When you installed using the recovery set, your key was reset to the OEM number the manufacturer used when the operating system was originally installed. This is NOT the same number that is on the COA sticker on the machine...hence your problem. I don't know why these manufacturers do it this way, but they do.
Activate by phone and tell the representative exactly what you've done. They should have no problems in activating your Windows given the circumstances. You may not even get to the rep...it may just activate once you've called for the new registration number.
yep...its a PITA...takes about 10 minutes to jump thru the hoops...I've had to do this many times....
heres a workaround for it...
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 get everest home here
...and click on operating system...find the key code and wtite it down EXACTLY AS SHOWN
Edited by happyrck, 13 June 2007 - 06:46 AM.