back to article It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors

Microsoft has said that activation errors seen by Windows 7 users should not be chalked up to Tuesday's patch, but rather were an entirely different cockup. Windows Activation Technologies is the Jiminy Cricket of Windows 7, chirping at you if it thinks you might not be paying for your licensing. Combining Jiminy with the Key …

  1. Dwarf Silver badge

    .. And they wonder why people are moving away from Windows where they can, you simply can't rely on Windows to work reliably any more.

    One or two errors could be put down to bad luck, but the more it happens and the impact of the problems, the more it looks like incompetence.

    Reminds me of that "Where do you want to go today" strap-line that got the response of "Safely back to where I started this morning" response, then for some reason MS stopped using it..

    If only they would test things better, then they may still have feet connected to those stumps at the bottom of their legs.

  2. Timmy B Silver badge

    ".. And they wonder why people are moving away from Windows where they can, you simply can't rely on Windows to work reliably any more."

    Moving to what? Android tablets and phones? Yes - because they are so much more reliable, aren't they? The market share of desktops for Windows is fairly static. In fact the market share of all operating systems for desktops is pretty static at about 85% for windows 10% for OSX and 2% for Linux. In the west the flow is actually away from tablets towards a two device laptop/phone combination.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "In the west the flow is actually away from tablets towards a two device laptop/phone combination."

      Based on my relative's experience of a non-technical workplace (call centre), the majority of people they worked with had neither a PC nor a laptop - they used a phone or tablet.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Evidently in a call center they have to use a phone - to place phone calls. But where do they get the info to call people (and store answers), or if answering, how do they operate on customers' requests? On a tablet without a keyboard?

        If I go to a bank/insurance they use computers. If I go to the post office they use computers. My accountant do use computers. The notary a few days ago asked his secretary to correct a document and print it - from a computer. If I go to a city/regional/state office they use computers. The hospital reception uses computers. When I brought my car in for maintenance, it was checked-in using a computer (BMW... they read data from the car "key", though. Ford does use rugged tablets also, though).

        All are non-technical workplaces. Where are all those places that only uses tablets and phones?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "Evidently in a call center they have to use a phone - to place phone calls.

          FWIW, it's more likely to be a head-set plugged into a PC and making calls via a VOIP system.

        2. Dimmer

          And how many of those places did the original design include any wiring for the computers? The most used answer i get is “but, we planned on using wireless”. Or better yet, IF you get a server closet, you share it with the cleaning supplies and wet mops.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Moving to Web based applictions instead of OS dependant apps?

      Then enterprise can kill the beast that is Windows in one swoop - anything that runs a browser will do.

      1. gnarlymarley

        Then enterprise can kill the beast that is Windows in one swoop - anything that runs a browser will do.

        And you forgot to mention that the company I work for says "as long as that browser is internet explorer". They firewall everything and force it through a proxy, so good luck trying to get around using something like edge or firefox or chrome or opera or seamonkey or........... Yes, there are idiotic companies out there that require computer use on "windows".

        Due to this, since I am not ready to leave my employment just yet, I would say if you purposefully try to write an app that does not work with IE then I will be forced to go to your competitor. Either that or I quit my job and no longer have need to go to your IE breaking app.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          OK, so just for the "idiotic companies"...

    3. Dwarf Silver badge

      @Timmy B

      PC sales are down a lot (mostly due to Win 10 being a bag of nails that tries to advertise and sell your soul). Most have moved to tablets and mobile phones, Mac's and Linux machines. Your Mac figure is clearly wrong - get on a train and look at what people use. Go to a university or college and watch what student have. Go and work in a corporate with a BYOD policy and count the number of Mac's vs Windows Laptops and Linux machines used.

      Most enterprises are delivering a lot more on Linux servers rather than Windows based platforms, but many are stuck (for the moment) on Windows PC's due to the software legacy, but virtually all modern apps are web based, so the dependency on Windows and Windows desktop is being eroded all the time - as people (including those with very large corporate budgets) are fed up with it..

