Changes in Windows XP Product Activation

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:19 pm

Update — 3/2/05: Microsoft Clear Up Windows Activations Misconceptions

On February 28, Microsoft® will disable Internet activation for all Microsoft Windows® XP product keys located on the Certificates of Authenticity (COA) labels distributed by large, multinational OEMs.

Direct OEMs of Microsoft (large multinational OEMs that that have a direct signed license agreement with Microsoft) usually preinstall Windows software using System Lock Preinstall (SLP), which is a direct OEM’s method of legitimately bypassing Product Activation on behalf of their customers.

One form of piracy occurs when Product Keys are stolen from Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) that have been placed on direct OEM machines where the Windows software was preinstalled using SLP. Pirates take the Product Key from these COAs and sell them to resellers or customers who then use them to activate a hard disk loaded copy of Windows.

To reduce the illegal trafficking of these OEM product keys Microsoft will “disable? the ability to activate these direct OEM Product Keys over the Internet. When a customer or reseller tries to activate using a Product Key found on the list of “disabled? Keys, the online product activation wizard will instruct them to call Microsoft where a customer service representative can assist them further. Call center operators receiving these calls will only issue an override key to customers who correctly answer a series of questions which manually verify them as legitimate.

The first phase of this Product Activation policy update will affect product keys from the top 20 Direct OEMs only. This policy will go into effect on February 28th with additional updates throughout the year to extend this policy to all OEMs authorized to use SLP. This change will affect all Windows XP product keys already shipped from the top 20 OEMs in the market today as well as shipments going forward.


90 Responses to “Changes in Windows XP Product Activation”

  1. Brandon Paddock Says:

    My only question is why weren’t they doing this before?

  2. Whynet.org - Actualits Says:

    Windows Update & OEM chez Microsoft
    En effet, partir du 12 Avril prochain, il ne sera plus possible d’accder la console de Mise jour de Windows Update si vous n’avez pas le Service Pack 2 de Windows XP. Auparavant, le passage vers SP2 tait facultatif mais compter du 12 avril,…

  3. jkolonko Says:

    Why not before? To make life easier.

  4. Eatmeimadanish Says:

    If Microsoft didn’t force Dell and other manufacturers to install an OS on EVERY PC then we wouldn’t have this problem. OEMS could just buy PC’S and not have to buy a wasted XP license. Microsoft is just trying to squeeze every dime out of their fascist empire.

  5. Tim Something Says:

    If they would spend half as much time on tuning their OS and finding a way to stop hackers,spyware and viruses as they did worrying about pirated keys, they’d almost have a perfect OS by now. When you look at how big MS has become, it doesnt appear that they’ve lost too much money to theft. If they want to implement this, do it forward, not backwards to existing customers.

  6. matt Says:

    I dont get it?? It seems confusing

  7. Amadeke Says:

    M$ became BIG on piracy.

  8. Lee Says:

    Microsoft became big in spite of massive piracy. Someone once said that there was one legal copy of Windows in China, the rest were copies, imagine how rich Bill Gates would be if nobody ever pirated Microsoft software? Boggles the mind…

  9. Computer Hope Says:

    Seeing this article posted on several sites, which all tend to lead to this blog post. Do you happen to have a source of where you obtained this information?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I was wondering when MoneySoft would get around to making my life that little bit more complicated.
    Old way: click here to activate, done.
    New way: phone this number, stay on line “your call is important to us” for many minutes, answer these questions, now type in these 100* characters and number EXACTLY, good luck.
    *At least it looks like a hundred, maybe more maybe less.

  11. John Says:

    Microsoft officials acknowledged this post

  12. » Microsoft Disbling Internet Activation For Large OEMs  InsideMicrosoft - part of the Blog News Channel Says:

    […] py of Windows XP preloaded on a PC from any of the top 20 manufacturers will be affected. From Aviran’s place: One form of piracy occur […]

  13. Anonymous Says:

    XP Activation Changes

  14. anonymous Says:

    Have they thought about the guys in the field doing repair work? Say you are one and have 15 cpus per day that need to be re activated. At an averate hold time of 15 min per activation… You get the idea, right. Hell the legitimate buyer and business owner just doesnt have a chance. Look at the money MS will be costing those legitmate businesses. I say piss on them go buy an msdn version or a corporate version and reinstall on every computer you work on. No activation no hastle and your customer ( who paid for the os and computer in the first place and legitimatly owns both ) doesnt have to hastle and wait for 30 min to activate either.

