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Windows XP Activation Problem....HELP

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, I understand these Disks are licenced to not allow you to install on multiple PC's. After some reading I think I know why I can't activate, and I need help. My computer recently burned out so to speak, I replaced the motherboard, ram, and powersupply to get it operating again. I wanted to do a fresh install of windows and format my hard drive with the new components installed. I HAD a Windows XP disk that I lost, but my product key sticker for that CD is attached to my PC which I have always used. I borrowed a Windows XP disk from a friend because mine had become lost. To shorten it up...I used his disk to install windows, and found out it would not accept my Product Key with HIS disk, so I used HIS product key. NOW, when I go to activate windows, my product key nor his will NOT work. I know why...if the activation process identifies HARDWARE to keep the software from being installed on multiple computers...it is NOT identifying my PC properly because of the motherboard and RAM change. I am really bummed about this....I have only a week or so left to activate, and I don't know what the solution is. I understand Microsoft does not want to get pirated, I hope Microsoft understand that sometimes HARDWARE in a persons PC changes, meaning I can't use my cd key because I repaired my PC??? not Fair.....PLEASE HELP
post #2 of 12
Did you have a retail disk or an oem disk ( What version did you originally have installed? ).

If you have a retail key then you can change hardware; you'ld just have to reinstall.

If you have an oem key then you cannot change hardware unless there's hardware failure that justifies a hardware change.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I believe it was a retail disk. I built the rig myself from newegg components, and ordered a version of windows XP sp1 with the rig. Built it, and installed the operating system. I have used that disk to format that rig since then probably 3 times...never had a problem. I lost my disk, and had to use a friends...which means I also had to use his CD key. So he might have an OEM disk. Dunno...any ideas?
post #4 of 12
If your key is a retail key then you need to use a retail disc in order to activate. There is a way around this and that is to attempt to activate and then call the number on the phone. Enter the numbers on the screen. If its successful it will give you a set of numbers to type in. If not it will transfer you to a CS rep. They will ask if this has been installed on another computer. Just say no and don't tell them anything like you changed the mobo. They should give you an activation code. (there is no point writing it down.) After you activate windows...

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET ACRONIS, NORTON GHOST, OR ANYTHING SIMILAR AND MAKE AN IMAGE AND BACK UP THAT IMAGE TO AN EXTERNAL AND TO THE LOCAL DRIVE

Why? Because you might not get lucky next time. But this only applies you don't change the mobo next time you format. So do a fresh install get everything the way you want it. Install the software. Activate and then make an image. and then back it up

HOWEVER.

Doing this is technically in violation of the TOS for Windows since MS considers a new mobo a new computer. Do this at your own risk. No one is responsible if something happens.OCN nor anyone on these boards can be held responsible. The worst that will happen is that it wont activate. But I just had to put that there.
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post #5 of 12
I've basically had this situation and the problem you are having is your KEY doesnt match the version of Windows you are installing. Like different SP1/SP2/OEM ect...

This has worked for me most of the time in the past:

Update Windows as far as possible without Activating. (Might need to download the offline SP3 update)

Use Microsoft's Product Update Code Utility: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=204141

I think changing the product key will require a reboot, but it should activate after that.
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Neither of these has worked so far :-( I tried the update the key and it won't do it, says to contact Microsoft CS Rep. I tried just calling Microsoft to activate it...when she asked for the product key I gave her my friends that is linked to the CD I had ta use...she said that one came back "blocked"??? I then told her that I had to borrow a CD but had my own product key attached to my PC, When I gave her that one, she told me to try the cd key update button and type it in...it kept saying the key was mistyped...after I assured her it was NOT mistyped...she told me I had to call back and talk to customer Support :-( Isn't there a way to have microsoft send ya a new CD attached to your product key if you have lost your CD? It seems like the whole problem stems from me borrowing a CD that doesn;t have the same CD key as my key I own.....AND that I changed MoBo's... I dunno....6 days and counting..and I'm not ready for the $120 Windows 7
post #7 of 12
If you have a sticker with the key on the side of the case, you have an OEM copy of Windows.

OEM windows is tied to the original computer it is installed on forever (MS defines "computer" as the motherboard) so you can no longer use the key on the side of the case unless you got a RMA replacement motherboard from the manufacturer.

Basically you need to buy a new copy of Windows.

Read the link in my sig if you have any other questions about OEM windows. Same goes for anyone else that tries to say that it is not true.
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post #8 of 12
Just phone them up and explain the situation and see what they see.. XP is old and they *may* be kind hearted and give you a free copy.. smile.gif

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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blupupher View Post

If you have a sticker with the key on the side of the case, you have an OEM copy of Windows.
OEM windows is tied to the original computer it is installed on forever (MS defines "computer" as the motherboard) so you can no longer use the key on the side of the case unless you got a RMA replacement motherboard from the manufacturer.
Basically you need to buy a new copy of Windows.
Read the link in my sig if you have any other questions about OEM windows. Same goes for anyone else that tries to say that it is not true.

Normally yes...But I purchased the copy of windows and PLACED the sticker on my case for safekeeping so I would not lose the Product Key. I'm going to call MS tomorrow and see what they will do.

ANOTHER ?? The version of windows 7 that is $100 give or take that comes with both the 32bit & 64 bit versions that is only good for one PC....my only fear is I have to buy W7 and install it on this PC....I am due for a rebuild of my rig....so in 6 months, I won't be able to use that W7 product on my new rig?? :-(
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl1238 View Post


Normally yes...But I purchased the copy of windows and PLACED the sticker on my case for safekeeping so I would not lose the Product Key. I'm going to call MS tomorrow and see what they will do.

ANOTHER ?? The version of windows 7 that is $100 give or take that comes with both the 32bit & 64 bit versions that is only good for one PC....my only fear is I have to buy W7 and install it on this PC....I am due for a rebuild of my rig....so in 6 months, I won't be able to use that W7 product on my new rig?? :-(

If you get a OEM disk you can only use that key on one motherboard.
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