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windows activation confusion

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When i log on to my laptop, it prompts me to activate windows. when i click yes, it tells me that windows has already been activated, and click OK to continue. When i click ok, it brings me to my desktop background, with no icons or tool bars.
When I try to boot in safe mode, it tells me that i need to activate windows and to restart my computer in regular mode. I keep going in circles...please help.
thank you
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Welcome to Geeks to Go.
1.Is this a recent installation on a clean install because of problems.

2.Since installing and activating in the first place have you used a registry cleaner. PLEASE DO NOT DO SO, the use of one MAY produce this result.

3. Is this a genuine installation of XP or is it a copied CD you have, that someone has given you.. Even if it is a genuine Microsoft XP CD it cannot be installed on this computer if it is already on another computer - there are some exceptions to this rule.

4. See this link.
which deals with the issue.
HOWEVER in view of the missing icons you may have other problems.
In respect of that - again have you used a registry cleaner.

5. If you find the link solution cures the activation aspect
post back and we will go from there.

6. If the link solution does not cure the activation aspect then we will look at a repair install. This should leave your data etc. intact.
You will require the XP CD.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 08 February 2011 - 06:33 PM.

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