  15. securityhelper Says:

    Don’t worry about poor people ( most of the people in the world ) , who cannot afford licences by Microsoft .

    We know who are the real theafs ! Why is wealth so much defended by God’s own country ?

    Stop buying Microsoft products !! If you are not engaging for more justice in the world , you are in the alliance with the EVIL , which George W. Bush pretends to fight all over the world !


  16. . Says:

    No reason to buy Pro on laptops now if you plan to reinstall, just use home then wipe and dl a pirate copy of pro. I usually used my OEM pro license on a fresh clean non OEM pro.

    They did themselves here, I shall buy the CHEAPEST then reinstall with a dled copy.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    this is so stupid…why the heck are they messing around with trying to block these home/pro copies, when pro corp is the one floating all over the damn internet? and the people that buy these illegal copies might think they’re getting legal ones, if you download pro corp, you know damn well it’s pirated!! What a waste of time

  18. Pendragon Says:

    Piss them off go back to 98 ! then the money grubbing microslut will be forced to beg for our buisness

  19. LaVinda Says:

    This is really stupid this is a way to further his monoply? I say we should go back to using windows 2000,or change over to Linux.I hear that novell is coming out with a desktop version of linux that is supose to be very user friendly.I downloaded fedora today.I am giong to try it out this weekend. If it works for me I am giong to dump microgreed altogether!!!

  20. WrldTrvlr Says:

    Reading through the comments I see nothing but negativty (in some instance plain jealousy). So, my question to the nay-sayers:

    Doesn’t a business have the right to protect that which is their business? Do you really think MS is going to make money on this? If anything, this is going to COST them money….Call Center’s aren’t free to run and operate.
    You might not like their approach. O.K.
    It might be a pain in the ass, granted.
    The reality is that they are losing money on their products, and they have the right to take steps to protect themselves.

  21. Bob Says:

    Geez, if you get caught stealing why argue it? Well done Microsoft.. hehehe

  22. speel Says:

    dumbest thing they could of ever done …..

  23. Mike Says:

    From the beginning I wondered why in thw world did they want to put a sticker on the PC with the COA numbers. This was dumb. I remember reinstalling a lot of OS’s and the customer had to come up with the book with the COA numbers. Although this was not perfect it did keep piracy a little bit at bay for the common users. I mean lets face it, pirates will be pirates and they will find a way around this and again the legal guy has to be hasseled for being legit.

  24. k302 Says:

    I build my own computers and I buy OEM versions of XP. They cost about half as much as the retail version. They don’t come with any support from Microsoft, so I’m on my own if I have problems, which is OK since I can solve them myself. I’d say this is more a move to stop those like me from buying the cheaper OEM versions. The last two computers I built I installed Linux. Looks like the next one will be too. Life can be lived without Micro$oft.

  25. Mike Says:

    Also another thought. Again putting the COA on the computers is dumb and the problem is with All the Top 20 PC manufacturers. You see they DO NOT USE the associated COA Numbers for that particular PC, instead they use the same number on every PC. These COA numbers that are for the particulat PC are then stolen and resold. So instead of holding the Top 20’s feet to the fire, Microsoft is going to punish everyone who owns this Improperly Licensed Computer from the Top 20 PC companys.

    What they should do is make the Top 20 register and activate these numbers when they sell a PC. Microsoft already has a policy in place that allows only 2 more activations of the COA numbers which by the way are tied to each particular hardware ID number.

    Microsoft does need to address this problem, but address it where it begins. With the Top 20 version of the installed product.

  26. Says:

    No problem - Use Linux and OpenOffice and thats it. Keep the Fucking re activation. Microsoft needs re activation on customer care and service. To activate my customership whit M$, Bill call 911-you-suck

  27. scott Says:

    Reinstall A fresh copy of windows and get all the updates you can then ghost your harddrive. Ghost will make an image so the next time you have to reinstall windows do to some reason. You will have a clean copy of windows that has been activated and the updates are there too. Besides I don’t like service pack 2 (that is a Joke ) and i don’t like internet explorer 6. And I will never upgrade to service pack2 so i guess I will never use internet explorer 7 when it comes out this summer.

