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Windows 8 Tip – How to Back Up Activation

With the imminent release of Windows 8 to technet and MSDN (August 15th for those of you who don’t know yet), one thing that people may want to know is how to backup the activation status on a particular machine.  This is very useful as you can use this after a re-install to avoid re-activating online with Microsoft, especially considering they’re limiting the number of keys for MSDN and Technet to supposedly “protect” us, when in reality they’re screwing us.  Anyway without further ado, here is the procedure which was originally posted by JaguarXJ12 on MyDigitalLife forums.

This guide will describe how to backup and restore your activation in a few easy steps in case of a worst case scenario and you have to reinstall Windows.
1. Go to C:\Windows\System32\spp\ and backup the store folder as this turned out to be the only folder you need to make backup of (verified by myself)
The store folder might be hidden, open up Folder options from Control panel and choose View tab, select Show hidden files and folders + uncheck Hide protected system files
Attention 2:
Make sure to verify that the store folder contains these files and folders!
1 file named data.dat which is hidden
1 file named tokens.dat which is visible
1 folder named cache containing a file named cache.dat
2. Re-install Windows
3. After Windows is re-installed I suggest running a new Command Prompt as Administrator where you need to type in slmgr -upk to uninstall the key so the status changes to Unlicensed
4. After step 3 you need to reboot in Safe mode and easiest way is by using msconfig via Run. Choose the Boot tab and then Safe boot-Minimal, apply and restart when prompted
5. After the PC has rebooted in Safe mode open a new Command Prompt as Administrator and type net stop sppsvc to stop the Software Protection Platform service (sometimes you can get a message that it’s already stopped and not running)
6. Go to C:\Windows\System32\spp\ and replace the current store folder with the backed up one (I just copied the folder and pasted over the old one replacing the files altogether)
7. Go to Run and use msconfig and choose Normal boot under General tab this time, apply and click restart when prompted
8. When restarted you can see that the watermarks are gone and by checking the usual slmgr -dli/dlv/xpr commands in Command Prompt you’ll see that it worked and you’re activated + by checking the Volume Activation Management Tool 2.0 you’ll see License Status: License renewed and Genuine Status: Genuine

I have tried and verified this with Windows 8 Enterprise Edition x64 a couple of times and typing from my activated PC again. I could literally do this all day
This solution should be possible to do with any edition of Windows 8.
And now that this is confirmed to work, taking backup and restoring the activation in Windows 8 shouldn’t be a hard thing to do and should work beautifully once we buy Windows 8 and activate it legit when it ships.
As for now enjoy all the testing and use of Windows 8 with confidence!
Here’s the nice tool mentioned in another thread to use to check statuses:
Volume Activation Management Tool 2.0 –….aspx?id=11936
The solution will likely 100% fail if you make changes to hardware and re-install Windows and then trying to restore activation again, but this have been the case since the Vista days.
And also you can’t activate one edition of Windows thinking you can use the backup for another edition later.
The activation is tied to your specific hardware and OS edition, so keep this in mind.
I would also like to clarify that now that we’re activated with the KMS solution the activation is valid for 180 days, nothing more nothing less. There is no magic behind this backup solution that could expand the period further then the 180 days without re-activate via an KMS server eventually.
Once we buy the retail version of Windows 8, backing up the activation would be a more permanent solution given that you don’t change the hardware or OS edition along the road which means you have to reactivate and backup again.
It has come to my attention that installing certain hardware drivers will break the activation on Windows 8 forcing you to reactivate. One way to prevent this from happening would be to make sure everything is installed and up to date before activating and then take the backup. That way when you have reinstalled Windows and the hardware drivers it should work just fine restoring activation later.
If you have come this far and still reading this then congratulations you deserve a gold star. You should have the knowledge to backup and restore your Windows 8 activation without problems by now and understand what this is all about.
Thank you for taking the time to read all the way down here, it will save much time for both parties!
.: The information contained in this thread is for general guidance regarding backup and restoration of activation in Windows 8. I, JaguarXJ12 will not be held responsible for loss of activations if something goes wrong :.

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  • Harkunwar Singh Kochar

    I’ve installed it via phone so I this I have 50% chance that it will work

    • Chris123NT

      backing up phone activations is the same as backing up online activations, so it will work for you as well

  • arialblack

    Ok, i’d activated win8 Pro with phone mode, how do i do with win8 pro tha ask the serial during the installation, it is’t possibile go on at the end. Use the some serial of the fist installation?

  • arialblack

    Ok, done, all done!

