Windows Live OneCare is a fantastic idea. Write buggy insecure software and then charge the people who buy your software extra if they want to buy OneCare, which is supposed to protect them from the errors you created in the first place.
Anyone else see a conflict of interest here? Why fix the software, when fixing it, only gives people a reason not to buy OneCare!
Anyway, a trial version of OneCare came on the Vista laptop that Microsoft sent me. This morning I was sent an Activation key to upgrade from the trial version to a full version. Excellent, that will get rid of the nagware screens Microsoft have in the trial version and allow me to update the virus definitions.
Ah, the naivete, if only life (with Vista) were that simple.
Three hours and countless restarts later I was still battling unsuccessfully to Activate OneCare.
First off, if you want to go from the trial version to a full version you have to uninstall the trial version (requires a restart) and download and install the full version (requires a restart). Why? Why can’t you simply add an activation code to the trial version and it change automatically to the full version?
Anyway, after going through this process I was faced with the following unhelpful error message:
When you click the Get Help button, you are brought to a screen which asks you what the error is! I dunno. You tell me. You are the one with the bloody problem.
“OneCare has encountered a problem” doesn’t elicit any helpful responses unsurprisingly!
I decided to make sure I had done a full uninstall. So I uninstalled OneCare (and restarted) and then I ran the OneCareCleanup tool (has to be run as Administrator and requires a restart).
I then reinstalled OneCare and sure enough an Activation screen appeared – wohoo, I thought, success at last. Silly me.
I clicked on the Activate button, the screen closed and nothing happened after that. I decided to try a restart as almost everything else in this process had required a restart! Still no joy.
I tried going further in the Windows Live OneCare Support pages. Could I contact someone to help out? Of course not. Why? Because Windows Live OneCare determined that I was still in the Free Trial Period so I was only entitled to email support (24 hour turnaround).
I give up.