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Windows XP Home Activation trouble


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#1 BBNut

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 08:26 PM

Let me start by saying that I legally purchased Windows XP (Genuine) Home Edition version 2002 back when Win XP was first released. Over the years, I have made quite a number of changes to my computer (upgrading parts, replacing defective parts, etc). Now it seems, I've made enough changes that Microsoft has decided that my copy is no longer legal. Because I consider that I should be allowed to change/upgrade parts to my personal computer as much as I want without Microsoft's seal of approval, I haven't bought another copy of Win XP and refused to consider changing to Vista because I don't like it. I had just decided to bite the bullet and get a copy of Windows 7, but before I could do so, things went to hell in a handbasket. I was working on my computer this past weekend when all of the sudden, I got several error messages. One was low virtual memory, followed by two related to svchost and I didn't get a chance to read what the other message said cause in the middle of my screen popped up a large box with Internet Security 2010. I immediately hit ctrl-alt-del, but was denied access. At that point, I noticed that this thing had apparently installed itself because I could see it on my start menu. I also couldn't shut my system down through the normal process and had to shut it down the hard way. I disconnected the cable to kill my internet connection as well. Now before anyone accuses me of posting off topic and not reading the rules, please bear with me, I'm not asking for virus help here.

I do, however, want to explain how I came to where I am now. When I rebooted my computer, it would not let me into Safe Mode, nor would it let me go to Last Known Good Configuration. It would let me log in, then immediately take over my desktop (no icons, no start menu, no use of programs or commands, etc). Basically I couldn't do anything. Fortunately (or unfortunately, not sure which just yet) I had already hooked up a secondary drive of my husband's as a slave on mine in order to move my important stuff (but hadn't had a chance to save anything) in preparation for wiping the drive and installing Windows 7, so I was able to boot to it and run virus software. I tried Charter Security first, then ran Avira. Avira found several things and quarantined them. Afterward, I tried to reboot to the other drive and when it got to my sign on screen, it no longer gave me access. My husband suggested that perhaps something it quarantined was needed to sign in. I looked and noticed that one of the things in quarantine was winlogon. My dh suggested that I restore the items that it quarantined, then boot back to my main drive and use my memory stick to put whatever programs I might need to create logs (like Hijack This) and post them here using this drive. But when I tried to restore, any item that was originally under my screen name (as opposed to Administrator or All Users) could not be restored. I also found that I could not access anything on the problem drive that was under my screen name through Windows Explorer.

My dh tried creating a boot disk, but we couldn't get one to work. Then he tried doing a windows repair, which we think has restored the ability to log into my problem drive, but I can't test that theory cause it wants me to activate and I can't since Windows doesn't recognize me copy as legit any more. If I didn't have so much stuff that I need to save off the infected drive I'd just forget the hassle and wipe the drive, but I'd really like to be able to salvage my important stuff (Yes, I KNOW I'm an idiot for not having backed my stuff up before this. I've been kicking myself since this whole thing started.)

What I am asking here, is this: is there a way for me to be able to access the drive? If I can just get in there, then I can post in the virus section for help in removing the virus, which will allow me to salvage my stuff, back it up, wipe the drive, then go buy Windows 7 so I can be recognized as legal again.

Thanks in advance for any advice/assistance.

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 08:28 PM

You could try this:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vis...ndows-computer/
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 hamluis

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 09:17 PM

Retrieving data files...has nothing to do with activation issues.

The drive can be slaved to another system (you indicated that you had already done such) and any data files can then be moved to a different partition/drive/system.

For files which are in the Docs & Settings group...you probably would have to take ownership of the files in order move them.

How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

Louis

#4 BBNut

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 10:59 PM

Retrieving data files...has nothing to do with activation issues.

The drive can be slaved to another system (you indicated that you had already done such) and any data files can then be moved to a different partition/drive/system.

For files which are in the Docs & Settings group...you probably would have to take ownership of the files in order move them.

How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

Louis


Thanks for the reply, Louis.

I can't log in on that drive without activating, it won't let me. I also can't get into safe mode. When I try, it gets to just before the Welcome screen and then stops and won't go any further.

Since I am using XP Pro on this drive, I tried changing the permissions on the user account that has all my stuff on the other drive, but even after I changed the permissions when I try to open anything in there it tells me access denied. Do I need to move the file before I can open it, or should I have already been able to do so?

Thanks,

#5 BBNut

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:01 PM

You could try this:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vis...ndows-computer/


Thanks Budapest, I will look into this and see if it can help my problem. :thumbsup:

Thanks again.

#6 Stang777

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:50 PM

Have you considered just calling MIcrosoft and explaining the reason you need to reactivate XP? From what I understand, they are pretty understanding of these types of things and should be willing to give you another activation code.

#7 Hawkeye4

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 02:37 AM

Have you considered just calling MIcrosoft and explaining the reason you need to reactivate XP? From what I understand, they are pretty understanding of these types of things and should be willing to give you another activation code.


