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Windows must be activated


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#1
DonnaB

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Hi,

I need help trying to sort out a problem.

A couple of years ago my daughter was given a desktop computer. Following are the limited specs from System Properties > General:

System:
Microsoft Windows XP
Home Edition
Version 2002
Service pack 3

Manufactured and supported by:
Micro Electronics,Inc.
PowerSpec
Intel[R]
Pentium[R] 4 CPU 3.00GHz
3.00GHz, o.98 GB of RAM

Suddenly last night it displayed the following:

This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can log on.
Do you want to activate Windows now?




In the mean time, I thought it a good idea to run Belarc Advisory to retrieve the product key just in case it was needed. (There is no COA sticker anywhere on the case.)

I was able to access Activate Windows and type in the key found with Belarc, register the copy of Windows, though after I click Next I receive a message that states:

This product key is unauthorized. Activation can not be completed until a valid product key is entered. The 25-digit product can be found on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label attached to your computer or Windows documentation...blah blah blah. Please correct the product key below or type a valid product key, and then click Retry.

As mentioned above there is no COA label.

When a copy of Windows is registered, it is registered by the original owner isn't it???? I think that may be the problem. I am typing my name into the form. To tell the truth, this machine is so old I don't think the original owner even knows what info to type in. To get the info I would have to contact the brother, who the original owner gave the computer to, which in turn gave to my daughter and say a prayer.

Any ideas where to go from here outside of contacting MS or the brother who may have to contact the original owner, or is that my best choice for a solution.

There is no recovery partition.

Donna :upset:

Edited by Macboatmaster, 20 May 2012 - 03:27 PM.

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#2
Amlak

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So you were forced to input the key?

Was there an option to do it by telephone (just pure automated messages)? Or even simply connecting to the Internet?

Edited by Amlak, 10 May 2012 - 06:53 PM.

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#3
DonnaB

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Hi Amlak,

Yes. Since I posted, I did go ahead and try to activate by phone. I gave the installation ID and the "cold voice" told me it was invalid.

I clicked on validate online and could not connect to the site. For some reason I was asked to install WGA and when I click on the icon in the notification area then click on Validation Failure Details I am directed to a site that gives instructions to go to:

Start > All Programs > Activate Windows

Problem is, there is no Activate Windows to be found.

I just reread the thread I posted a link to above. In the second reply post by mferry it states:

These steps will work as long as the PC only has one User Profile, and has Internet Explorer 8 installed.

I just realized, this machine has IE7 on it still. She used Firefox as her default browser till I changed it to see if that was why it wouldn't connect to the site for validation.

I'm going to download IE8 for WinXP and see if that makes a difference. There is one created User Profile (mine, which is password protected and which I am using to try to validate) that has Admin privileges and the guest acct that she uses. That wouldn't constitute as 2 accts would it?

Your opinion is highly appreciated.

Edited by DonnaB, 10 May 2012 - 07:35 PM.

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#4
Amlak

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If it doesn't work with the Guest account enabled, then just simply have it disabled via the Control Panel (let me know if you need to know exactly how but Safe Mode should help, I guess) and try again.
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#5
DonnaB

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then just simply have it disabled via the Control Panel


:lol: Just call me Duhnna! psst...I knew that. Just wasn't thinking. :blush:

I'll let you know what happens.
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#6
Amlak

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Apparently, you might also have to do the following:

http://www.petri.co...._windows_xp.htm

To disable the guest account - On a Windows XP Home computer, or on a Windows XP Professional computer that is not a part of a domain do the following:

Right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.

Click Local Users and Groups.

Click Users.

Right-click the Guest account, choose Properties.

On the General tab, select Account is Disabled.

Click Ok.

***


By the way, I'd be interested to see if that method you're relying would work. I find it hard to believe installing IE8 would just magically fix it.

Oh, Microsoft, you'll always be a wonder. :ph34r:
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#7
DonnaB

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Well that's odd! I followed the instructions to disable the Guest acct. and it is not found in Compmgmt as shown in the link. Thought maybe because I had turned it off, so I re-enabled it and took a 2nd look. Still not there. See attached screen shot below.

By the way, I'd be interested to see if that method you're relying would work. I find it hard to believe installing IE8 would just magically fix it.


That makes the both of us.

Well. I've tried three times now to attach the screen shot and I keep getting a message:

Error No file was selected for upload

Not sure if it is the site or this dinosaur of a computer!

Was going to transfer the file to my laptop to upload but the XP does not recognize my USB drive.

I'll keep you informed as to what the results are. I'm definitately not holding my breath.
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#8
DonnaB

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The results are negative though I wasn't able to download the IE8 for WinXP file to one computer and transfer to the XP and install via Safe Mode with Command Prompt as directed (not sure why transferring would make a difference) to in the link because the USB ports do not recognize flash drive nor the external when plugged in. I was able to download to the desktop of the XP and update IE from there.

I'll have to work on this a bit later. Hectic weekend approaching.

Thank you Amlak for your help. I'll keep you informed.

Donna
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#9
Amlak

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Sucks that it didn't work. To be honest, I don't know of any way to fix this other than by contacting Microsoft, which (from my own experience) may refuse to assist you with this issue without all the required details.
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#10
DonnaB

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Sucks that it didn't work.

Yep! Big time.

Discussed this with a friend of mine who owns a Tech Shop. He said that what causes this is registry corruption. Something about more then one device something or another that changes the registry. His thought processes are way beyond the norm and he lost me. I didn't have time to have him explain in laymens terms. I will tomorrow though.
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#11
happyrock

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there is no COA label.

usually put on the back or bottom of the case but they are sometimes put inside of the case
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#12
DonnaB

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Hm. Never thought of that! When I get time to take the tower apart I'll look for it. It needs a really good cleaning anyway.

Thank you happyrock. :happy:
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#13
DonnaB

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Took the tower apart and no COA sticker to be found though did find a way to fix the beast and fix it for good! A co-worker gave me an XP disk that he bought a few years ago that had never been taken out of the package! Wow! How nice was that?

Now to nuke the drive and do a clean install once I backup her pictures.

Thing is, it is an OEM retail version of XP Home Edition. Does this mean the drivers needed may not be included and I will have to search for the video, network and audio drivers? He said I may have to. I'm not sure so I thought I'd better ask before I ventured out into the unknown.

Edit: Forgot to mention that it is version 2002 that includes SP3.

Edited by DonnaB, 13 May 2012 - 08:17 AM.

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#14
zep516

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Can you open the device manager on that machine as it stands now? If so at least get the name of the Network Adapter as listed in the device manager. I believe it's realtech device. Also if you still have the machine open, get the name of the mother board or # printed on it. May want to have that handy. All I could offer at this point.

Joe

Edited by zep516, 13 May 2012 - 09:37 AM.

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#15
DonnaB

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Hi Joe,

Yes. I can access the Device Manager.

The Network Adapter is:

Realtek RTL8139/819x Family Fast Ethernet NIC
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