      In regard to reliability, it depends on what you are measuring, focusing on the topic here which is activation, can't recall a single event where any Android, Mac or Linux machine decided to deactivate licences on a global scale, Windows has counted two now, One last year for Windows 10, one this year for Windows 7.

      Broadening it out to all reliability, Windows has had an atrocious record in recent years compared to the competition. Virtually each week there is a major problem or something that worked yesterday is borked due to the forced update - with an ETA for fix being several weeks or months out,.

      I've not seen that on Mac, Android or Linux to anything like, mostly as they let the user when to update. Apple is not perfect but even they test things to minimise impacts and react fairly quickly when things go wrong.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        "PC sales are down a lot (mostly due to Win 10..."

        ack. I've been saying things consistent with this for a while. 'El Reg' articles from a few years ago even pointed this out when Win 7 and Win 'Ape' (8) laptops sat next to each other on the same shelf, the 7 laptops would sell, and 8 laptops would remain unsold [by comparison].

        Intel and AMD and Dell and HP and Lenovo and other PC makers and CPU makers need to STOP hitching their wagons to Micro-shaft's "star", because it's NOT a star, it's a boar with lipstick on the non-oinky end.

        And since I still use Windows 7 for a couple of things, purchased pre-installed on a re-worked Lenovo box from e-bay a couple o' years ago [while I still could], having possible activation problems is a _BIG_ problem for me. That's like a BREECH OF CONTRACT as far as I am concerned.

        I've got an old Lenovo box with XP on it that I use for 3D printing (and occasionally, old games) and it BETTER continue to work until the hardware fails. Same with the Win 7 box.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          3d printing

          > I've got an old Lenovo box with XP on it that I use for 3D printing ...

          When the hardware does fail, you'll probably be in ok shape to use a Linux box. Most 3D printers are decently supported by applications on Linux these days, including some of the older Makerbot (and clones) which run the no-longer-developed Makerbot Desktop.

          Octoprint is worth keeping an eye on, if you're into that kind of thing.

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        can't recall a single event where any Android, Mac or Linux machine decided to deactivate licences on a global scale, Windows has counted two now

        Windows shouldn't have that ability either. I have no problem with Microsoft doing what they will to validate a license before the EULA is accepted and Windows is activated, but that should be that. Once it's activated, it should remain so forever... no further license checking, ever. Once Windows becomes the official OS of that PC, which happens at the point that Windows is activated, it needs to work to serve one master and one master only, and that is the owner of the PC. There's no room for any process using my hardware and my CPU time to try to find a reason to prevent me from using the agreed-upon (by MS and myself) OS from working fully. An OS that is working to serve someone else's needs can't be trusted, and license check whose best possible outcome is to do nothing isn't serving my needs.

        MS is being very clear in demonstrating to people why they and Windows should not be trusted. How much more clear do they need to be before people get it?

        1. gnarlymarley

          Once it's activated, it should remain so forever... no further license checking, ever.

          Good in theory, but how do you deal with a license thief? People have made image copies of their windows installs to new computers, so that they activation would be already accepted. They did so at a previous job of mine in 1997 with windows 95. This is why when microsoft enabled the windows updates, they did so with the license check at the start, to stop thieves from getting away with that stuff. As much as I do not like the windows activation check, it did show up for a reason. It was not until around 1999 where that company acquired software to clear the activation key when they did the image copy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It should fail safe. Just because it cant reach a licence validation site, doesn't mean its pirated.

            Especially in the cases where the code recognises the internet is reachable but there's no response from the mothership.

          2. Dave K Silver badge

            Windows 95 and Windows 7 are very different beasts however. With Windows 95 (and in fact all Windows up to 2000, plus XP corporate), all you needed was a license key - no activation at all. Heck, you could use the same key on hundreds of machines, Windows would just work, and cloning the HDD didn't really serve any purpose to bypass the activation - because there wasn't any.

