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cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

[XPHome] Xp home activation issues... crack?

I'm frustrated beyond belief.
A friend gave me a computer to fix, comes with the activation screen and refuses to activate. It's a Dell, has XP Home installed, COA sticker is on case.
Tried online activation first, UNAUTHORIZED.
Spent 2 hrs on the phone with MS, talking to 7-8 people and being conveniently disconnected when transferred to a department that *could* help, they confirmed that the key *should* work (unaware that MS has deauthorized all keys shipped with preactivated installations back in 2005???). The installation ID generated seems to be invalid. The key from the sticker is not accepted in the activation screen (invalid). WTF?
They are unwilling to help without a $99+ fee for support as XP is out of mainstream support and it's an OEM install.
Only choice left appears to be a crack. Thoughts on anything that is working and virus free? Or any way around? Haven't done it in way too many years, would be ideal if it passed WGA, if not I'll just disable all updates.

Expand your moderator at work


Razzy12345

@rr.com
reply to cowboyro

Re: [XPHome] Xp home activation issues... crack?

Wait a min you said you tried to reenter the COA key in the activation window after you clicked "Change Product Key" and it said invalid when you try to update or did it take the key but failed the activation?



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

said by Razzy12345 :

Wait a min you said you tried to reenter the COA key in the activation window after you clicked "Change Product Key" and it said invalid when you try to update or did it take the key but failed the activation?

Failed initial activation as unauthorized, trying to change the key to the one from the COA results in invalid (can't go to activate).


Razzy12345

@rr.com

I'd make sure you're entering the number/letters right... like B could look like an 8 or vice versa. The COA number SHOULD work on XP Home OEM. Go to System Properties of "My Computer" and does it say OEM in that product string?



rcdailey
Dragoonfly
Premium
join:2005-03-29
Rialto, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit
reply to cowboyro

Did you try calling Dell? There might be a Dell tag on the box that you could use with them. With my first Dell system, the product key for Windows XP did not match what was on the outside of the box, but MS allowed updates based simply on the fact that it was a Dell.
--
It is easier for a camel to put on a bikini than an old man to thread a needle.



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to Razzy12345

said by Razzy12345 :

I'd make sure you're entering the number/letters right... like B could look like an 8 or vice versa. The COA number SHOULD work on XP Home OEM. Go to System Properties of "My Computer" and does it say OEM in that product string?

Double-checked and triple-checked with MS, they say the key is correct. Can't get to anything, all it wants is to activate.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to rcdailey

said by rcdailey:

Did you try calling Dell? There might be a Dell tag on the box that you could use with them. With my first Dell system, the product key for Windows XP did not match what was on the outside of the box, but MS allowed updates based simply on the fact that it was a Dell.

The SLP key isn't expected to match the key from the COA. They use the same key for a bunch of systems and slap different keys (that should work) on the box.


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to cowboyro

From my experience the number on the sticker of an OEM computer is not important and pretty meaningless, because the PC comes with an OEM copy of Windows that has a preloaded number within it that I don't think requires activation. When I have done a HD wipe and fresh install using the OEM disk it just installs and never asks for a serial to be entered. I guess a "master" Dell number is just preloaded in a file somewhere on the disk and just gets entered during install. No activation needed.

Now when I have tried to use a commercial disk (because my OEM got scratched or something so I borrowed a disk from a friend) and I tried to enter my correct OEM serial number it then try to authenticate and failed. I called and was told that that happened because the version disk I used was commercial and the serial number I used was OEM. I then found another friend that had a Dell OEM disk; used that and it worked just fine. I'm guessing because the BIOS told it that the PC it was installing on was a Dell so all OK.

Of course this is just anecdotal info and not necessarily what happens in every situation. But I have found it to be true on quite a few Dells.



rcdailey
Dragoonfly
Premium
join:2005-03-29
Rialto, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

reply to cowboyro

Yes, that's what I meant. WGA probably isn't as sloppy as MS product activation was in years past when they accepted Dell without a key just because it was Dell and Dell did what you said. I can state that the keys that should work definitely did not work when I had that box. I even used a key discovery tool to find the key and that key did not work, either. That may be the problem here. I also have a OEM version of XP, but the last time I had to reinstall was in 2007 and the replacement drive has not yet failed on me.