  28. John Kuna Says:

    Bunch of S***!!!

    If I have to dump and restore my system, My LEGAL OEM cd and numbers will not let me activate? BIG Bunch of S***!!!
    I thought Microslop was ‘nice’ to send me a SP2 cd for $0. RIGHT!

    We all need move to LINUX.

  29. anTc Says:

    I agree. I mean, I agree we all need to move to Linux. This seems to be the M$ way doing things leads into after all. I have three licensed XP computers built by myself and in case I have to peg license keys due to hardware updates OWSE M$ can kiss my …

  30. LinuxLover Says:

    Please stop posting that Linux is the answer. You are making fools of yourself and the Linux community. One post is believable, twice is odd, and a third time causes me to think this is an over-reaction from a kid and it is not real. Don’t give Linux a bad name by being rude and tossing your own slop all over the place. Keep it real.

  31. anTc Says:

    To LinuxLover: I apologize if I was making fool of myself and the Linux community. Personally, I’m not any kind of operating system lover. I just use them because the applications need an operation system. I’m not kid and/or rude. So keep it real.

  32. ncr101 Says:

    One of the worst jobs in the world: Being in the call center handling those incoming activation calls. Is this a kludge, or what? The largest technology company in the solar system creating a process that requires customers to talk to a live operator. Anyway, Microsoft should be ashamed of its ever-changing activation process. If they designed their software like they designed their activation process…oh, wait a second…they do design everything the same way, don’t they? With inadequate expectation of future needs.

  33. Mike Says:

    If you a Linux user that is fine. If that is the case though, then you should not have an opinion on this new procedure that Microsoft is implementing. It does not affect you. Bashing Microsoft belittles your Linux reasons for you using Linux.

    Let face it, you are going to use Linux even if Microsoft were to do away with activation and serial numbers. So don’t cuss and stomp your feet. It just makes the Linux community look bad.

    Take the high road …

  34. anTc Says:

    I don’t give a damn if I’m a Linux user a not (actually, I am, hah =) I don’t give a damn what Linux ‘community’ looks or not. What I’m concerned is the way this (M$) SW industry is going into. This regards also Linux also (at least, regarding it’s commercial packages). If any company tries to make its buying consumers life worse (who actually has conformed the rules of the selling company), that company will die in the future and the consumers will find another way to accomplish their computational targets - with the help of Linux or not.

    M$ is currently in a situation that it can deliver such a ‘instructions’ to consumers because it’s de-facto standard. I guess this would be the same situation if Linux would be in the same position as M$. But, if companies treat their loyal customers badly, they will find other oppurtinities. Linux or not

  35. Mike Says:

    To Che - You just proved my point …

  36. Albatross Says:

    Still no comment on this that I can see on the Microsoft website. Surprising for a change that’s supposed to take place next week. All web posting / news postings that I can find seem to all point back to this one posting here.

    Has anyone else found anything official from Microsoft on this? Or seen it posted on one of the mainstream news sites where they have a source other than this posting here? Just looking for some confirmation.

  37. magnus33 Says:

    this whole think is totally pointlesss.

    the algorithm for makeing ms keys was broken ages ago.

    people can make totaly new none blacklisted keys and totaly ignore ms.

    and ms knows this,so this is nothing more then a money grab on there part.

    when you realizer that thsi os coast less then a dollar to make now its rather a huge profit.

  38. yura|nasshat Says:

    if MS wants to spend money on personell, phone lines, phones, headsets, terminals, desks, chairs - not to mention electricity, heat, phone bills and all the costs of administration for the division - good for them.

    this action won’t affect your average guy much.
    1 call - done.
    it’s the techs that will have a tough time.

    just stop buying pre-built garbage from dell/HP/compaq etc… & build yer own without an OEM copy.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    To Albatros:
    Click Here

  40. Wil Says:

    please explain for more detail….

    THANK YOU for time!!!

