This is the official support article from the Microsoft support website, explaining and answering questions related to the activation of your Microsoft product. This covers FSX and many other Microsoft Games and Software titles. This article lists the frequently asked questions about how to activate Microsoft Games for Windows and Home Products titles, and about how to troubleshoot activation issues for these titles.
Q1: What is Microsoft Product Activation?
A1: Microsoft Product Activation tries to reduce counterfeit software, and to make sure that Microsoft customers receive the software quality that they expect. After you activate the software product, a specific product key is assigned to the computer hardware on which you installed the product. After this product key is assigned, you cannot use the same product key to activate the product on other computers. Product Activation is required to use the product in full feature mode. If you choose not to activate the product, you can use the product only in a reduced trial mode.
Q2: What is the benefit of using Microsoft Product Activation?
A2: Microsoft Product Activation enables you to start and use the product without using the disc.
Q3: What information is collected, processed, or transmitted during the activation process?
A3: When you activate the software product, the product key information is sent to Microsoft together with a hardware hash. The hardware hash is a non-unique number that is generated by using the computer's hardware configuration. The hardware hash does not represent any personal information or information about the product. The hardware hash cannot be used to determine the make or the model of the computer. Additionally, the hardware hash cannot be backward-calculated to determine the raw computer information. In addition to standard computer information, some additional language settings are collected. This information is not used to identify you. The information is used only to confirm that you have a licensed copy of the product, and to aggregate the information for statistical analysis.
Q4: How many times can I activate the product?
A4: There is no limit to the number of times that you can activate the software product on the same computer. For example, you can remove and install or activate the product any number of times. An additional activation is provided so that you can remove and install the product on the same computer or on a different computer. See the Microsoft Software License Terms for more information. The Microsoft Software License Terms are located in the game folder.
Q5: How can I tell whether my software has already been activated?
A5: If the product has not been activated, the multiplayer capabilities in the game are not available. Note Some games that are only multiplayer games do not let you start the game until you activate it.
Q6: Can I install the product on more than one computer?
A6: Please refer to the End-User Agreement (Microsoft Software License Terms) for more information about how many computers you can install the product on. The End-User Agreement is located in the product folder or on the product DVD.
Q7: How do I activate my Microsoft product for Windows?
A7: When you start the product for the first time, you are prompted to click Activate now or to click Activate later. If you click Activate now, you must enter the product key. You can run the product without activating it for as long as you want. If you do not to activate the product, the product will run in the reduced functionality mode. Additionally, some features, such as the multiplayer feature, will be unavailable in the product. To continue using all the features of the product, you must activate the product.
To activate the product, follow these steps:
- Click Activate now, and then click Next.
- Type the product key, and then click Next.
Note Do not lose the product key. Keep the packaging, or note the number. Keep the number information in a safe location.
- The Activation Wizard runs automatically. The Activation Wizard gives you the following options to continue:
- Activate by using the Internet
The Activation Wizard automatically contacts the Microsoft licensing servers through your Internet connection. When you activate the product by using the Internet, the product key is sent to Microsoft through an encrypted transfer. If you decide to activate the product through the Internet and you are not already connected, the wizard alerts you that there is no connection.
- Activate by using the telephone
You can telephone an Activation Center to obtain the help of a customer service representative and activate the product. Telephone activation might take longer than activation through the Internet. You should be at the computer when you call. Additionally, you should have your software product key. When you select this option, the Activation Wizard generates an Installation ID. You must have this Installation ID to activate the product by telephone.
Important When you telephone the Activation Center, you are prompted to read the Installation ID numbers. If you have problems following the guidelines over the telephone, do not hang up. Wait until you receive an option for transfer. Say “transfer me.” You will be redirected to speak with the customer service representative.
Note Activation Center numbers are not listed in this article because telephone contact numbers vary by license and also by country or region. The Activation Wizard gives you the number to telephone the Activation Center.
- Activate by using the Internet
If the activation is successful, you receive the following message: You have successfully activated Microsoft <product title> on this computer.