Thanks for the link VoG,I wonder if many people take even simple precautions to protect their stuff,every day my local rag runs a crime feature and you wouldnt believe the stuff people leave in their cars,laptops,pc systems,digi cameras, briefcases, maybe i should take up a different career. ;o)
Would it not be possible for microsoft to track your copy of windows while it's online ? ,they can detect pirated windows xp reg keys so why can't they detect a particular copy of windows and retrieve the users ip number and take it from there ?
I don't think That Microsoft can trace a Product key on line. They just block a certain batch of key numbers every now and then. These are usually multi licence ones. If your O/S is already installed, it will continue to function. Only if you format your drive and attempt to use the same product key again will you find it is not accepted at "Activation".
If you have a Valid XP and receive this message on trying to activate, then a phone call to Microsoft will result in a new key being issued to you.
This is one of the good points of registration of your product with M/S, when you phone them, they have your details to cross check and validate you as a genuine user/holder of the product key.