Windows XP OEM Activation

  Gaz W 18:24 19 Jun 2011


I have recently had to reinstall Windows XP on a self-build machine running XP. When this was built, I purchased a Windows XP Professional OEM copy and stuck the COA to the chassis.

Unfortunately, when I came to reinstall Windows, I could not find the CD that came with the COA, so I used another Windows XP Professional CD, also an OEM copy.

Everything seemed fine and it even accepted my product key, but the problems began once I got to the Welcome Screen. On trying to log in, I was greeted with the message, ""This copy of Windows must be activated before you can log on".

I was unable to activate over the internet because I had no network driver at that stage, and when I tried to use the telephone activation, no installation ID was shown!

The first thing I tried was to boot into Safe Mode and install the LAN driver, which did connect me to the net, and even activated Windows. However, when I tried to log in, I was told I needed to activate again!

I have tried slipstreaming SP3 into the Windows disc in the hope that it will update something in there, as I have a feeling the disc I'm using is older than the COA, and could be the problem. That said, slipstreaming SP3 did nothing. I also ran the following command in Safe Mode with Command Prompt:

rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk

This has also not helped.

I think my question really is, where can I get a more recent Windows XP Professional OEM disc that will accept my COA?



  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:01 19 Jun 2011

Change KEY

Changing the Windows XP product key may be necessary if you discover your current key is pirated or illegal but you don't want to reinstall Windows XP to activate your new legal key.

Changes to the registry are made in these steps. Take great care in making only the changes described below.

  1. Click on Start and then Run.
  2. In the text box in the Run window, type regedit and click OK. This will open the Registry Editor program.
  3. Locate the HKEYLOCALMACHINE folder under My Computer and click on the (+) sign next the folder name to expand the folder.
  4. Continue to expand folders until you reach the HKEYLOCALMACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents registry key.
  5. Click on the WPAEvents folder.
  6. In the results that appear in the window on the right, locate OOBETimer.
  7. Right-click on the OOBETimer entry and choose Modify from the resulting menu.
  8. Change at least one digit in the Value data text box and click OK. This will deactivate Windows XP.
  9. Click on Start and then Run.
  10. In the text box in the Run window, type the following command and click OK.

%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

  1. When the Windows Product Activation window appears, choose Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows and then click Next.
  2. Click Change Product Key.
  3. Type your new, valid Windows XP product key in the New key text boxes and then click Update.
  4. If you're taken back to the previous screen and prompted, choose Remind me later.
  5. Restart your PC.
  Gaz W 23:23 19 Jun 2011

The key I have is 100% legitimate and has worked for 2 years. I think the problem lies with the disc I have used, as it is not as new as the product key, so probably does not "recognise" it properly.

Are you're suggesting I use a key that is NOT valid to install, and then change the key to activate? If so, it'll probably get me going but I'm looking for a way to get the disc to work properly if possible.



  Gaz W 23:38 19 Jun 2011

OK, a quick update.

I changed the product key to the one on MY PC, but I have NOT connected this to the internet yet. This was purely to test whether the problem was with the disc not recognising the product key, and it seems that this is the case!

Now that I'm in Windows, I intend to change the product key back to the correct one, run Windows Update and all should be well.

However, it's very annoying that Microsoft have made life so difficult in trying to stop piracy. Almost everyone I know has a dodgy copy of Windows 7 now anyway, so Microsoft may as well not have bothered!

There must be a way to make a Windows XP Pro disc with SP3 that will work on all OEM COAs and just activate properly!

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