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Deactivating Windows


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#1
rumble291

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Hi, I was wondering if i can deactivate the Product key so that i can reinstall my windows. Im trying to install battlefield 2 but continues to fail so i was going to wipe the hard drive and install again. Another thing is that i have a copy of Windows XP Pro SP2 which i got from college for £5 (because it does microsoft courses they can sell genuine software to IT Students for cheap) I was told by my lecturer that you can only activate the copy once. Its annoying how my first geninue copy of XP doesnt install the software that i want but is quite funny.

Thanks,

Kurt
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#2
wannabe1

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Hi rumble291...

If you install the same operating system on the same machine, you will not have to deactivate the product key to reinstall. Using an OEM disk on a branded machine, like HP or Dell, should give you the option for a destructive recovery which would format the drive and reinstall the operating system.

I would advise against installing the version you got for school.

wannabe1
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#3
rumble291

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Yeah i no about OEM disks but my PC is a custom build so it didnt come with an OS.
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#4
krmooo

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is this the same pc that you activated windows on the first time? no hardware additions memory upgrades hard drive is the same? i wouldnt reformat beause that would change the volume serial number which is one of the flags that is looked for by xp as to reactivation
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#5
wannabe1

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Ok...it's a retail version, then. I retail version belongs to you, the purchaser, and can be installed on any machine you wish...so long as it is only installed on a single machine at any given time. If too much hardware is changed, you will have to phone Microsoft to activate it, but they will activate a retail version as many times as necessary.

A hard drive format or replacement on it's own will not matter...it's only when the hardware changes to the point where it looks like a different machine that the flags will fly, like changing the HDD and the Mobo, or if you use a different Mobo/RAM configuration. Still, they will activate a retail version as the operating system belongs to you...not the machine.
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#6
rumble291

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I need to totally wipe my Hard drive though because i want to be able to install this game. Isnt there a way to like deactivate it online like say iTunes style when you can only have the songs on 5 computers you can deathorise the computer so u can install on another computer. Oh so it wont activate online but if i ring them up they will let me activate it?

Thanks
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#7
dsenette

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with an XP license you can activate it up to 5 times before you have to call MS...you can only have it installed on ONE machine at any given time...but if you format reinstall you can activate it 5 times before you have to call them...there is no online deactivation
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#8
rumble291

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Ok ill give it a format and see if it works. Thanks everyone for your help!

Kurt
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#9
happyrock

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I may be to late with this BUT the workaround to avoid reactivation is..

Self-reactivation of Windows XP

If you haven't backed up your Windows XP system, or haven't created a master image that you can restore in the event of an irrecoverable system failure, and you haven't made any changes to the hardware that would invalidate the old activation code and make it necessary to reactivate Windows XP, you can store the two files that contain the Windows Product Activation (WPA) data on a floppy disk, and copy them to the system after reinstalling Windows so that no activation is required from Microsoft's site or by telephone.

The two files are called Wpa.dbl and Wpa.bak. And they're located in the C:\Windows\system32 folder (if Windows is installed to its default Windows folder and not to a folder with a different name of the user's choosing).

You should reinstall Windows XP. During the process, you should refuse the option to "Activate now". You should then restart the computer and press the F8 key to bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu, and then choose to boot into Minimal Safe Mode. You can then open My Computer, click on the A: drive and copy the two files on the floppy disk to the C:\Windows\system32 folder.

Note well that you should not do this if you have made changes to the system's hardware that would require Windows XP to be reactivated on the web or by obtaining the new code from Microsoft over the telephone.

The two files contain a description of the system's hardware and the activation code that Microsoft generated from its site or provided by telephone, both of which are encrypted. At each system startup, Windows XP decrypts (unencrypts) the description and checks to make sure that the hardware matches the recorded description. The details that are recorded include the serial numbers of the hard disk drive(s), and the MAC address that every Ethernet network card has. A user therefore cannot copy the two activation files from a system that has the same hardware, because although the make and models of the hardware are the same, the identification numbers are different.

A newly installed copy of Windows XP allows its user to activate it automatically from Microsoft's site without having to obtain the activation code from Microsoft over the telephone. But if you attempt to reactivate the same copy of Windows XP within 120 days, you have to obtain the activation code over the telephone.

To do that you need to know what the Windows XP product key (also known as the CD key) is. It should be recorded on the licence sticker that is provided with with the Windows CD, which its user is supposed to stick on the computer's case. If this has been lost then it's not as easy as it was in Windows 95/98 to find out what the key is, because in Windows XP and Windows 2000 it is encrypted and not stored in plain text, as it is in the Windows 9.x versions. To find out what it is, you can use a utility specially designed to do so, such as EVEREST get it here and look at operating system...write down the product ID and the key code..be accurate

Edited by happyrck, 29 May 2007 - 06:18 PM.

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#10
rumble291

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That makes things alot more easyer thanks for your help happyrck.
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#11
happyrock

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thought I might be to late to help...but posted it anyway...thought it might be of use to someone else ...be sure and post back with your results... :whistling:
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