  41. Jon Says:

    I think what Microsoft is saying that effective the 28th, when you have to re-install a clean version Windows for whatever reason and that is where the catch is - The Reason. You will then be required to call Microsoft to via a phone call and they will walk you the activation after you have given them a logical or acceptable Reason why you had to reinstall a new version of Windows on your computer. Windows XP and later is setup to where when it is installed on a computer, you have only 30 days to activate it with Microsoft or it will cease to operate. Now most users do not notice this feature because the Dell’s sell you a computer already configured and the need for activation is not required unless you wipe it and then re-install it. Thus a new version is installed requiring the input of the COA numbers that are on the Windows sticker affixed to your computer as required by Microsoft under the OEM agreement. These are the numbers that are rarely used for activation because the Dell’s use the same number on every system bypassing the activation process that was originally setup to combat piracy. These are also the numbers that are stolen and then resold. In essence the Dell’s are creating this problem and the legit end users have to jump through loops to help with the fight against piracy.

    Hope this helps …

  42. Mike Says:

    Now from the Dell’s and others (HP, IBM) perspective, this is a nightmare to assign these different numbers on these different computers. You would think that Microsoft could program it where the end user upon receiving their new PC would enter the number themselves and then activate it. The numbers are on an OEM sticker on every new computer as per the Microsoft Agreement.

    Also, built in to activation is that when these numbers are entered another set of numbers are compiled from the particular hardware makeup of that particular computer making yet another unique number to send to Microsoft for activation. This is how Microsoft can tell that you trying to put Windows on 2 different computers.

    This is really a good system to combat piracy, but the major PC maufacturers are creating the loop hole for piracy by bypassing the activation. Microsoft allowed this to happen because when they introduced this there was outcry from the major PC venders. Now they think piracy is rampant again. This is because of the loop hole that they themselves created.

  43. john Says:

    would tou like some cheese with that WHINE

  44. S G Thomas Says:

    I don’t know what all that ‘hoopla’ is about, since the first THEFT belongs to Gates when he stole DOS. I suppose that’s what makes him so adament about piracy. The king of thiefs doesn’t want to share his throne!

    I really don’t believe this problem would exist to the extent it does if it weren’t so outrageously priced…and riddled with ‘bugs’, I must say. Instead of rewriting ‘clean’ code, Microsoft keeps adding to it’s buggy mess.

    Once upon a time, Beta Testers had jobs…that is, until Billy boy decided that he could get everyone to ‘beta-test’ for him, not only for nothing, but we’d pay for the privilege as well. He was right. We did and we are.

    Hail to the king of greed and theft!

  45. disk Says:

    I just want to say, beside for every inconvenience, what if a legal license owner request for re-activation, and MS refused ? no matter it’s intentionally or accidentally?

    should the guy just sue them for compensation? which might be seen as playing a lottery? or should they be crying out on street and begging for the reactivation key from MS?

    It is really crazy that on the eve of changes, I still couldn’t found any information about this issue on MS official site! If this is true and this is the way that MS treats their customers…… very scary man

  46. Anonymous Says:

    yeah, fuck :|

  47. Johnny Bob Says:

    It’s a real bummer. I’d leave MS op systems in the dust in a minute if the specialty software I need were available for Linux or any other op system. I’m going to suggest that to the software author. If he’ll do it, then I’m long gone…

  48. Anonymous Says:

    Just who are the ‘top 20 OEMs’ anyway?!

  49. Black Diamond Says:


    Wait until you to try to update and they are closed.

    The message you get will be as follows

    “Please call between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM CST Monday thru Friday.”

  50. Michael 44 Says:

    Another bad idea which will not stop piracy and only inconvenience the consumer who actually pays for the software. Not to mention the added time and cost of calling in for the activation. STOP PUNISHING THE CONSUMER FOR THE ACTION OF THE PIRATES!!! –Solution, LINUX!

