Activating Windows XP Home OEM

  Storik 08:27 27 Jun 2007

Could anyone please tell me why I have to activate Windows every four weeks or so?

This started some six months ago and since then I have to activate Windows more frequently. On booting the computer today, I got the dreaded message "This copy of Windows needs to be activated....etc" yet again, even although it is less than three weeks since I had to do so for the umpteenth time.

Any clues as to why this is so? Any help would be much appreciated.


  Technotiger 08:44 27 Jun 2007

For the definitive answer you could telephone Microsoft (UK) at 0870-601-0100, based in Reading, Berkshire.

  Storik 08:48 27 Jun 2007

Will try Microsoft (UK) and see what advice, if any, they can give.

I have a horrible premonition that this is going to involve a complete reinstall somehow, never mind eh?

Thanks again.


  Batch 08:51 27 Jun 2007

It shouldn't be necessary at all (after the initial activation) unless something has changed on the PC to cause the hardware hash to change.

The hardware used hash is a number derived from 10 (I believe) different pieces of information about your PC's hardware configuration. Items included in the hash are the processor serial number, hard drive type, network adaptor MAC address, RAM amount, and so on. The hardware hash is created in a one-way process: Once the hash is created, there's no way to 'reverse engineer' the hash to discover what type of hardware is in a system.

Is it possible that something in your system is reporting unreliable data such that Windows Activation thinks that the hardware has changed (sufficiently) so as to warrant re-activation?

  Storik 09:15 27 Jun 2007

Thanks for replying.

There have been no major hardware additions or changes with this computer since the initial activation.

This particular version of Windows has not been the most reliable since install, and, this might give a clue, it seems to be after an "automated update" of Windows that the problem occurs. I should explain that I cannot get broadband, and am wondering if, because of the time taken to download updates, they become corrupt. Anyway, whatever the cause, it is very annoying.

I assure you that this is not a "pirated" copy of Windows, but a genuine OEM version (without SP2) but I have been tempted to reinstall the lot without allowing automated updates. However, I want to save some emails before reinstalling and am not sure where I find these - everything else is easy to back-up.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.


  Batch 10:09 27 Jun 2007

If you are using Outlook Express you should be able to locate your emails by going to OE's Tools, Options, Maintenance tab, Store Folder button. Then back-up all the .dbx files that you find at that location.

  Storik 20:43 17 Jul 2007

Sorry to take so long to reply but have had to reinstall everything on the computer. The internet, my ISP is BT/Yahoo, was a nightmare - BT updates caused the computer to hang each time they were loaded. Am now running without them.

I have not downloaded Windows updates either and so far so good. At the risk of tempting providence, I have been running now for about ten days without having to reactivate.

Don't know if the above will be of any help to anyone. Will tick this as resolved and many thanks for the help. :)


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