SkipRearm doesn’t work, activation still broken

Brian livingston
By Brian Livingston

In a Mar. 15 article, I reported that a Registry key called SkipRearm seemed to allow Windows Vista’s activation deadline to be pushed back many times.

It now appears that this effect isn’t caused by SkipRearm but by a different mechanism — and therein lies a story.

Vista activation deadline affected by system clock

Since my original article appeared, some readers and blogs reported that they could duplicate the results of changing the SkipRearm value in the Registry. Others found no effect on Vista’s activation deadline.

My continued tests have convinced me that SkipRearm cannot be used to extend Vista’s deadline. Instead, the results indicate that Vista has something I call “defensive mode.” In this mode, Vista changes its activation deadline if a PC’s system clock is changed.

Try the following steps on a fresh copy of Windows Vista:

Step 1. Install Vista on a clean hard drive.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2007-07-05: