Conversation with a Computer Engineer has led me to believe that this routine is now no longer required as it conflicts with theData Protection Act. Can anyone confirm this or say it is under consideration?
The only way that it involves the Data Protection Act, is if any information is personal. The activation of XP doesn't require you to give any 'personal' details.So as bremner as stated, the computer engineer is talking Total rubbish.
the data protection act only applies if your personal data is collected, and it isn't when you activate Windows. You do provide personal data if you register your software, but that's a different (and voluntary) procedure, and not necessary for Windows to function correctly.
When you activate Windows XP you send Microsoft what's called a 'hash' - which is a data string containing the ident of the CD which was used, together with details of the system hardware. This identifies the individual copy of Windows, and the computer on which it was installed - but not you, the user.
You give them a code from Windows XP. They give you a code back to enter into Windows XP. Code is determined by what hardware you have (called a Hash). Usually done by touch tone phone and doesn't require you to talk to someone.
I bought WinXPpro for my desktop about a year ago. After loading, it ran ok but warned I had 45 days or whatever to activate. I already had WinXPhome on my laptop, and indeed I did overrun the XPpro time. At that point my desktop booted up all right but would do little else except require activation code for XPpro to be forwarded. This I had to do, and all went well. At no time was my ISP/internet connection affected. As FE says, the software/ hardware code/data are required, not personal info.
I bought a new PC recently and when l turned it on it asked my to "activate" it. I simply called MS with the number on the screen and they gave me a long code to enter. Once done it simply booted windows XP as usual.