If you've installed Windows 7 (or Vista) but still don't have a product key, you'll eventually end up with an activation nag screen and "reduced functionality" until you get a proper key. Still not ready to buy? Temporarily bypass the problem instead.
Tech weblog UneasySilence details how to use the previously mentioned rearm trick to extend your trial period so you can access your installation the same way you had been previously. It's easy to rearm before your trial has expired, but the extra bonus in their post comes in their details for getting to a command prompt (in which you can enter the
slmgr -rearm command) once you're stuck in reduced functionality mode.
- On the Windows Activation, click on Access your computer with reduced functionality option.
- Once the Internet Explorer loads, click on File on menu bar and then select Open on the pull-down menu.
- On the Open dialog window, type in C:WindowsExplorer.exe and then click OK.
- Click OK button on "IE needs to open a new window to open this webpage" confirmation prompt.
- Click Run button on "File Download – Security Warning" dialog prompt.
- Click on Run button on "File Download – Security Warning" warning dialog related to unknown and not verified publisher.
- User shell will load, and the desktop, taskbar, start menu and etc will be restored.
Once the shell loads, you can fire up the command prompt and continue with the same old rearm trick we've covered before. Keep in mind that while this trick is a nice workaround if you want or need to extend your activation period and access your data for a bit longer, it'll only work for a couple of rearmings (120 days). If you've been using the old rearm trick in your Windows 7 installation, let's hear how it's working for you in the comments.