How To Fix The Windows 7 Activation Countdown After Installing The SP1 Update

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windows 7 fails activationWindows activation is a funny thing, because it only really seems to punish legitimate users. Like any form of Digital Rights Management (DRM), the software pirates have simple and quick ways to get around it, while regular users are left with complicated license keys and phoning Microsoft in order to use their software without limitation. Any form of DRM is an unwanted restriction in my opinion, and I won’t tolerate it.

If you had previously applied an activation hack to your Windows installation to get around that restriction, you may be shocked to find that the recent Service Pack 1 update from Microsoft nullified that hack and now Windows 7 fails activation. It is now giving you a warning and a countdown. Here’s how to fix that and activate Windows permanently again (without phoning Microsoft). We are publishing this information to help those of you who find yourself in this situation.

Note: does not condone the use of unlicensed software under any circumstances. It is your responsibility to ensure you own a correct license key for every copy of Windows you own. If you choose to remove the DRM and activation procedures from your legally-purchased software, that is your choice.

windows 7 fails activation


windows 7 activation overrideSince previous activation hacks have been patched, you’ll need to use the newest piece of software. HAL7600 will work in most cases to completely activate your Windows 7 to “genuine” status and remove the unnerving countdown. However, there are a few requirements and issues if you’ve previously patched your system.

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Start by downloading the latest HAL7600 from a [NO LONGER WORKS] reputable torrent site (and check the comments first) or from the creator’s forum thread. Be wary of any other download locations given by Google, as it’s common practice now to plant malware instead of popular utilities (like VLC). The latest version at writing is 1.2.


Like any hacks to core Windows files, the utility will be detected as generic malware by any virus detectors. You need to disable any virus protection you have (including Windows Defender, Security Essentials, or third party apps like Sophos or Norton) in order to continue. Some previous hacks also need to be uninstalled before using this one, such as Chew-WGA, Chew7, IR4, RemoveWAT, Daz’s Loader, and any other loaders or BIOS mods.

After doing those steps, be sure to run a quick repair on core system files by typing in the following command from an elevated command-prompt. To get an elevated command prompt, locate All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt and right click, then select Run As Administrator. Give permission to run, then type in:

sfc /scannow

This will return any key files to their original state.

Install .Net v4

.Net is a an app framework from Microsoft that you need to run HAL760 (ironic?). If you don’t have it, download and install it from Microsoft first. If you’re unsure, just try running the app anyway – it will give an error if you don’t have it installed already.

Run HAL7600 & Finish Up

The installation process is one click, but your computer will need to restart afterwards, after which you should have a happy genuine system with no countdown. Let us know if it worked for you in the comments. Also, let us know how you feel about DRM. Are you a software developer who feels it’s a necessity or do you trust your users?

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21 Comments - Write a Comment


Hozefa KB

wtf? i still can’t believe that this site is still up.
‘ does not condone the use of unlicensed software under any circumstances.’ if you are not doing it then why educating others???


get a life

James Bruce

This app is not unlicensed software, it a tool for removing DRM regardless of whether you own a license key or not. Do with it what you like, this is here for the purpose of people who need it, not for people like you, clearly. You should stick to phoning up microsoft everytime you upgrade your pc, im sure that’s a barrel of laughs.


this site is more useful and more popular than you. Bob below is right. Get a life.


like it




well taking out DRM is theft from someone … So I guess saying you are a thief is now ok .. Well by the story at least

James Bruce

No it isn’t, get the law straight before you lecture me. Removing DRM from software and media you legally own is a breach of Terms and Conditions, not Theft. Theft is when you didn’t pay for the something in the first place.

Did you only come here to troll? Perhaps you could just skip by the article and save yourself the trouble.



HAL does not work with SP1

James Bruce

Yes … it does. That is the whole point of this article.



Ok so i installed and everything was good, but once i had updated i had a problem with it showing up as Build 7601 – Test Mode. W7 was showing as not activated. All i did was run HAL 7600 again and it showed a few errors but i kept clicking cancel to skip… restarted, W7 is again activated. Just thought i’d pst that because others have mentioned on other sites that they had to use Windows 7 loader to fix this error


Thanks for sharing, Honky!

James Bruce

Could be a result of a newer update to combat this – but you say 7 Loader works now? Good to know, thanks Honky. 


Not sure on 7 Loader, but i read on a different website it had worked for others thats all.



Interesting to note tho, my Pc has since had the pop up occasionally telling me it isn’t activated. But, once i close that window, and check the status it tells me it’s activated. So for now i think i’ll just leave it. I don’t have any of the problems that come with the non activated W7, i just get the occasional pop up.



DRM equasl digital restrictions management.. designed to keep the rich rich and the poot poor. the more DRM is incorporated, tlhe more people will trive to find workarounds. have you noticed how the life cycle of each iteration of windows is getting shorter?



Works like a charm!
Bundle of thanks…..:))


Sandeep Srikantam

Can HAL7600 be uninstalled after the validation process. PLZ REPLY

James Bruce

No, or the hack would be removed and your windows would be deactivated again. You can delete the .exe file if you like though? It’s not really something that is “installed” as such.



i don’t have a slmgr.vbs file, so it looks like hours of backing up and then a return to factory settings for me. Again. Thanks, Microsoft!



Oh wow, you rock!  I could not get Win7 working on my lappy even tho it’s a legit version.  Despite a few hiccups with the crack it’s now up and running and I’m 100% pleased!  Thanks again!

PS:  Isn’t DRM “Digital Rights Management” and not Digital Restrictions Management?  Or was that an in joke and me just having a blonde day?


Riddhi Banerjee

well hello. i have been using this for months now. worked perfectly. now i want to remove it ’cause its not allowing me to check for updates. i want to install ie11 on win7. how to remove all traces of hal from windows. any help ?

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