Yeah, have had to do that a couple of times and had no problems what-so-ever. Good luck!

#8 ThunderZ

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 07:17 AM

Have you considered just calling MIcrosoft and explaining the reason you need to reactivate XP? From what I understand, they are pretty understanding of these types of things and should be willing to give you another activation code.



It is really quit painless, only takes about 5 minutes and all you need is the original XP cd.

#9 BBNut

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:52 AM

Thank you all for taking the time to read my post and offer suggestions re calling Microsoft, but it was Microsoft who told me I'd have to buy another copy. The man said I had "exceeded the number of system changes allowed." I guess in my long-winded post I forgot to mention my call to Microsoft. My apologies for the omission.

Thanks,

#10 Queen-Evie

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:58 AM

Call Microsoft again. It's very unlikely you'll get the same person you previously talked to. A different person might be more co-operative.

#11 OldPhil

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:59 AM

Ditto on calling again, you just like me have legal store bought software! My copy of XPH upgrade is about five years old, I trigger it with a much older copy of 2000. I have loaded it on most of my various machines plus have made several changes, I have never gotten any messages like you have.

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#12 hamluis

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:40 AM

FWIW:

Microsoft has long officially considered a change of motherboard...a change of the system for MS OEM installs.

But I have done such with legal MS OEM/Home Builder licenses and never had any problem, after explaining the reasons for the changes.

Louis

#13 Queen-Evie

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:42 AM

Let me start by saying that I legally purchased Windows XP (Genuine) Home Edition version 2002 back when Win XP was first released.



FWIW:

Microsoft has long officially considered a change of motherboard...a change of the system for MS OEM installs.

But I have done such with legal MS OEM/Home Builder licenses and never had any problem, after explaining the reasons for the changes.

Louis



I'm under the impression that the XP disk is a retail version, not OEM.
If it's full retail, the OEM restrictions don't apply. At least as far as I know. If I am wrong about this, I'd appreciate knowing I'm wrong.

BBNut, is your XP a full version or OEM?

#14 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:54 PM

I have 8 versions of xp from the MSDN library, 6 retail/ generic OEM (bought with systems from a system builder) and about 15 different actual OEM recovery disks for various laptops. I have a couple of retail xp's of home and pro (the big 8x10 folder kind) and I don't think I have every had to call on any of them. My experience indicates that the generic oem and the retail reset the hardware change accumulated count about every 120 days. A mainboard swap has triggered it on client machines and switching from ide to sata raid as a boot drive I think triggered one but they were both catastrophic failures that required cpu and ram replacements as well as a video card in one. OEM branded install and recovery disks are different animals.

I suggest you get a clean new drive, install from your xp disk and try to activate over the net. If you have activated it within 120 days you may have to call. I have never heard of any limit on overall hardware changes. A damaged, changed or missing WPA.dbl may trigger an activation warning but I have not seen any malware that targets it yet but I suspect that is just a matter of time

A quite detailed description of the windows product activation process is posted here:
http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/ProductActivation.htm

about halfway down the page is a Q and A section headed as
"For no reason, a message from Windows XP tells me that I need to reactivate Windows within 3 days because of "significant hardware changes""

This might shed some light on your issue.

Moderators: I recognize that the link has perhaps too much detailed info on activation, but as a tech we should all recognize that MS security theater is more of a roadblock to repair techs than to pirates. However if this link does not pass muster please remove it and I will paraphrase the relevant sections.

#15 BBNut

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 02:49 PM

I'm under the impression that the XP disk is a retail version, not OEM.
If it's full retail, the OEM restrictions don't apply. At least as far as I know. If I am wrong about this, I'd appreciate knowing I'm wrong.

BBNut, is your XP a full version or OEM?


Hi Queen-Evie,
It is the retail XP Upgrade for my legally purchased retail copy of Windows ME (which replaced my legally purchased retail version of Windows 98, which replaced my legally purchased retail version of Windows 95) Not being snarky, here, honest. It's just that I want to stress that we've been legally purchasing retail copies of Windows OS for our computers since we started buying computers, which was right at the time Win 95 came out. As for XP, we bought two copies from, trying to remember, I think Best Buy, when XP was first released. I upgraded mine first, then, when my dh saw how easily XP dealt with our home network, we went right back to the store and purchased a copy for his computer as well. <G>

Looking at my disk, on the front it shows: DVD Upgrade Microsoft XP Home Edition Version 2002 1985-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. 0601 Part No. X08-26271 and in little tiny letters it has Genuine Microsoft all over the surface To be honest, I've never really paid much attention to the front of my disc before, and I don't have access to my dh's copy at the moment, so I couldn't say if the part no shown on my disc is the same for all XP discs or whether the part no's shown are individual for each disc created.

Does the fact that my XP is an Upgrade rather than the full product make a difference?

TTYL,




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