Update Firmware/Windows Reactivation

I had the strangest thing happen last night. I have a Plextor px-716a DVD/RW and a px-4824a CD/RW, Windows xp pro. I downloaded new firmware for both drives and installed. Upon reboot, Windows says that I have made substantial changes to my system and that I now have 3 days to reactivate. No problem, I reactivated and all is well. It just seems odd to me that this would trigger the Windows reactivation thing as I was under the impression that something substantial would be mainboard or processor changes. I have added memory, added hard drives, added the px-716a under this same install without this happening and now… Anyone else have this happen? I got the firmware updates directly from Plextor so I trust they are genuine.


there is an article on microsoft.com about the “allowed” changes until reactivation is required. Best, start with http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/activation_faq.mspx

I experienced similar after a BIOS update for my mainboard, but I didn’t care too much about that, as this was only an evaluation version of XP64;) My main operating system is W2k:)


The way I understand it, is that windows seems to store information about the CD/DVD drives you have based on the model number and the firmware revision. So when you update the firmware on a drive, it sees that the firmware revision has changed and treats it as if it is a new device. This is why you after flashing a drive and rebooting your system, the first thing windows does when you start up it up again is to tell you a new device is installed.

This is from my own observations with Win2k. I have another system with WinXP, but I haven’t been paying much attention to what it does after I flash a writer on it. It might be the same for XP.

So it is possible that windows counts one firmware update as one device change. That would contribute towards the cumulative number of device changes on your system leading it to ask you to reactivate windows.

I have seen spookier things than this. I had two identical HDs with cloned images of my system. After taking my main HD out for other use, I tried each of the cloned HDs. Both worked with no problem, however the first one said it needed re-activation. The second one didn’t. This is with virtually no hardware changes whatsoever.

In contrast, a new system I just built has had two RAM changes, six optical drive changes, infinite combinations of four different hard drives with the XP install on 3 of them, four different graphics cards and two CPU changes.

No re-activation needed. Go figure.