Windows XP Re-activation problem

  Actor One 14:03 01 Jan 2011

My dad took my old computer as it was a little bit younger than his ancient one (this one I`m on now), but managed just before Christmas to be infected with a fake antivirus program which completely destroyed BOTH discs contents, somehow by reformating everything to FAT32 files, turning all the information into 498 Directory folders of gibberish, I managed to find that out by taking the hard drive out of the ancient computer and reading the two affected hard drives with it, they were unsalvageable but I managed to format them awaiting a complete OS re-installation.

However when returnibng the old hard drive to its original computer (this ancient one), Windows XP is now stating you have 2 Days to reactivate as the hardware is different than originally set up (which it was for a while). The reactivation window however is blank, except for two non loading graphics buttons in each top corner, which means I can`t reactivate it even if I wanted to. Will I have to completely reinstall from scratch, which would mean in this case Windows ME, then the Windows XP upgrade on top, or is there a way to get the Activate Windows window to work properly?. If there isn`t, then I think I`ll let this machine die a dignified death, it is 11 years old after all.

Thanks ion advance, and a Happy New Year to One and all on The PC Advisor Forum.

  GaT7 14:09 01 Jan 2011

See if the solution at 'Blank Activate Windows page in the Windows Product Activation Wizard' click here is any good.

Yes, it would be ideal if you could do a fresh XP reinstall. If you only have an Upgrade version, you don't have to install WME first. During the start of the fresh install, the XP Upgrade will only ask you to briefly place the original WME disc in the optical drive. Once it's satisfied, just replace the WME disc with the XP Upgrade disc & install as normal. G

  961 14:13 01 Jan 2011

You should be able to install XP and enter the Me code when asked

If this won't work ring Microsoft to activate by phone. They are usually more than understanding in situations like this

  Actor One 14:30 01 Jan 2011


Yes I`ve tried the solution you gave on the support site - didn`t work... (:-( I also tried to install from the upgrade disk, it didn`t ask for the original ME disc, and stated that this is an upgrade version only cannot install...

How can I activate by phone, as any new key numbers given I can`t enter as the Activate Window is blank?

  961 14:32 01 Jan 2011

Just ring them and ask

  GaT7 14:37 01 Jan 2011

Whenever I installed XP from a Upgrade-only disc, I've always been met with this screen: click here.

A few seconds later it asks for the Upgrade disc to be reinserted & continues just like any standard XP install. G

  GaT7 14:48 01 Jan 2011

By 'A few seconds later...', I meant after inserting my Win98 disc. As you can see, WME is also one of the discs it'll accept.

It's a bit odd that the same option is not being displayed for you. Where did you get the Upgrade disc from? G

  Actor One 16:00 01 Jan 2011


I haven`t yet gone that far, I put the upgrade disc in and it states that my version of XP is newer than the upgrade disc, if I wish to re-install please boot from this disc. I then get another message stating that it won`t load because this is an upgrade disc only, it is a genuine Upgrade disc, though it was bought in 2002.

I`ll phone microsoft... I can`t e-mail as Outlook express keeps asking for passwords that it already has but won`t accept. Microsoft dontcha just luv em...!!!

  961 16:40 01 Jan 2011

The problem is that your version of XP is newer than the disc because of all the upgrades that have gone on since the disc was issued. I guess we've been past SP2 and SP3 since that disk was made

It used to be possible to start again from your original Windows disk, which I take to be Windows Me. To do this now is I suggest a total pain, even if possible

What I suggest you do is phone Microsoft having the codes for your copy of Windows Me and Windows XP upgrade to hand. They should be able to sort you out and are generally quite helpful

  GaT7 17:05 01 Jan 2011

That's odd as I've recently successfully installed 2 separate XP Pro Upgrade 2002 discs on a PC that had a full (& updated to Nov/Dec 2010) XP Pro version installed on it already. Each time I was only given the option to briefly insert a qualifying Windows version in the optical drive as mentioned above, & it carried on fine from there. I wonder if you're having a problem as yours is the Home edition?

Anyway, if you can connect the hard drive to another PC & format it there, then reconnect it to this PC, you should have a blank hard drive to work with - this should eliminate the errors you're experiencing. G

  Strawballs 23:06 01 Jan 2011

Can you do a repair install with the upgrade disc?

That sould sort out your problem and keep any data you have on the drive.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

See mcbess's iconic style animated for Mercedes-Benz

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Black Friday 2017 : date, sites participants & bonnes affaires