  51. Sxxx Says:

    First - Most OEMs provide a Recovery CD or an image on the hard disk. Neither of these require you to enter in the Product Key because the OEMs mainboard has a special ID string in it which matches the special files in the installation. So the only time a user will need to activate a re-install is if he loses the CD or his hard disk goes kaput and he loses his backup image.
    Secondly, because every roll of Product Keys costs the ‘Dells’ a full OEM license up front - if a roll is stolen the OEM loses a lot of money. What MS are doing is making it futile to steal the Product Keys (either inside the OEMs factory or outside).
    Thirdly - currently you don’t even need to steal the Product Keys - just walk into your nearest retailer and copy the Product Keys off the back of all the systems in the store! Because these systems are preactivated, the eventual new owner will never even know that his key has already been used. This new scheme also puts a stop to this practise.

    If you have lost your Recovery CD and/or your hard disk backup image, then you will need to re-install using a CD that did not come with the system - so MS will want to know where you got this CD from. Fair enough?

  52. Anonymous Says:

    I re-installed my Windows XP system so many times that I lost count.
    I never call Microsoft’s 800 number. You DO NOT need an internet connection for Windows XP Activation. Just hook up your working modem to a phone line and follow the steps to activate your newly installed Windows and let the modem dial it for you. And your PC will be activated!

  53. Mad Says:

    I have an IBM desktop with XP that recently encountered hard disk errors and needed to be fixed. CompUSA fixed it with instructions to my wife to take it home and the key code will pop up to call MS. It did, an automated MS site says the key is invalid and to call my reseller !!! Unbelievable !!! The automated teller then simply hung up.

  54. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah, hows it work when you buy through Alienware. Toshiba, or Hard Drives Northwest?????

    So Ive pissed away a butt load of money on a product, and I cant use it, well fuck off Gates

  55. disk Says:

    It’s not faire at all
    1. I am not sure the recovery CD will be that smart to detect ID on motherboard as I haven’t tried it out yet, but for sure there are some big OEM does not supply image on the HD, for example HP!

    2. As they metioned, MS disable all OEM key, that includes the one that comes with the computer

    3. yea right, not every lives near retailer, that’s why Dell is popular man. look~ it doesn’t make sense to provide a activation process which penalize all people who are not using piracy product simply because MS is dum enough and can’t just come up with a better idea to stop piracy.

    If today MS addition this feature for their new OS for example Linghorm something, then there is nothing to complain because I know I have to call them for activation before I bought it. But, MS changed it after I purchased their product, that ~ is the problem.

    Question, is it the right thing for MS to question me when and where I bought their product, and why I want to re-install on my own computer?

  56. MS SUCKS Says:

    Okay so I build my own systems and systems for other prople and
    use XP OEM bought from online retailers I just wonder how long it
    will be before those keys are killed. Hell I just wonder how long it
    will be before the Retail version XP keys are killed also by Micro-
    shaft!!!! This is going to be good news for Apple computer I believe
    a lot or at least some Winblows computer users will just switch over
    to buying a Mac or something from Apple with OSX. If push comes
    to shove I will just install a MSDN or Corporate copy of Winsucks XP
    on my system and other peoples systems for them for FREE!!!!!!!!!!

  57. RedLeg Says:

    ok, it sucks, but it won’t have any affect on the normal day-to-day user that PAID for his copy of windows.

  58. Silly Gates Says:

    Well I myself would like to see some talented programmer (Black Hat) make a mass mailing Email/Worm/Virus that deactivates Windows by whatever means and then modifying the other files that are used to generate the ‘unique’ code. It is a ticking time bomb, not if, but WHEN will it happen. Just think about it. You think some of these other worms costs businesses a lot of money, they would pale in comparison. I dont use XP, have no need for it 2000 Pro does what I need it to do, and I am not subject to the hassle.

  59. D.Collins Says:

    Seems to be working again - I have successfuly activated many computers via the internet again after a few days of none working.

    I suggest you try it, they may have re-enabled it for all.

  60. Greg Says:

    Based on your suggestion I went back and tried again today. It is now working again for us. A decision reversal by MS?

  61. magnus Says:

    the whole thing is also totaly pointless.

    the algrythm for makeing windows keys was broken sometime ago.

    this is like burning down the barn after its blown up.

    pirates can go and make keys that ms can’t tell from there own.