Oh, I see what Sentinel posted and that is probably the accurate explanation. You would not need to activate an OEM version since it was already activated by the OEM. As for Windows update, I did not have any problem with update when I reinstalled Windows in 2007, but can't say what would happen now.

--
It is easier for a camel to put on a bikini than an old man to thread a needle.



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to cowboyro

I want to spend as little as possible on this machine right now. SO honestly looking into anything that will make it work, including a crack. It's not my computer, I'm doing this pro-bono. Suggestions?



rcdailey
Dragoonfly
Premium
join:2005-03-29
Rialto, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

3 edits

1 recommendation

If it was a Dell, it should have come with a Windows re-installation disc and that did not ask for a key when used, at least not for me with my old Dell. Updates were allowed by MS with no problem. Maybe you will have to reformat and start over to get out of this.

Added: If the original re-installation disc is XP without a service pack as mine was, then you have to put in all the service packs, plus deal with the partition limit for the original XP, making for extra work after you get SP2 in place, but not a lot of work. These are things you grit your teeth and do if it is your own system, of course.

Sadly, I have nothing else to offer, and if MS isn't recognizing Dell OEM XP installations without activation, then that may be their way of helping Dell to sell new systems.

The problem with a cracked OS is that the user won't be able to get security patches even though they should be available until 2014. That is not a good thing.
--
It is easier for a camel to put on a bikini than an old man to thread a needle.



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

said by rcdailey:

Maybe you will have to reformat and start over to get out of this.

That won't happen. User only cares about access to a shitload of old emails. From what I understand computer hasn't been used in a couple of years.
said by rcdailey:

The problem with a cracked OS is that the user won't be able to get security patches even though they should be available until 2014. That is not a good thing.

Whatever gets it working. I managed to gather some cracks from friends, will have to see what works...


bkoeni1
The Ends Of Invention
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Fort Worth, TX
Reviews:
·Charter
·AT&T Southwest

1 recommendation

Just my 2 cents worth ...
If it were me, I would install the hard drive in a working Windows PC and then find and copy the email files (PST files) to another hard drive in the working PC. Then invoke the email application (Windows Live Mail, Outook, etc) and import the old mail from the PST files.



rcdailey
Dragoonfly
Premium
join:2005-03-29
Rialto, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to cowboyro

I hear what you are saying. Tell him to get a new computer real soon because this one is near death. If he hasn't used it for a couple of years, he must not need it that much.

When I lost the hard drive in 2007, I lost e-mail and some files and the licensed copy of Eudora, which I could not replace because it was the last one released. I just had to go on without those. I had backups of essential stuff.

Also, if you have some linux live CD hanging around, try booting with that and see if the hard drive is recognized. If it is, you could copy files over to an external USB drive and transfer them later. If it is not recognized, then maybe you can't get any data off and maybe he needs a new hard drive, which probably isn't worth buying for an old system like that.

--
It is easier for a camel to put on a bikini than an old man to thread a needle.



Razzy12345

@rr.com
reply to cowboyro

Ok, as I asked earlier... in the System Properties of My Computer - those numbers underneath "Registered to:"

XXXXX-OEM-XXXXXXX-XXXXX

Do you see OEM in those numbers? If not, then the COA sticker product key will NOT work on that Windows XP as it could be a retail or upgrade version.


Shootist
Premium
join:2003-02-10
Decatur, GA
kudos:3
reply to cowboyro

Find a Dell XP Home install CD and reinstall the OS. Any Dell XP CD will work with any Dell computer. No activation needed, if you use a Dell XP CD. You could actually use ANY Dell XP version, Home or Pro, to reinstall and it will not need to be activated.

Other then that call Dell and have them send out a Dell XP Home CD.

Cantact me off the forum as I have many Dell XP CDs, Home or Pro.
--
Shooter Ready--Stand By BEEP ********


Shootist
Premium
join:2003-02-10
Decatur, GA
kudos:3
reply to cowboyro

What I think happened is the owner of that computer installed a Retail version of XP Home and tried to use the Dell OEM key that is on the sticker on the computer. That will not work. With XP if you install a retail version you have to use a retail key. If you installed a OEM version you have to use a OEM key.