            Later Windows with activation is capable of telling when you've cloned the drive into a different machine (BIOS serial numbers change, amongst other things). Ultimately though, this issue is about a failure of KMS. Windows Home does indeed activate once and then work solidly after this (unless you change too many hardware components). KMS though requires machines to phone home to the KMS server regularly - presumably to stop people bunging the office version of Windows onto their laptop, activating it at work then taking it home afterwards.

            Of course, this is why it's important for activation to work properly...

      3. Mage Silver badge

        Web based

        unfortunately using Silverlight.

      4. Timmy B Silver badge

        "PC sales are down a lot (mostly due to Win 10 being a bag of nails that tries to advertise and sell your soul). Most have moved to tablets and mobile phones, Mac's and Linux machines."

        But that's simply not the case. I looked at statistics sites, such as netmarketshare and on the desktop the percentage of users of desktop OS's has been pretty constant for ages. The use of Linux on the desktop has lurked at about 2% for years and Macs tops out at about 13%. But these both waver. People, as a percentage of end users, simply aren't moving in the way you say. Just ain't happening. Unless you want to just go on word of mouth and ignore statistics sites.

        1. herman Silver badge

          On my web site, Windows is lately at 35% and Mac at 18%. Years ago it was 90% Windows. Whenever I go to a coffee shop, it is a crowd of Macs and one or two shameful Windows users hiding in a corner.

    4. Dimmer

      Apple is just as bad on updates. Allow an update and your apps don’t work. Go to the App Store and that app is no longer a available. I have a phone they were able to get an update past me and it is now a tea warmer. It was all about how I need to turn off this or that. Wiped back to factory and it still will not hold a charge. We Are tired of it and fear any update from any vendor except a Linux box running on a VM with a snapshot.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, helpful support advice

    "...the activation server change was reverted."

    Yes, but was it kindly reverted?

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    (KB4480960 and KB4480970)

    You shall not Pass! Blocked at the WSUSGate, banished never to return.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if Microsoft are planning on hiring any QA staff this semester?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      1. Roger 11

        Who downvoted that?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          MS' social media interns.

  6. LDS Silver badge

    The problem arisies when you have a mix of retail and non-retail activations.

    We have a number of PCs bought when we were a small startup that came with retail versions of Windows. As they are valid licenses (Pro and even Ultimate), we never bothered to re-install the machines. I don't think we are in a unique situation. So a patch that should be applied to some machines and not others depending on what license is installed, without being able to filter them easily in WSUS, is not exactly an ideal situation.

  7. Ian Emery Silver badge


    is my first thought.

    At least they reversed this one, at home I have 3 legitimate Win7 pro machines that have been nagging they arent legit for over 18 months, after the LAST time they borked an update.

    its time they turned the activation status system off and just let us get on with it; none of us are ever likely to let Win10 near our data, and they dont sell Win7 any longer, so they are hardly going to lose revenue over it.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: RETARDS

      "its time they turned the activation status system off and just let us get on with it;"

      You trust them to send out an update to Win7 will stop looking for the activation server?

  8. karlkarl Bronze badge

    At work we have Windows licenses but we also use kmspico (A "crack" for Windows in that it just runs a local activation server to activate against).

    We do this for three reasons:

    1) In the UK, it is perfectly legal to do this if we own the license and "coz we can".

    2) Our workstations must stay deterministic. No sloppy crap passed down to us from the chaos that is Microsoft in 2019.

    3) Some of our projects are quite sensitive and therefore machines are offline for the entirety of their lifespan and using a phone for licensing is quite obsolete.

    I recommend everyone doing the same. I think it is mad that people expose themselves to the fallicy that is online DRM.

    1. localzuk

      I'd love to know how that is legal in the UK? EULA's still apply over here, and bypassing copy protections is most certainly illegal here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        While I can't vouch for the legality of this thing, the law of the land will always trump any EULA.

      2. BigSLitleP

        Because in the UK, if you can prove that you own the licence for the software, the courts don't care about "activation". UK courts > EULA

        1. localzuk

          @BigSLitleP - that is simply not true. Bypassing copy protection is codified into UK and EU law as being a criminal offence.

          Whilst there may be allowances for using copyrighted material in certain ways, outside the scope of an EULA, there is also a specific part of law which prevents the bypassing of technical protection measures (TPMs).