  62. Insane Says:

    This will only making us harder to ask for help.
    For instant, I bought an IBM laptop and 2 desktopts early last year.
    Two of the units busted on Jan05 due to electricity outage spike in my area.
    Then I realize that IBM reseller I bought the unit from did not provide me the OEM CD.
    Call them and they need extra for it. So I clone the the remaining working desktopPC to newHD install it to the other. WinXP detected and need activation key due to diff in chipsets. I call Microsoft…those bastards told me it’s the reseller responsible and reseller told me it’s IBM and IBM told me it’s Microsoft. Jerking me around. Not until I told them that I don’t give a fcuk, all I know is I seen Microsoft WinXP logo in it and I want it activate. They finally gave up and reqire me to pay for extra service charge help me activate the PC.

    Trust me, if not the 3rd party applications I am using only written for XP, I would have shift everything into BSD or Linux las many of my friends did.

  63. Jacob Hopkinson Says:

    I think that MS makes tons of money and if they would just take time to realize that there is always going to be someone that is going to find a way to screw MS over so why don’t you just focus more on new stuff realizing that the faster you update things then everyone would be able to keep up with them so they would just eventually end up buying their own. So I say screw MS.

  64. Sean Says:

    Microsoft are getting paranoid, extremely so, they flunked on early delivery of longhorn, now they have to make up fo rlost time, tactic, kill off xp and (hopefully) we all troop like lambls to the stsughter to aour friendly retailer and beg for the new os, and upgrade our pc as well..
    if MS want to make xp obsolete, fine, but don;t punish the end user for hanging on. just make slp available to everyone who has a legit copy. ( oh theres a problem, how are youy going to prove tittle to the product)? never mind, Longhorn will have a slow uptake, simply because it;s longevity will be in question!

  65. paul Says:

    I say Microsoft should start to take the customer is always right syndrome into affect here. once the codes are no longer useable, people will start to look elswhere for there operating system, and there is more OS’s been experimented on than just linux. if people turn to these others for there computers Microsoft will start to go down hill very sharply, because no-1 will need them, they should leave things as they are and concentrate on getting longhorn right , and then do something with that so it cant be copied or anything. if they do that more people will go longhorn way for the simple fact that there version is the only 1 that would then work with that code and big companies like dell will have no choice but to use the codes they are given.

  66. Lawyer Weblog Says:

    A Case for a Lawyer

    This could be another case for a lawyer to get involved - after all, you never know.

  67. steve Says:

    Why can I not purchase a working copy of XP pro from ebay and use it ?

  68. CableGuy Says:

    You guys are fucking retarded! A common user will never use Linux, it’s just not feasible and user friendly as Windows XP. So please get a fucking clue before telling people to use Linux.
    Besides that when you want software most of it is for Windows and MAC OS not fucking Linux. So yeah we all move to Linux and have to sit and compile our own software , FUCK THAT!
    Just stick to running your illegal versions of Windows and be happy. I’ve never had a problem getting any version of Windows installed on any PC and neither should you.

  69. DS Says:

    M$ and Windows’ days are coming…. tick tock.

  70. Anonymous Says:

    I like it. This will force the folk who can’t afford to pay M$ such rediculous amounts to find cost effective alternatives. Thus Linux marketshare grows creating larger demand for non-M$ applications. Eventually, competition is restored, the monopoly is broken, OSs go back to $45, and the cheering masses will witness M$ become an historical footnote (like IBM did).

  71. Jacob Says:

    How to change HD with Windows XP from a computer to a another computer

  72. Greg Says:

    One word, Linux, keep your microcrap…

  73. Derik Says:

    QUOTE FROM CABLEGUY: “You guys are fucking retarded! A common user will never use Linux, it’s just not feasible and user friendly as Windows XP. So please get a fucking clue before telling people to use Linux.
    Besides that when you want software most of it is for Windows and MAC OS not fucking Linux. So yeah we all move to Linux and have to sit and compile our own software , FUCK THAT!
    Just stick to running your illegal versions of Windows and be happy. I’ve never had a problem getting any version of Windows installed on any PC and neither should you.”

    Hmm….he must be a microsuck employee.

