How to Fix the Windows 7 Activation Countdown After Installing the SP1 Update

James Bruce 29-04-2011

Windows 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 How To Remove Windows Activation So You Can Install It On A Different Computer Read More ). 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.


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 3 Ways Windows Defender Can Protect Your PC Read More , Security Essentials Free Security Suite for Windows: Microsoft Security Essentials Read More , 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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  1. Getu
    June 22, 2018 at 6:26 am

    Thanks for your prompt supports at all! Best regards!

  2. Shibram Mazumder
    April 10, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    is this process applicable for OEM type windows 7 ?

  3. InteLStaT
    May 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Hi. It seems none of the download links are working. Can the author fix it or someone provide me with the correct download link? Thanks in advance.

  4. Adrian
    March 11, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Worked fabulously as long as the instructions here are followed. Forgot to run sfc but had not tried any other solution so didn't need to. Downloaded .net framework 4.5 and HAL ran straight through and not only removed the "activate in 30 days" but shows it is activated AND Genuine.

  5. gregory
    April 18, 2015 at 4:31 am

    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.

  6. BooYah
    April 12, 2015 at 5:13 am

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

  7. Axe
    January 31, 2015 at 7:29 am

    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.

  8. Riddhi Banerjee
    January 11, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    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
      January 31, 2015 at 7:54 am

      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.

  9. Lurkologist
    July 28, 2011 at 6:04 am

    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?

  10. lijuj
    June 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    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!

  11. Sandeep Srikantam
    June 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Can HAL7600 be uninstalled after the validation process. PLZ REPLY

    • James Bruce
      June 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      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.

  12. Zee
    June 20, 2011 at 12:02 am

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

  13. Capricorn8159
    June 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    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?

  14. Honky
    June 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    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.

  15. Honky
    June 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    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

    • Tina
      June 4, 2011 at 12:19 am

      Thanks for sharing, Honky!

    • James Bruce
      June 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

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

      • Honky
        June 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm

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

  16. i2Paq
    May 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    HAL does not work with SP1

    • James Bruce
      May 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

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

      • Ellis Morrison
        May 24, 2018 at 8:22 am

        Thank you, Mr Bruce (7 years & 14 days after the fact).
        Nonetheless, after a few (ok, 13) false starts, I was able
        to download, install & enable this very interesting app.

        2 questions:
        How do I verify it's functionality
        & what does this (below) mean?

        Test Mode
        Windows 7
        Build 7601 (in bottom rt corner of screen)

        • James Bruce
          May 24, 2018 at 10:42 am

          I think that means it hasn't worked, and that you're stuck in evaluation or testing mode. Apologies, I can't help as I haven't been running Windows 7 for about 4 years now!

  17. Adsw
    May 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    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
      May 8, 2011 at 9:00 am

      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.

  18. like it
    April 30, 2011 at 10:33 pm


  19. Hozefa KB
    April 29, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    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???

    • Bob
      April 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      get a life

    • James Bruce
      April 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      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.

    • Haterrrible
      April 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

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