          The UK has a mechanism for legally complaining about a TPM that prevents you doing something you're legally supposed to be able to do, but you do not have a legal right to bypass such measures yourself - doing so is most certainly copyright infringement.

          Whilst you say "UK courts > EULA", and that is true, no-one in this thread has shown me any proof that this is legal.

          So, I'll go back to my original question - I'd love to know the legal basis for saying you can bypass MS activation, because I simply cannot find one.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        I don't know how it works in the UK, but in the US, a EULA is a (weak) contract, not a law. If you violate the EULA, that is a contract violation (a civil matter), not lawbreaking (a criminal matter).

      4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        EULAs are contracts that in general have not been tested thoroughly in the courts of any country. Given the one-sided nature of most EULAs it is almost certain many of the provisions in them are illegal in some or all countries. But because of the current legal limbo, it is hard for users to clearly determine what is legal and illegal so they tend to omnipotentcy about them that is false.

        1. MrDamage

          Given that EULA's are presented to the purchaser after the point of sale, then EULA's are legally on shakey ground. In essence, they are trying to change the terms and conditions of the sale, after the sale has been made.

          In countries that have decent consumer protection laws, EULA's are effectively just scare tactics which can be ignored.

        2. DCFusor Silver badge

          VA and TX in the US

          Have laws making EULAs legally binding, and they'e been tested. VA because all the government stuff there (assumption is that they can and will pay), and TX, NASA and so on. This was certainly a fact a decade ago, whether it's changed, I haven't heard.

          At any rate, back then the laws were definitely tested....

          A customer of mine with ~~ 450 windows machines was shut down for 3 days, losing quite a bit of money, over a legally-enforced BSA inspection....

          They now have a heck of a lot of Linux and Mac....(I got paid to help with that).

          A privately owned electronics manufacturer, whose owner was able to hold and deliver on a grudge. He hadn't violated anything but were they going to reimburse him for the lost $$ due to acres of shut down production robotics? Not a chance.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: VA and TX in the US

            EULAs are contracts, nothing more. "Legally binding" merely means that they are legal contracts. None of that makes them laws.

            "450 windows machines was shut down for 3 days, losing quite a bit of money, over a legally-enforced BSA inspection"

            That has nothing to do with EULAs. Those actions are taken when the BSA thinks that they can make a case that copyright infringement has been happening. That's an entirely different kettle of fish from EULAs.

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: VA and TX in the US

            Citation? I can't find any references to any such laws.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      PC's handle sensitive data so naturally the first thing any sane admin does is install a crack from anonymous Russian hacker team.

      Gold star right there.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Doesn't seem unreasonable.

        Dodgy software is trying to work but may have faults.

        Windows has components which are deliberately designed to disable it.

        Both are capable of being faulty, and it appears that if Windows has faults everyone will forgive it.

        So which has the stronger incentive to be correct ?

      2. STLplsthx

        If the machines are disconnected physically from the Internet and nothing funky comes from the crap, it's not such a bad deal.

        1. karlkarl Bronze badge

          Plus the source for the KMS emulator is open (MIT) and verifyable.

          Not to mention, we honestly trust the "russian" crackers more these days than IT giants :/

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            "we honestly trust the "russian" crackers more these days than IT giants :/"

            To be fair, I don't. I trust them both about the same.

  9. Howard Hanek Bronze badge


    I imagine these people running these 'activation' systems wear black uniforms with riding beeches and high black boots walking around with very serious expressions constantly asking, '.....where are your papers?'

  10. Wellyboot Silver badge

    >>>However, updating the servers Windows uses to check it is the real deal on the same day that users get their important patches takes a special kind of planning<<<

    These days MS couldn't plan a brewery located celebration and given that the odds are only 30:1 of randomly landing a unrelated fubar on patch day I'm surprised it took this long for a good one to appear.

  11. Prosthetic Conscience


    Sounds like it will be the remote kill switch for Windows 7 MS will use when they decide they've had enough of users not moving to W10.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows is Close to Unusable

    Well, that might explain it. I have had my current (Windows 7) work machine for about 4 years. It was purchased new (I was determined not to get Windows 8 or 10) and after an update about one year in, it started putting up the "Windows is not genuine" message every few hours. Very embarrassing when it happens in front of customers. Despite multiple calls to Dell support I couldn't get it sorted. Eventually just forgot about it and was dismissing the message almost without thinking about it when ever it came up.

    Flash forward to a few days ago and the message came up again. At that point I realised that it had probably not seen it for quite a while. Presumably some update or other had fixed the problem and I hadn't noticed until this latest problem. The only worrying thing is that this is still happening as I type...

    I tend to wait for a while before installing updates because it can take anything up to 90 minutes. Just what you need on a machine that you earn your living with.

    At least it's not as bad as my wife's Windows 10 machine (was bought as 8 but was forcibly updated by MS despite us saying no) . It has very few applications installed on top of the OS (MS Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, Gimp) and no funny stuff. Despite this is grinds to a halt every few weeks and has to be rebooted multiple times to clear the issue. Eventually, it deteriorates so badly (Start menu actually disappears, applications will no longer run) that I have to completely reinstall.

    This is just a fraction of the pain of running Windows.

    Unreliable crap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

      It looks your machines have issues that go far beyond Windows - it's not normal to take 90min for an update, nor grinding to a halt with simple software installed. I would suggest to ask for professional advice.

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

        "it's not normal to take 90min for an update"

        No, it usually takes several hours.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

          Mine updates in a few minutes. Usually the only update that takes longer is the .NET update.

          Again, it you have such issues you have problems that go beyond Windows. You can keep ignoring them and blame Windows only, or solve them using a knowledgeable person. If you feel better blaming Windows, keep on...

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

        It is actually pretty normal for Windows 7 to take 90 minutes or even 90 hours to run Windows Update since MS screwed it up in a way which requires manual intervention.

        As for the Windows 10 machine, it sounds like a HP Stream or something with 32G flash space being filled up completely by Windows and Office updates (a common problem) so it can't do anything else.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "MS screwed it up in a way which requires manual intervention"

          It happens if you didn't update Windows 7, or refused to install those patches - or if you reinstall from a very old image. The problem is not how long it takes to patch, it's how long it takes to find what patches should be downloaded.

          Too many people cripple their own machines, and then blame the OS.

          Machines with too little disk space can be an issue, I wouldn't have bought one at all. Anyway, free disk space removing old restore points and patch rollback data (after you're sure you don't need to rollback). You can do it from the "Clean up system files" of Disk Cleanup. Remove also error dump files, and many other no longer useful data.

          On my system, for example, I could remove 10Gb of Windows update files, 400MB of dumps and error reporting data,

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: "MS screwed it up in a way which requires manual intervention"

            Nobody cripples their own Windows 7 machine, the Windows Update process does it all by itself.

            If you install SP1 on a newly formatted hard drive and then run Windows Update once to get up to date, it can end up in a useless state where it can take days to check for updates. You cannot blame this on the user, this entirely MS' fault.

            The solution as given in the link above is to force feed it a certain list of manually-downloaded KBs in a certain order while it is not connected to the Internet and then, lo and behold, it works again.

            So that was hours of my time wasted because MS doesn't do basic QA any more.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "If you install SP1 on a newly formatted hard drive"

              As I said, "or if you reinstall from a very old image" - try to install a Debian 5, for example, and tell me what happens when you run an update...

              If you don't have a recent image, I'm not surprised installing an OS released in 2009 needs some care and knowledge. Actually, you need only the SP1, service stack 2015 update, and the 2016 rollup. I agree MS should have issued an SP2 including them to ease the process - but it went all Slurpindows 10 since Nadella took the helm.

              Still, info about what to do are easily and clearly available. You can slipstream them, although in a WSUS environment the updates happen faster anyway. Or use WSUS Offline.