  74. user69 Says:

    you are all idiots -and so am I. im a casual home user.I don’t use office - my pc is much more entertaining than cable tv .I use linux -my wife and kids use windows-and yes I have had to reinstall xp 4 or 5 times. 2 times I had to call.(pain in the a) but they gladly let me activate.xp is really great-lotsa folks got paid to make it that way-and it should be. ive had to reinstall linux 10-or more times I like it -but u get what u pay for(re installing linux isnt scary at all-its free-and so is all the apps that u might need -if u just need your pc for casual use, linux is great,but a lot of folks get spooked by anything but microsoft)ms is here to stay-by the way ,most linux zealots keep a windows pc around -in case they crash their linux box.
    it seems to me ms wants to keep info about people on thier pcs (hidden files) intact by creating this fear of re-activation,or possibly getting refused.maybe im just paranoid?

  75. What did you say? Says:

    I am sorry, but I reinstall my OS a lot. Whether I screw it up or some crap virus does it for me, it gets done. I just recently tried to reinstall again and it told me to Phone MS. My previous time (yes I called them), I had some foreign lady that barely spoke english, trying to read me the 60 digit code! What a joke. Now, instead of using my LEGIT copy, I am force to use a DLD copy. They must have a lot of money to have people on staff who just wait to read 60 digit codes to people all day. That is the ultimate model of efficiency let me tell you. If they want to do away with that stupid call center stuff………I am all for using my cd key. Until then, I will used my “other” copy…..all the downloads work anyways :P

  76. You wish Says:

    Oh come on I have had the same copy reactivated like 4 times last year (2005) because I built a new system. Any way The first two time I activated it it worked no problem. Xp can be re activated every 120 days. That is even over the net. only 1 time I had to call microsoft. and I answered I think 2 questions and they gave me a hash # to reactivate it again. Then I had to rebuild my system again. I thought oh Shi@ I have to call MS again!. But to my amazement It never asked to activate? Why? I think it’s because of Genuine Advantage Tool. If I am wrong then enlighten me. I think Activation is a good thing but shhh… I also had a pirated version which I had found a work around for the activation and xp2 upgrade.

  77. researchX Says:

    I read all of the posts here. I’ve been in the computer business for over 20 years. My first comment in regards to Cableguy’s posting. It’s evident that he is not familiar with Linux distributions. His comments , which are both false and without foundation, also reflect his personality traits. True, many begginers will not use Linux, although with the newer distros such as Xandros or Ubuntu, the installation is as easy as a Windows system. Furthermore, these distributions come with package management software that takes care of installations. Also the removal procedures are far better since it actually removes the software completely instead of leaving the system bloated like the various versions of Windows.

    As for the activation procedure, I recently had a problem with a Toshiba laptop that left me locked out of the system. After dealing with a robotic voice at Microsoft, then a live but rather unhelpful person, I was directed to contacting Toshiba. I just about had it at that point. It was midnight and I had deadlines to meet. I simply clicked on the link at the bottom of the activation box, which opened up an internet explorer window, and with some creative hacking, logged myself into the system, finished my work and removed the activation routines from the system.

    I have to use Microsoft software due to my clients and their support needs. If the operating system was properly designed, and not so full of security holes and errors, I would not mind paying the asking price, but from this point forward I will do everything in my power provide as many people as possible the information to bypass Microsoft’s unfair practice of locking people out of their own systems.

    Once again, don’t listen to CableGuy. He has no idea of what he is talking about.

    Good luck.

  78. jeff Says:

    Well I too talked to the robotic voice and talked into the phone like an idiot tell it numbers. Then I got redircted to a guy probably from India that I couldn’t understand. He then threated me after I wouldn’t tell him my personal information so I hung up the phone. So I then E-mailed tech support and they said they don’t deal with cd keys and told me to call the same bastard back. So now I’m pertty much debaiting if I want to call back and take more abuse or buy a new cd key.

  79. =+DEVIL+= Says:

    i known hackers can patch everything.
    but if they could not, m$ will be in a great loss.
    as people will start using other os.
    no chance that every citizen will buy an legal copy.
    linux is going to be the best in furture indeed has started progressing,bcoz of its cheap and hackless product.
    so m$ is going to fall on road.
    request m$ to make there os cheap.

