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Disable Auto Activation of Windows 8

In this post we will guide you how to Disable Auto Activation of  Windows 8. Here are the details.

Activation has been quite a pain area for most Windows Operating Systems.  Windows 7 almost flooded Microsoft’s Technical contact Disablecenters worldwide with various Operating System Activation related errors! Windows 8 is a product from the same stable and is no exception!  Unsure, if we should held the finicky nature of Microsoft responsible for this weird bug or call them the perfect guardian.

If you didn’t already know, Windows 8 brings in a wave of change to the activation and registration protocol of applications and the Operating System itself. This is to safeguard the application from getting forged in other words piracy.

So they decided to scrap out the 30 days grace period before the trial expired. Presently, an application asks for activations almost instantly after the installation. This tutorial aims at reducing those unnecessary calls to the Microsoft tech support for users with legal Operating Systems.

Symptom of a failed activation/inactivated system

Albeit, quite embarrassing, an inactivated system usually marks itself as non-genuine and will mostly carry a red “X” in the notification tray. Most of the windows operations would be restricted and you will be prompted repeatedly to activate your copy of windows.

Disable the Automatic Activation

To do this run the registry editor first. Click start>run and type regedit.exe. Navigate to the node below:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\Activation

Now comes the tricky part. On the right hand side pane you must see a DWORD value named Manual.  Right click the key and allow the modify operation. From the value data box change the DWORD value to Remember, while at zero the Auto Activation is enabled and once you change it the value to zero and restart the system.

Windows 8 should no longer prompt you with the aggravating activation prompt. Please note; it is good idea to take a backup of your registry before you execute the steps mentioned above. Click File and export to back-up your registry settings.

The solution mentioned above is tested and works fine and frankly anybody can execute the same.

There are certain other complex but full proof solutions available to resolve the auto activation issue with Windows 8. However, these are recommended only for advanced users and to be executed at your own risk.

Tweaking the Windows Installer to disable automatic activation

Ok, this is like installing the system from scratch. However, you would be customizing the Windows Installer as per your requirement. To begin with, you would need to develop a unattend.xml file with certain definitions to disable automatic activation. The xml file needs to be inserted to the Windows 8 Image ISO file.

Extract the iso file to any folder on the C: Drive by using zip/compression utility such as WinZip of 7 Zip. Re-build the ISO next and insert unattend.xml file using an ISO editor like UltraISO or Burnt.

Copy the modified ISO to a UFD, pen-drive or DVD. However, prior to that execute the diskpart command to prepare the media. This will make it bootable. Change the Device priority settings in the system BIOS.

The First boot device priority must be set to the “USB” or DVD drive depending on your media. The installation should then begin, applying the Windows 8 auto activation disabled setting you have defined in the unattend.xml file.


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