Windows XP Activation Nightmare!
Originally posted on October
The Perfect Plan...
Did you know that Microsoft is
having a problem with activating new copies of Windows XP? Well,
The other day while installing
a copy of for a friend (XP
Home OEM) and after doing the MS
Updates and upgrades and loading all my goodies like Popup Stopper,
Passmark's Benchmark software
and the like, I was going to Ghost
the PC and burn some restore images... I clicked on the Activate
button that was bugging me for the last 5 hours and punched in
the Product Key from the packaging and then whammo.. nothing...
it reported that I had an Invalid Product Key!
There was a button on the lower
part of the Activation Window to activate XP over the phone so
I clicked on that. Another window popped up and I had to indicate
what country I was in... you know the rest...
So I called MS [888.571.2048
always punch "0" to bypass the stupid recording] and
reported this. After a few minutes of conversation, the technician
admitted to me that Microsoft is having a problem with the production
of the Product Keys. What kind of problem you may ask? Well,
it seems that brains at MS (the ones that thought up the logarithm
for the Product Keys) were putting the wrong product keys all
over the place. The Product Key for Office XP and the Product
Key for Windows XP are generated by the same logarithm but the
two keys won't work on the others software. One side note
here, let me go on record to say that I hate the fact that MS
can pour money into making a sticker why can't they put a sticker
on the CD!?! The CD is serialized, so if you lose the key for
that CD you can't use it. In the case of several of my clients
who have 10 or more PCs in their office, if you didn't get a
sharpie and mark which one goes to which CD, you could be in
for a long afternoon of reloading software before you find which
Product Key goes with which CD.
Your copy of XP Office or Windows
XP Home or Pro may have a Product Key that won't work.
What do you do about that? Well,
if you're a legitimate user, no problemo... You just call another
number (800) 936-5700 and press "0" to talk to a tech.
This tech will give you a new Product Key right over the phone.
They did with me.
The previous product activation
person stayed on the line with me (Amanda) to help with this
Interesting enough, I was passed
back and forth between the two people, the Product Activation
guys and this Key Giver person. About an hour later, I was running.
I Ghosted the system and my buddy
is a happy computer user now, but man alive, what a pain that
No, there's nothing you can do
about this. Maybe MS will fix their distribution and the logarithm
that produces the Key Codes or maybe they wont, but at least
the gods at Microsoft are at the ready making sure you're no
thief! Ahhh... no I can sleep at nights.