  80. linux Says:


  81. Ntwrkpimpia64 Says:

    *Nix owns M$ sucks Freebsd is god but don’t sleep on Vienna formerly known as blackcomb. The WGA team (Windows Genuine Advantage) is considering to use mac authentication for Vista, Haha good luck with that so until the release of Vienna I’ll stick with *Nix. WinFS is about the only reason to go back to m$ but it wont even be released till 2007 after vista first release. **good lucky***

  82. miguel Says:

    I had to call windows a couple of times to activate a computer, i go to school and im getting a+ certified, well this person who was graduating received a free computer that was with the deal.. well we had to build it for him, we got everything new, new hard drive, case screen etc etc.. well i was calling right and this chiness guy while i was telling him the serial he screamed at me so loud because he couldent hear me, i told him fucken idiot… he did not hear me… but the way he was got me pissed and i hanged up, i was gona sue microshit cuz of the way he was talking to me in a loud tone, i just called to activate a simple valie copy of windows xp.. aint that a bitch?

  83. Daveboy Says:

    The real problem with Microsoft is that it sells products that are so flawwd theat they have to constantly be updated.

    I have bought Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, ME, XP Home and XP Pro. How much more will I have to fork out when Vista comes out?

    The real joke is that Gates and Clinton want Africa to be on line. These people don’t have enough to buy food never mind forking out $150 for a Windows Licence.

    It is also highway robbery that if you have a laptop and a desktop you have to have two licences. The licence should be granted to the owner and not to the machine for his use on two or three computers that he owns. If M$ is so short of money then at least charge a nominal fee for the licencee’s aditional machines.

  84. turnbui Says:

    Well folks, this is just the start.

  85. Psy666 Says:

    Got to this post via a query about me upgrading my graphics and motherboard on my HP computer. I concerned that if I upgrade, my OP will not work. Is this true? Thanks!

  86. Anonymous Says:

    You’ll probably need to reactivate your Windows. If you can’t just call M$ and tell them that you had to replace your motherboard because it malfunctioned and they’ll give you a new activation code for free.

  87. dee-loc Says:

    Can anyone please help me?
    I bought a computer with windows xp already installed,problem is,i didnt know it was copied! I need to reactivate xp but the i cannot find the product key on the cpu because it has a all new look!I dont have money to buy a new windows xp cd,can any of you guys please assist me??? My email address—–>>> dee-loc@live.com

  88. 053882241 U CANT TRACK ME Says:




















  89. Tom van der Vlugt Says:

    I’m not only a Linux user. I’m also a satisfied XP user. Activation IS a nuisance, but using good backup software like Norton Ghost or True Image reactivation isn’t needed at all. If you are using RETAIL versions of XP, transferring also isn’t burdensome. My way to install XP is in the following steps:

    0. Stay away from warez, serials!!!!!!!!!
    1. Install XP.
    2. Try to get into internet, but don’t activate yet.
    3. Install all the drivers and verify thet all yellow exclamation marks have vanished!
    4. Update your pc using automatic updates.
    5. Now activate your XP.
    6. Download and install the rest of the updates (WGA validation may be executed).
    7. Reboot and verify that everyting got installed.
    8. Install Norton Ghost or True Image.
    9. Run that program and create your first pristine backup of XP.
    10. Install a (free) antivirus program, but do it legally
    11. Install MSIE 7 or FF 3
    12. Install WinDefender
    13. Install CCLEANER from http://www.ccleaner.com
    14. Install the rest of your applications and/or games
    15 Run Norton Ghost or True Image again to create your second but full backup containing all of your needed software.

    If then something goed bad, you only need a mere 10 minutes to restore your OS containing all of your software without headaches.

  90. Bob Fairlane Says:

    I took my Gateway-to-hell computer to Staples, who told me the motherboard was dead, and they couldn’t do anything about it. THAT WAS EASY.

    Now I replaced the motherboard, and the computer operates. But it is asking for my product key, and won’t accept my product key. I called the phone line (automated number) and it won’t accept the long number off my computer screen either.

    What do I do? I want to get back on the internet with my own computer so I can do what I want!

    I have the repair ticket from Staples. I don’t have the reciept for the origianl computer but I have the back of the case with the dumb sticker on it. (I hacked up the case to build a new one to fit the new shaped motherboard).

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