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I had to format my computer, but I forgot to create a backup for the games that I had installed. They are all originals and I have the activation code for each one of them. Can I reinstall them or did I make a grave mistake?

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It depends on the game and the DRM situation they are in. –  TZHX Oct 16 '13 at 8:33
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Can you list the games you want to re-install? –  5pike Oct 16 '13 at 8:38
    
Spore is such a game that has limited, 5 or 6, activations. I frequently format and reinstall my PC and i can not activate the game anymore. But if your handy you can get rid of the DRM with the help of google and internet. It's riciculous you only have limited installs, i was not aware of that when i bought it, but i guess DRM rants are for another topic/website. –  Menno Gouw Oct 16 '13 at 12:37
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This closure is silly. They're asking about the general idea of being able to do this at all, ever, which has a perfectly acceptable answer ("Most games won't give you any trouble at all. There are a few games with especially restrictive DRM that will though"). Some people don't actually know these things! Especially with the efforts of a few publishers to make buyers believe that they shouldn't be able to use games easily. Just because we're experts doesn't give us an excuse to be dumb about what is and isn't obvious to others. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 16 '13 at 15:04
    
You can re-inactivate Spore, but it requires you to call EA and have them release a spot... –  TheX Oct 16 '13 at 16:47
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Apart from having lost the savegames except for games with cloud functions (e.g. via Steam), you shouldn't have any trouble.

However, some games requiring online activation have a silly counter allowing e.g. only five activations, so if you repeatedly activate a game without deactivating it ever, you may have to call a hotline to convince the publisher that you honestly didn't install it on multiple machines.

And of course if the game installer had to be downloaded, you'll have to download it again, which may require you to contact the respective support for re-activating an expired download-link.

Finally, if your game's publisher meanwhile went broke and you don't have any installation files, then indeed the answer is no, you cannot reinstall that game without entering the already grey zone of asking your friends for their installation files...

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Reason for down vote is that you can't possibly answer the question with more than a guess without knowing what game(s) the person is asking about and the DRM on each of them. –  TZHX Oct 16 '13 at 8:37
    
do you want the names or specifics? –  Keith Rebello Oct 16 '13 at 8:38
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@TZHX Well there's not that many kinds of DRM which turn this answer into anything but "yes", and I think I mentioned the most likely ones (ok, rather expanded it while you voted during the edit window) –  Zommuter Oct 16 '13 at 8:39
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@KeithRebello Well, you could edit your question into something more specific, but ultimately the answer simply is "Try it, and on failure contact the respective support" –  Zommuter Oct 16 '13 at 8:40
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