  • tonowando

    Windows 8 Tip – How to Back Up Activation
    i have successfully ACTIVATED , 3 copies of
    windows 8 pro rtm – WZT .

    all 3 copies are on esata drives .
    all 3 copies are registered with the same
    retail key .

    i got my ISO file and both install key
    and retail key from KICKASS TORRENTS .

    i used the off-line phone activation method .
    i used the automated service all 3 times .
    the first 2 times worked with out a hitch .

    then the third time i went through the process
    4 different times .

    i would get all the way to the end of
    reciting those 9 sets of digits .

    and the automated service would tell me
    that my copy could not be verified ?

    out of frustration i entered the A-H sets
    of digits that i got from the first 2 phone calls .

    neither set would work .
    i shut-down and gave up .

    the next day i plugged that esata drive
    back into it’s home PC.

    when i booted it up , it was activated ??
    so i have 2 100% activated right copies .
    and one , i don’t know how it got activated copy .

    i read your article ;
    1. Go to C:WindowsSystem32spp and backup the store folder as this turned out to be
    the only folder you need to make backup of (verified by myself)

    and i have copied and saved the [ store ] folder
    from all 3 copies of windows 8 .

    they are all labeled as to the drive each came from .
    they are all stored on a windows 7 drive .

    and there is were my problem begins ?

    none of the windows 8 drives , will accept the
    [ store ] folder from another windows 8 drive ?

    i can’t even copy-n-paste to the desktop ?

    i was hoping to use this activated [ store ]
    folder to activate a non-activated windows install ?

    but so far none of my copies of windows 8 ,
    will allow a system32 folder from another copy ??

    any ideas ?


  • riycou

    windows 8 KMS activator just run as admin

    • Mogyi

      thx :)

  • Lucius

    hey … i activated windows 8 pro … but i can’t still personalize my lock screen ,start screen and account picture …. what should i do for this problem …. any solution ??

    • aakash

      how u hav activate windows 8 pro plz tell me……….

  • NEO-the-ONE


    thanks ! … the “windows 8 KMS activator” is a simple “batch” file … its perfect and easy – its a risk to try tools für windows activation because the most of this tools, keygens, keychanger are fake or malware or trojan or virus and so on BUT this simple batch file is 100% secure …

    i use windows server 2003 because ists faster, secure’er, more stable than windows xp, vista, server 2008, win 7 (?) … i am webdesigner and programmer and win 2003 server enterprise is GREAT (but too expensive for private use) ! … but now i have tested windows 8 enterprise (sorry to bill gates because i test a “copy” ^^ please forgive) and i am surprised about windows 8 !!! very very very good system – 2012 years we wait and now there is a very good windows ^^

    BUT IMPORTANT @ALL: i think windows 8 is the price worth ! here in germany the windows 8 full version cost only 50 € (like 66 $ in usa) > I WILL BUY IT !!! and not only one … i have two computers and i think its important to support it !!! i often use pirated copy sofware to test it – sometimes i use pirated copy because the price (too expensive) … but i know how important it is to support (pay) “good software / good work” > i think we all should think same and support the software that we “use often” … sometimes copy games, software, music and video i think its all right BUT if we all “everytime” “only” use pirated copy’s then the developers cant developing “good” software and products …

    this time i think the “pirated copy” is a good “advertising” for windows – same in music business; often it is “advertising” and not “criminal copy” > i think the developers and MARKETING PEOPLE should make “realistic prices” and then less people will “copy” = more people “can” and “would” buy it …

    please support windows 8 and think about what windows DO FOR YOU !!! thanks windows (and apple and so on TOO; all informatik developers and companies) because WE ALL can use GOOGLE and another great and valuable / precious invention + knowledge … dont forget !!!

  • CodeMeRight

    W8 AIO Tool v1.1.0.1 – 12/15/12
    – Fixed issue with tool detecting Windows 8 Pro as non-compatible OS
    – Slightly smaller file size
    the Windows 8 AIO Tool to Activate Windows 8 All versions DOWNLOAD HERE

    – KMS Activation
    – Windows 8
    – Expiremental Office 2013
    – Key insertion
    – One click activation
    – Leaves no traces
    – Includes servers, updated daily
    – KMS Background activation
    – Constantly tries to activate your system in the background
    – Looks for and finds new KMS servers
    – Set the speed at which it searches and attempts
    – KMS auto-activate service
    – Auto reactivates the system so that you never have to worry about it
    – Activation backups
    – Backup and restore Windows 8 Activations
    – Backup and restore Office 2013 Activations

    – Misc.
    – Metro inspired UI
    – Install Language packs
    – Disable Metro hotcorners
    – Remove overlay activation watermark
    – Permission fixer
    – Enable/Disable Hybrid Shutdown
    – Change bootloader
    – Phone activation dialog
    – Boot to Desktop DOWNLOAD HERE

August 2012
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