This morning I reported on Vista activation and validation problems I’ve been hearing and reading about in the last few weeks. This afternoon I have a firsthand report.
When I installed a beta version of Acclaim’s 9Dragons role-playing game (protected, apparently, by nProtect’s GameGuard anti-cheating software), Vista dropped a bomb on me. A time bomb, that is. The software convinced the Windows Software Licensing service that the operating system was being tampered with, deactivating the system and starting a 72-hour countdown to “reduced functionality mode.” This image gallery documents the process:
I’m baffled that this Windows error message doesn’t actually mention Windows. It just says “your license” and “your software.” How am I supposed to know which license and which software. And in the left-hand-meet-right-hand department, where’s Windows Defender in all this? I’m installing a piece of software that is tampering with my operating system, according to the Windows Software Licensing module. So why is Windows Defender looking the other way while this dastardly deed is being done? Why doesn’t it detect and block this software?
In this case, closing the game and restarting the computer allowed me to reactivate over the Internet, but other people haven’t been so lucky, based on reports filed at Microsoft’s Vista Validation Issues forum.
One of the reasons people give me for not buying a Mac is ‘you can’t play games on it’. Well, I guess I can do without.