              But all those who didn't install the patches because they saw "service stack update" and didn't bother to check what it meant, actually crippled their own systems, and they deserve it, especially if they prefer to keep on blaming Windows instead of fixing it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "If you install SP1 on a newly formatted hard drive"

                'try to install a Debian 5, for example, and tell me what happens when you run an update..."

                Invalid argument as Lenny isn't supported by the provider any more whilst Windows 7 is. That said, if you simply pointed it at an archived mirror of Lenny it would update itself to the latest supported version without fuss and take much, much less time than the steps required for Windows.

                For a closer comparison (i.e. years old but still supported) we could try CentOS 6, and it in that case just works. It takes less than ten minutes to upgrade a fresh install from the original ISO to the latest version with no fuss.

                Windows Update is atrocious no matter what way you look at it. None of the hoops you mention should be necessary.

                And yes, Windows Update is slow even on a brand new install of Win 10 with no crapware installed. I daily drive various Windows versions, macOS and Linux flavours and Windows is absolutely the slowest and least reliable to deal with in terms of updates.

      3. veti Silver badge

        Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

        Sounds like an under specced machine. I have one of those, it takes best part of half an hour to boot into what passes for a usable state on a good day. When there are updates, it gets way slower.

        1. EVMonster

          Re: Windows is Close to Unusable


          Can I suggest you upgrade the PC to an SSD, they are a breeze to install and can make an underspecced PC come to life.

          I have a client weho is an undertaker with six off the shelf PC's all LOW spec and the addition of six forty quid SSD's I actually made an undertaker smile.

          I'll get my coat.

        2. herman Silver badge

          Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

          That same underspecced machine will boot a better OS in a few seconds.

      4. gnarlymarley

        Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

        it's not normal to take 90min for an update, nor grinding to a halt with simple software installed.

        Actually, I am reading the comments for this article on a windows vista machine. Seems a while ago the machine kept blue screening, until one day I disabled windows updates and all the blue screens went away. My windows 7 and windows 10 machines both take about forty minutes to install their updates. It is about 15 minutes for the patching, around 14 minutes for the shutting down "Do not power off your machine" screen, and about another 12 minute for the starting up "do not power off your machine" screen. This does not count the downloading due to United States slow internet, nor the login after the patching is supposedly done.

        1. herman Silver badge

          Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

          51 minutes - So, what will it take for you to finally give up with MS and get a better computer system? I would really like to know.

  13. N2 Silver badge

    Windows 7 is not genuine

    So says the company that produced it.

    Give me strength, just who makes this stuff up?

    Why can't those fuckwits just stop for a moment and think, they might just realise where this idiotic, self centered ego trip is going to end up.

  14. Big Al 23

    How long will government consumer protection agencies allow Windows users to be abused?

    It's incomprehensible that government agencies world wide who's responsibility it is to protect the public from defective products and financial scams to allow Microsoft to continue costing Windows users irrefutable harm and financial losses from defective OSs and updates. Microsoft will continue to distribute defective goods until such time that they are fined billions of dollars for each damaging update. There is no reason for consumers to be damaged other than Microsoft's negligence and apathy.

  15. Ernie Mercer

    That's better than my experience with last month's "Quality Rollup" for Win7. It disabled my USB ports. No mouse, no keyboard.

    I had to use a backup to restore my hard drive using an alternate installation of Windows 10.

  16. hayseed

    Not related, Hah!!

    > "The timing of this issue coincides with the release of the January updates (KB4480960 and KB4480970)

    > that were released on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. These events are not related."

    Conclusion: that was a WILD New Year's Party!

  17. steviebuk Silver badge

    Windows 10 Pro

    My Windows 10 Enterprise that links to our KMS setup switched to Windows 10 Pro at Christmas. So all Christmas I had no direct access and couldn't work out why it wasn't working. Then noticed the drop down in licence once got back to work. Fixed it. Wonder if it was an update.

  18. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    Article title..

    "Activation server fiddling on day of monthly update"

    Apparently fiddling while Rome burned..

  19. Jove Bronze badge

    The root cause ...

    of the problems is clearly down to User Error; stop bitching and move to a Professional OS. :)

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