Cannot activate/validate re-install of Windows xP

February 21, 2014 at 12:03:00
Specs: Windows XP
When my friend's Compaq computer became so corrupted as to make it unusable, I re-installed Win XP but was then not able to activate it either over the internet or by using the "telephone" method. The XP installation disk had been purchased and used to initially install Windows XP several years ago when it had been purchased to replace the Windows Vista OS that originally came with his computer and used again a couple of years later for a "re-install" when he was again having problems. Attempts to get advice over the internet have provided no solutions. Attempts to find answers on the Microsoft web site always result in just taking me to a "page" for purchasing Windows 7. Microsoft "support" for this is virtually non-existant and it is not yet April 2014. Also, after a re-install of XP on my Dell computer, I cannot download the Windows "Updates" because it will not complete the "validation" process. Any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated.

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#1
February 21, 2014 at 14:41:57
I had a similar experience with XP. I attempted to re-install the OS and activation failed with a message that the disk had been activated too many times and the number was no longer valid. Admittedly XP has been always my "experimental" OS and I had used it many times. You may well be in the same boat!

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#2
February 21, 2014 at 15:33:15
The problem that we are having with my friends XP "re=install" is somewhat different in that it has only been used (installed) two times before. Instead,, when using the "telephone" method for activation and going through all of Microsoft's "hoops", it finally comes back and says that it is not a valid Microsoft product (implying that it is counterfeit) and that we should return it to the retailer. This after using it previously for two successful earlier installs. Given the problem that I am also having with the "validation" problem when trying to update Windows on my own computer, this is sounding more and more like Microsoft is making it difficult for XP users in order to "push" them into purchasing Windows 7.

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#3
February 21, 2014 at 18:56:02
Please explain the steps you took to reinstall XP. Did you delete all partitions, create one or more new ones, then format? Are you using different product keys for both installations? Are the keys "legal"? Does the disc include SP3?

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#4
February 22, 2014 at 06:25:24
In both cases, just as I have always done in the past, I do a "clean" install from "scratch" using the existing partition and reformat that partition as part of the installation process. The XP installation disk which I use for the installs on my Dell Dimension 4700 originally came from Dell with the purchase of a new Dimension 8400 and is fully "legal" with the "key code". When the "8400" ended up with major hardware problems, I purchased a used "4700" which did not come with a OS installation disk so I am using the XP installation disk from the old "8400" and still legal. The XP installation which is being used for my friend's Compaq Presario is a "never used, still sealed in the package" Dell OEM surplus inventory disk which was purchased on ebay and, supposedly has a valid key code. As previously mentioned, my friend's Presario originally came new with Windows Vista installed but, after experiencing many problems with Vista, he bought the XP disk to replace the Vista OS installation. As also mentioned, there had been the original XP "install" on his Presario and one later "re-install" using this disk and without any problems in validating or activating the installation. As for my Dell Dimension 4700, there have been a number of "reinstalls" using the disk from my old "8400" without problem.

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#5
February 22, 2014 at 06:34:17
BTW, there was another part of your question which I failed to answer. I have disks for SP1, SP2 and SP3 which I purchased directly from Microsoft. Both SP2 and SP3 were installed on both computers as part of the XP installations.

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#6
February 22, 2014 at 19:11:08
At what point did you try to activate? IMO, you should have attempted it as soon as the install with the primary XP disc was complete. Maybe you did it that way, I'm not sure? But since you mentioned that "SP2 and SP3 were installed on both computers as part of the XP installations" it seems that you may have waited until after you installed the SP's.

Make sure you are using IE & try this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916247


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#7
February 23, 2014 at 03:26:32
Just a thought. forgive if I missed something, or got confused somewhere...

1. Probably stating the obvious, but have you been here:
http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/diag/ (you need to go through IE).

2. Is it a case of the validation process not running, or are you getting the 'not legal'
pop up

2. Is this a copy of XP Home we're talking about?
I'm wondering if it was an eBay purchase, whether the product key accompanying it
has since been blacklisted.
Depends upon how far back we're going, but if it's XP Pro, there used to be a loads
of counterfeit copies on eBay with a volume licence key, since blacklisted.

3 Re XP: Until recently, it had been years before I did an XP reinstall, but had a
couple just recently.
Both legal copies, so the installation progressed normally, but they refused
to update. "A plot by Microsoft to p*$$ off XP-users", I thought.

The answer in both cases was to ensure auto-update/auto install was turned on,
then leave the PC online for a few hours.
Indeed it was virtually hours before the initial updates kicked in. After that, all was
well. It's my own half-baked theory that there are probably a couple of GBs-worth of
updates to download and process and nothing kicks in until these are indexed and
assimilated, before they show up as being available.
Could also be that MS has deliberately limited the available bandwith, hence they
take way longer to download than previously.
Who knows!


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#8
February 24, 2014 at 08:48:50
I did not attempt to activate the XP re-install after the initial installation from the Windows disk because of a "catch 22" that I was in. My computers are on a wireless home network and to access the internet (for the purpose of activation), the connection between the computer and the wirless router has to first be "set up". When attempting to run the setup software for the router without SP3 installed, a message appears saying that, in order to run the setup software, the computer must have SP3 installed. For this reason, I had to go ahead and install SP2 and SP3 in order to access the internet and perform the activation.

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#9
February 24, 2014 at 09:43:40
1. I have not used the diagnostic tool at the web site linke which you included in your message. I will look into that.

2. Since there are similar, but somewhat different problems which have occurred on my friend's Compaq and my Dell, To keep them separate, my friend's XP disk for his Compaq is the "Home" version and mine, for my Dell, is the "Professional" version. For his Compaq, it did not accept his key code when attempting to activate it over the internet and, when attempting to activate it using the "telephone" method and going through the question/answer and entry of the long "activation code" process, it ultimately returned with a message that, something to the effect, "our records do not show that this is a valid Microsoft product" and recommended that it be returned to the retailer where it was purchased. It also had a link to the Microsoft web site, supposedly for help (sic), where it steered you to a page to purchase Windows 7. The problem on my Dell is when attempting to download the "Windows Updates". When bringing up the "update" windows, it first runs their validation software where you get the "twirling arrow" in the center of the page, presumably interrogating the user's computer. Unless interrupted by the user, this "validation" process never stops and the available updates are never presented and therefore cannot be selected and downloaded.

When Microsoft released "Vista", there was a "ton" of surplus OEM copies of Windows XP which came on ebay for sale, all unused and in sealed guaranteed to be fully licensed with the key code. This was back when the computer manufacturers provided the Windows installation disk(s) with the sale of their computers and, after Vista's release, they were dumping them on the resale market. When Vista "flopped", there were a lot of Vista users, such as my friend, who purchased an XP installation disk and went back to XP on their computers. It's likely that, among all that were for sale on ebay, some of them were counterfeit. Since both XP disks that we're talking about had been successfully installed/reinstalled several times before, I felt fairly confident that they were legal copies.

message edited by ridgeland


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