In these FAQs we answer all your questions regarding ANNO 1404 copy protection. As 2070 is also using TAGES alsmost the same features apply.
Question: How often can I activate my game?
Answer: To start with, you can activate your game on three different PC configurations – if you have used up these activations, simply contact our Support team who will provide you with further activations free of charge and without hassle.
Question: My gaming PC does not have internet access. Are there alternative activation methods?
Answer: You can use the ‘offline’ activation option. The Tages tool requires you to enter the provided serial number and then generates an executable key file ‘Anno4email@example.com’. You can save this file to a medium of your choice, for example a USB key. Then copy the key file to a PC with active online connection and execute it, which will generate a final activation code as .txt file. Alternatively, you can send the ‘Anno4firstname.lastname@example.org’ file via email to Tages and you will receive the final activation code. Copy the received .txt file (containing the activation code) back to the PC with the ANNO installation and restart the game. The activation dialogue window opens automatically in which you will be able to select the ‘offline’ activation option. In the following dialogue, please copy the entire content of the .txt file into the respective field and confirm the entry. The installed version of ANNO 1404 is now unlocked and can be played without an active internet connection.
--> see also at the bottom of this post for a link to a manual with pictures regarding this issue in 2070
Question: Does my PC always require an active internet connection when I want to play ANNO 1404?
Answer: No, after successful activation an internet connection is no longer required, if you want to play in offline mode. HOwever, to use online features and MP an internet connection is required.
Question: What changes to my PC require a new activation?
Answer: With regards to the activation system, a PC configuration consists of the most important hard- and software components of your computer, including the operating system, the CPU, the motherboard and the system hard drive. Small changes such as exchanging the graphics card or adding RAM are not considered changes to the PC configuration and therefore do not require a new activation.
Question: I have already used the activation for three different PC configurations – can I get further activations?
Answer: Yes, if you do require further activations, please contact the Support team. They will provide you with new activations free of charge and without hassle.
Question: What data is transferred from my PC during the online activation?
Answer: Only an encoded hash value calculated from the PC configuration and the activation serial number are transferred to the activation server. No personal data will be transferred during the activation.
Question: Do I have to activate the game on the same PC again when I uninstall and reinstall it?
Answer: There is no need to activate the game again on the same PC configuration. The activation data for the game is saved in the file CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA\Tages (normally equivalent to C:\Program Files\Tages on Windows Vista). The activation data is not removed during uninstalling the game.
Question: How often can I activate my game on the same PC?
Answer: As often as you like – as long as the PC configuration is not changed.
Question: I frequently reinstall my operating system. Do I have to activate the game again every time?
Answer: After each reinstall of the operating system the game must be activated again. If the PC configuration (including the hard drive partition on which the operating system is installed) has not changed, the activation does not use a new activation token as the same hash value is received by the activation server. You can also back up the data in the file CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA\Tages to restore it later if the PC configuration has not changed.
Question: Can I install the game on my second PC or notebook?
Question: What happens if the publisher or copy-protection provider unexpectedly terminates the support for the game? What happens if the activation servers are eventually switched off?
Answer: In this very unlikely case, we will publish a patch for the game in due time to override the activation protection so you are guaranteed to use Anno 1404 in years to come. The copy protection will not limit the functionality of the game in any way.
Here is some info on Activation that will help (translated from the German support page):