Understanding Windows Activation

In this article we will introduce and increase understanding Windows Activation Microsoft product activation, including Windows activation, is an anti-piracy technology designed to verify that software products are legitimately licensed. The goal of product activation is to reduce software piracy through casual copying and hard drive cloning. The Windows Server 2008 R2 family of retail products contains activation technology, which requires you to activate your retail or volume license copy of Windows Server 2008 R2.

If you have not activated Windows Server 2008 R2, you are reminded each time you log in and at common intervals until the end of the activation grace period of 30 days. If you have not activated Windows Server 2008 R2 during the grace period, the system then will be unlicensed. Persistent notifications will alert you of the need to activate. While in the notification condition, you will be able to log on and off, and the system will function normally.

However, the desktop background will change to black, and Windows Update will only install critical updates. The notifications will continue until you activate the operating system.

In the Welcome Center, the Activation Status entry specifies whether you have activated the operating system. If Windows Server 2008 R2 has not been activated, you can activate the operating system by clicking More Details to access the System console and then selecting Click Here to Activate Windows Now under Windows Activation. See Figure below.

Understanding Windows Activation 1

Figure: Activation Status

If you choose to activate your product over the Internet, the activation wizard detects your Internet connection and securely connects to a Microsoft server to transfer your installation ID when you submit it. A confirmation ID is passed back to your computer, automatically activating Windows Server 2008 R2. This process typically takes just a few seconds to complete. No personally identifiable information is required to activate Windows Server 2008 R2. If you do not have an Internet connection, you will have to activate Windows Server 2008 R2 over the phone.