Try out Vista for up to 120 days

August 10, 2008

Anyone can install Windows Vista on a PC without needing a product key (a unique ID from Microsoft that registers your copy of the program). After installation, you get 30 days to evaluate the operating system before you have to enter a product key and activate it.

However, there is a legal way to extend this grace period to 120 days. This isn’t a hack or some evil crack–it’s a method that’s been put in place by Microsoft.

  1. Log in to the system as an Administrator.
  2. Press Windows key + R to bring up a Run dialog box.
  3. Type cmd and press OK.
  4. Type slmgr -rearm and press ENTER.
  5. Reboot your PC.

    That’s it. You can extend the grace period up to three times, giving you a total testing time of 120 days. I suppose if you were willing to reinstall your operating system every 120 days, you could run Vista for free indefinitely. That would be a major hassle, though.

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