ext.

Zip Preview
Preview zip file contents in Outlook 2007.

If you would like previewers and preview handlers for PDF, XML, ZIP, MSI, BIN, CSV, XPS, and XAML files so that you can also preview the files without opening the files in Vista, download sample previewers from Microsoft. It comes with source code of handler framework which can be ignored. To install the preview handlers, make sure you right click on it, and choose Run as Administrator.

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Enable Previews in Vista Folders with Preview Pane

If you’re using Microsoft Office 2007, you will notice that it has a nice and handy feature called previews. The previewers which supported by the preview handlers allow users to view or display the contents of documents, emails, messages, attachments, workbooks, videos, audios, presentations and other supported files on screen, without having to open it. For example, in Outlook 2007, users can view the contents of a email message without the need to open it, they can need to select the message in mail folder’s list view and outlook will render the email and display the message in preview pane. The new previews feature also allows users to even view message attachments in the same preview pane, without having to double-click an attachment to open it in the appropriate viewer.

Windows Vista also offers and supports similar preview pane that is accessible from any folder in the shell window. The preview handlers for Windows Vista, Outlook 2007 and Office 2007 are about the same, and the handlers can support Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, font files, video and audio files, and a variety of other file types that are commonly sent as attachments such as images and photos.

Windows Vista Preview Pane

To enable the preview pane in Windows Vista, simply launch any Explorer window in folder view. At the folder menu, the select Organize, and then click on Layout, and finally select Preview Pane.

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Permanently Activate Windows Vista by Skip Activation with Patched TimerStop.sys Crack

Hackers are going all out to crack Windows Vista activation procedure which is enhanced by Software Protection Platform (SPP). Until now, Microsoft has an upper hand, with no permanent or foolproof ways to crack or bypass Windows Vista activation request emerged. Instead, various workarounds and tricks to bypass, skip, delay, disable or spoof Vista activation has been suggestion, to various degree of success, such as extend evaluation period, rearm method, install Vista in future year, ‘frankenbuild’ Vista by replacing RTM build WPA files with RC build files, activate against spoofed KMS server, or run and activate Vista with own local KMS server and etc. Now, there is new crack method that able to permanently stop the countdown timer of time left to activate Windows Vista, effectively running Vista OS in full functionality evaluation mode forever.

1. Install Windows Vista Ultimate edition (or other edition) without product key, if possible in year 2099.
2. You may need to disconnect from Internet while applying the patch. If you disconnect Internet, connect to Internet until right before you verify the Vista crack with “slmgr -dlv” command.
3. Windows Vista needs to be applied with 2099-ReArm trick, so that the counter of minutes to no activation required period will not return to normal after reboot. Try the following normal procedures to rearm Vista at 2099. If it’s not working, you may need to apply Vista ReArm Unlimited Patch to ensure Windows Vista back to initial activation grace period.
4. Click on Start Orb button.
5. Select “All Programs”, then “Accessories”.
6. Right click on “Command Prompt, then select “Run as Administrator (A)”.
7. If User Account Control (UAC) prompt a warning message, click on “Continue”.
8. In the command prompt, type date and press Enter. You will see the following:Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6000]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Current date: 12/19/2006 Thursday
Enter new date:
9. Enter 12/31/2099 (December 31, 2099).
10. Next, type cscript slmgr.vbs -rearm. You will see something like the following:C:\Windows\system32>cscript slmgr.vbs -rearm
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

The command completed successfully.
To make the change effectively, please restart the system.
11. Then reset the date of the system to current date again by typing date again. You will see the following:Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6000]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Current date: 12/31/2099 Thursday
Enter new date:
12. Type in current date, i.e. 12/19/2006.
13. Above time changing process to ‘fix’ Vista is done from within Windows itself for easy access. However, if you have any problem, reboot to BIOS and change the date and year from there.
14. Exit from command prompt, but do not restart the computer.
15. Download or (both is same).
16. Extract the downloaded archive file into a folder. It should contains “Vista test crack.exe” and “timerstop.sys”.
17. Execute or run the “Vista test crack.exe” by right click on “Vista test crack.exe”, and select “Run as Administrator (A)”.
18. Optional: Press in Test button, and it will pop up a message says 4 timers are stopped. At this time, the counter should be freezed, Check with slmgr.vbs -dlv command, with the minutes left should be the same after a few minutes interval. If it’s the case, continue with the following steps to run the crack every startup.
19. In the Vista test crack window, click on “Install” button. You will be prompted with “Service installed” message if everything is done properly and correctly. The crack will copy the patched stoptimer.sys to system folder and install a new service named “timerstop” to stop kernel-mode timers in spsys.sys system file.
20. Exit from the crack, and restart the computer.
21. The hacking is basically done. Next few steps to to verify that the activation grace period built-in countdown timer is actually stopped and disable the timers from working properly, and make sure that the crack is installed properly. After restart, log on to Windows Vista. Run for a few minutes.
22. Press on Windows + R keys.
23. Type slmgr.vbs -dlv to check the time left to activate Windows Vista. If the time left is 43200 minutes that’s mean the crack is successful.

With the crack, you will have the following in the registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

Update: There are now automated Vista activation crack tools that apply the above patching steps automatically, namely TimerLock (more realiable), TimeStop which apply TimerStop.sys and TimerStop64.sys v2a.

Further information:

* The TimerStop vista test crack works on all 32-bit x86 Windows Vista edition such as Vista Ultimate and Vista Home Premium. Success rate in 64-bit (x64) environment is likely to be low.
* The crack will make the time left to activate Vista to become always 43200 minutes (30 days), and will not countdown or reduce.
* It’s possible to access Windows Update if you install Windows Vista with default product key (no product key entered when installation).
* During the first 3 days of activation grace period after installing Windows Vista, Microsoft has designed it in such a way that Vista will allow greatest flexibility for users to install required drivers and application during this period, so Vista won’t prompt any reminder message for activation. After crack, Vista OS will always run with 30 days left for activation, thus there will not be any watermark or reminder to activate.
* It’s possible to pass Windows Vista Genuine Advantage (WVGA) validation, so users able to download Microsoft value-added software for genuine customers.
* As mentioned above, as Vista will also remain in first 3 days of activation grace period, in theory, Microsoft will not be able to differentiate who is the newly installed system, or who is the ‘patched’ system, unless of course, they check for the specific file or system (privacy anyone?).
* Users can only view that there is 30 more days for system to be activated in the system properties, but it won’t affect system usage or installation method.

Note: This timer stop + Vista ReArm method is exactly the same with Vista RTM Timer Stopper Crack cloned and copied by other sites.

If you facing problem that the activation countdown timer continue to countdown, or keep reducing after an Automatic Updates, check out the solution to unstoppable timer. On the other hand, if you having problem with KB929391 Windows Vista Validation Updates, visit ways to remove or uninstall the Vista validation tool.

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