So that is why the key is coming up Invalid. If you can get an OEM XP Home CD you could reinstall over the top of the current install and then use the Dell Key that is on the sticker. If that doesn't work then you are going to have to wipe the drive and reinstall using either a Dell XP Home, or Pro, CD or a OEM version and use the key on the sticker.
--
Shooter Ready--Stand By BEEP ********



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to cowboyro

Cracked, fixed. Killed WGA, computer is usable.
Pirating a legit install beats trying to fix through the proper channels.



Razzy12345

@rr.com

Wait till you see that crack start causing problems...... I'd never crack anything.. ever. (I run a computer shop)


Aranarth_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to cowboyro

said by cowboyro:

Cracked, fixed. Killed WGA, computer is usable.
Pirating a legit install beats trying to fix through the proper channels.

That's exactly what I would have done.

Although Razzy and everyone else is right, if you intend to keep the machine, import your old email into a pst file, make a couple of backups, and format and reinstall windows on this machine.

This machine could be used for all kinds of cool things, proxy server, file server, old games machine, webbrowsing, etc.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to cowboyro

said by cowboyro:

Double-checked and triple-checked with MS, they say the key is correct. Can't get to anything, all it wants is to activate.

From what I've seen, if MS reports the key as a valid one but their system won't accept it during activation, they'll give you a "new" key without hesitation. Strange that they won't in this situation....


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

said by Hall:

said by cowboyro:

Double-checked and triple-checked with MS, they say the key is correct. Can't get to anything, all it wants is to activate.

From what I've seen, if MS reports the key as a valid one but their system won't accept it during activation, they'll give you a "new" key without hesitation. Strange that they won't in this situation....

That may have been the case in the past. However they claimed that a system diagnostic is required first, and since XP is out of support it's a paid service.
Much like going to the dealer to change the oil and the dealer breaks the engine in the process... and then asks for money because the car is out of warranty.

I've had 0 issues re-activating in the past... even after exceeding the 10 activations/key limit (MSDN).


Razzy12345

@rr.com

said by cowboyro:

said by Hall:

said by cowboyro:

Double-checked and triple-checked with MS, they say the key is correct. Can't get to anything, all it wants is to activate.

From what I've seen, if MS reports the key as a valid one but their system won't accept it during activation, they'll give you a "new" key without hesitation. Strange that they won't in this situation....

That may have been the case in the past. However they claimed that a system diagnostic is required first, and since XP is out of support it's a paid service.
Much like going to the dealer to change the oil and the dealer breaks the engine in the process... and then asks for money because the car is out of warranty.

I've had 0 issues re-activating in the past... even after exceeding the 10 activations/key limit (MSDN).

Hi you didn't answer my question about the System Properties.. did you confirm does that string has OEM in it?


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

said by Razzy12345 :

Hi you didn't answer my question about the System Properties.. did you confirm does that string has OEM in it?

It had OEM in it...
Only plausible explanation I have is that some Dell-specific files were altered.

Aranarth_t

join:2012-05-03

Yep I'd run with that.

I have seen Dell oem xp cd's that only work on specific lines of machines but for the most part they will work.

You can find ISO's for oem copies of windows online quite easily and if you are reisntalling windows that's a great way of doing it so you only get windows and not all the crap they install. For Dell this usually means you want the XP pro disk instead of XP home but they should both work on that machine.

Believe it or not there are actual keys stored in the machines bios that oem versions of windows look for during installation and if they are present automatically activate with that key.

You can find software online which will pull those keys out for you.



Razzy12345

@rr.com

1 edit
reply to cowboyro

That is strange indeed. It should just take the key...

you can just reinstall XP Home OEM with the key with no cost involved...



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to cowboyro

Not my machine, not my problem. Did a free service, if it was a paid customer I'd have offered the option. The machine was only needed to access some old emails and files stored locally, person has a new computer.



Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2

2 recommendations

said by cowboyro:

The machine was only needed to access some old emails and files stored locally

Next time, pull the HDD and put it in another machine to grab the files.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT

Yeah, I guess it makes sense to pull the hdd, install an xp on another machine, export address book from OE, convert OE mail files to WLM, etc etc when a 2-min quick fix can be applied...