You are in the: Small Business Computing Channelarrow View Sites +
Small Business Technology
» ECommerce-Guide | Small Business Computing | Webopedia | WinPlanet |  »Close
Enter a word for a definition... ...or choose a computer category.

   Term of the Day
   New Terms
   New Links
   Quick Reference
   Did You Know?
   Tech Support
   Webopedia Jobs
   About Us
   Link to Us

talk to us
   Submit a URL
   Suggest a Term
   Report an Error
Internet Lists
Internet News
Internet Resources
Linux/Open Source
Personal Technology
Small Business
Windows Technology
xSP Resources
Corporate Info
Tech Jobs
E-mail Offers
  Be a Commerce Partner

Last modified: Monday, April 15, 2002 

Short for Hardware Identification, a security measure used by Microsoft upon the activation of the Windows operating system. As part of the Product Activation system, a unique HWID number is generated when the operating system is first installed. The HWID identifies the hardware components that the system is utilizing, and this number is communicated to Microsoft. Every 10 days and at every reboot the operating system will generate another HWID number and compare it to the original to make sure that the operating system is still running on the same device. If the two HWID numbers differ too much then the operating system will shut down until Microsoft reactivates the product.

The theory behind HWID is to ensure that the operating system is not being used on any device other than the one for which it was purchased and registered. However, problems can arise when users start replacing or adding hardware components -- such as motherboards, sound cards, CD-R drives, Ethernet adapters -- because these will generate new HWIDs, and if there are too many differences from the original installation number the system will register that the operating system has been installed on a different device than the original and subsequently shut itself down. The only way to resolve the issue is to telephone Microsoft and explain the new hardware in order to obtain a new code.

E-mail this definition to a colleague

For pages about HWID . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Microsoft Product Activation
A general overview of Microsoft's Product Activation.

related categories


Operating Systems



related terms


Microsoft Windows

Product Activation

Give Us Your

HiD Products :

Top Store Offers:
ELITE AUTO PARTS  629.00This product is applicable to the following vehicles: 2001-2003 BMW 525i | 2001-2003 BMW 525i Touring | 1997-2000 BMW 528i | 1997-2000 BMW 528i Tourin...
1A Auto  199.95This replacement Lexus RX300 composite headlight is just what you need to get your Lexus in good looking form again! Specifications RH (passenger's si...
Autogrimmig  270.24BMW 99-00 325 i, Ci, and Xi AEM Cold Air Intake Induction System - AEM pioneered the Cold Air Intake Induction System for sport compact cars in 1995. ...  420.00Give your headlight a different look, get a HID conversion kit today (crystal white)  275.00Give your headlight a different look, get a HID conversion kit today (blue white)

Compare all matches:
184 Store Offers

JupiterWeb networks:

Search JupiterWeb:

Jupitermedia Corporation has two divisions:
Jupiterimages andJupiterWeb

Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

Jupitermedia Corporate Info | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers