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: MakeUseOf.com 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

HAL7600

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.

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.

Preparation

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.

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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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Comments (25)
  • gregory

    This process did not work for me. I had HAL7600 installed and THEN I had service pack 1 updated and HAL stopped working. So, I had to uninstall HALL, then uninstall SP1, and then re-install HAL. Now it works for me. This happens to me EVERYTIME I do ANYTHING to my system.

  • BooYah

    where to download hal7600? i download from torrent it got trojan virus in it

  • Axe

    I tried it. It’s amazing, spectacular, fantastic, bombastic. its east works with just one click. the real issue is finding a legit copy. I have tried Daz loader, antic loader and wat remove 2.2, none of them work with SP1. HAL7600 beats everything else. if anyone needs a copy mail me at axemanin (at) yahoo (dot) com.

  • 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 ?

    • Axe

      Trust me you dont need updates. I have a pc with win 7 from 2 years it hasnt had a problem since. my other pc that i updated has been requiring attention everytime. if you have a specific problem it may be software or harware related…and NOT OS related.

  • Lurkologist

    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?

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.