4. Registration and Activation
Just one according to the Microsoft EULA (End User License Agreement) and the pricing policy on the Microsoft website. This applies to both the Retail and OEM versions. Additional licenses can be purchased at a discounted price through Microsoft or a Microsoft retailer.
More information can be found within a FAQ from the Microsoft documentation What does the End-User License Agreement (EULA) say?
Yes there is and it is useful if you need to reformat your system but do not want to have to reactivate. The file is named wpa.dbl and is located in the System32 folder. The exact location of the file is X:\WINDOWS\system32\wpa.dbl where X: is the drive where you installed Windows XP. To restore the activation code, simply place the wpa.dbl file in the same location that you saved it from - This must be done in safe mode. To access safe mode, press F8 while your PC is booting and the choice to start in safe mode will be given. Additional information, if necessary, can be found here or by requesting help in the Microsoft Help forum.
It has been reported that this may not work in some situations.
Note - this will not work to pirate copies of Windows XP and only works when the system configuration falls within the same parameters of the previous Activation Code.
Product Registration in Windows XP is basically the same as Product Registration that you find in other programs on the market.
You send information to the developing company, which in this case is Microsoft, information about you (email address, phone number, address, etc.).
This information can be used later on to tell you about upcoming upgrades and new Operating Systems.
Product Registration is completely voluntary.
You can read up on Product Registration here.
Windows XP comes un-activated. In this state, Windows XP will only work for 30 or 90 days, depending upon your license. Product Activation is MANDATORY! If you want your system to work past the 30 or 90 days, you MUST activate your version of Windows XP.
When you activate Windows XP, a listing of your computer's hardware is encoded into a hexidecimal code along with your CD key and then sent to Microsoft. Once Microsoft receives that hexidecimal code, Microsoft sends back another hexidecimal code to activate Windows.
After this step, your CD key and computer hardware are now tied together. You now can't install Windows XP with the same CD key on another computer. Meaning, don't activate your version of Windows XP until you are sure you want to keep Windows XP on that system and that system only with that particular CD key.
Microsoft allows for 3 or 4 hardware changes without a re-activation. If you change your hardware so drastically that Windows XP doesn't recognize your system anymore, you must call Microsoft. When you call Microsoft, you will have to tell the representative what you did, tell the representative the code that Windows XP provides, and then the representative will give you a new activation code.
You can read up on Product Activation here.
Quoted from the Microsoft Windows XP Knowledge Base.
There are important distinctions between activating your Windows operating system and registering it.
Product activation and product registration are not the same. Activation is completely anonymous; it requires absolutely no personally identifiable information to complete. Activation is required and ensures that each Windows product is not installed on more than the limited number (usually one) of computers allowed in the software's end user license agreement, or EULA.
During activation, you can also register your copy of Windows. Registration is not required; however registering your copy ensures that you receive product support, product update information, and other benefits. The process registration takes only a few minutes to complete. Personal information (for example, "contact" information such as an email address) is required if you decide to register.
You have a 30-day grace period in which to activate your Windows product installation. If the grace period expires and you have not completed activation, all features will stop working except the product activation feature.
There are three main ways to Activate Windows XP. Using a modem, phone, or the Internet.
To start the Product Activation, follow the steps below.
Step 1:The Windows Product Activation Wizard is located in System Tools. To open a system tools item, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click the appropriate icon., then click Activate Windows.
Step 2: Follow the activation instructions that appear on your screen.
Alternatively, you can open the Windows Product Activation wizard by clicking Start, then Run, and type in "oobe/msoobe /a".
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