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Does Xp Pro Need Activating?


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#1 1up2down

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:32 AM

In one of my recent posts there was some confusion about the need for activating XP Pro. Having previously been told that I did not need to activate my XP Pro, others were telling me that I definately did. This concerned me, so I decided that I better look into this more deeply and came up with this information which I hope may help others in future.

If you bought the full boxed version of WinXP Pro - that one doesn't need
to be activated. The OEM one would ask for activation the same as
WinXP Home does ( even if you buy the full boxed one of that ).

If you got WinXP Pro along with the PC and a CD then that too wouldn't
ask for activation as it's under a Volume Licence Key and that will be
hard coded into the CD. Dell CD's are like that, even the WinXP Home
ones - using that also doesn't ask for activation.

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#2 rigel

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 11:04 AM

as it's under a Volume Licence Key


The only places I have heard of uses for volume licence keys are in businesses and schools where large numbers of computers are managed. We have such in our school district. I am not sure of the support levels, but our volume Office licensing exempts support due to the cost of purchase.

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#3 1up2down

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 01:51 PM

I didn't say I understood it, because I don't. I was just passing on the information I was given. To clarify this I also asked them if I could take it that no matter which version of XP Pro you had, if it didn't ask you to activate, you didn't need to activate it. The answer was yes.

Apart from this, I was always under the impression that without activating your OS, you could not download any Windows Updates, and I'm getting all the updates.

#4 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 02:28 PM

You need to activate an OEM or retail version. If it isn't activated you will only be able to access the PC in Safe Mode after 30 days.
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#5 nlinecomputers

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 02:38 PM

I have to ask why do you care? If you have a legitimate copy of Windows then it will properly activate.

All retail copies of Windows Xp MUST be activated. Update version, Pro, Home, Media Center, doesn't matter, if you bought it in a retail box you WILL HAVE TO ACTIVATE it.

There are two kinds of OEM software. Small white box builders that your mom and pop stores sell are DSP OEM versions. They must be activated.

Large retail OEMs such as Dell, HP, Gateway, are called Royality OEMs or Gold OEMs. They sell a version of XP that is pre-activated. However if you ever must reinstall the system you may be required to activate by phone. Internet activation will not work. A pain in the butt, but only for 10 minutes.

If you are part of a corporation or a school that uses Microsoft Licenses then you will NOT have to activate. VLKs (Volume License Keys) are part of a range that the install software knows and does not activate.
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#6 1up2down

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 05:04 PM

I have to ask why do you care? If you have a legitimate copy of Windows then it will properly activate.




Well, you certainly sound like you know what your talking about. Why do I care? I recently purchased two versions of XP Pro, a 64 bit and a 32 bit. The 64 bit was an OEM and the 32 bit a retail. Neither of them were asking me to activate them and yet seemed to behave like they had been activated, downloading all the Windows Updates and what have you. I have never had XP Pro before, and as I had brought both from ebay, I was a little concerned why they were not asking me to activate them, and if they were legal or not. This was why I original raised the subject and began getting conflicting replies. I'm not too experienced when it comes to this sort of thing, but I do like everything to be 100% legal. The 64 bit version has been installed since the 8th of Nov and I've never had to activate it, yet it's still operating without any problems.

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Edited by Animal, 06 December 2006 - 06:55 PM.


#7 nlinecomputers

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:57 PM


I have to ask why do you care? If you have a legitimate copy of Windows then it will properly activate.




Well, you certainly sound like you know what your talking about. Why do I care? I recently purchased two versions of XP Pro, a 64 bit and a 32 bit. The 64 bit was an OEM and the 32 bit a retail. Neither of them were asking me to activate them and yet seemed to behave like they had been activated, downloading all the Windows Updates and what have you. I have never had XP Pro before, and as I had brought both from ebay, I was a little concerned why they were not asking me to activate them, and if they were legal or not. This was why I original raised the subject and began getting conflicting replies. I'm not too experienced when it comes to this sort of thing, but I do like everything to be 100% legal. The 64 bit version has been installed since the 8th of Nov and I've never had to activate it, yet it's still operating without any problems.

Moderator Edit: Closed an open BBCode tag. ~ Animal


I was afraid that you were wondering about that. Sounds like you might have bogus software. eBay is full of it.

Point your browser to here: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads...?displaylang=en

It will test your software to see if it is valid.
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#8 1up2down

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 05:51 AM

I was afraid that you were wondering about that. Sounds like you might have bogus software. eBay is full of it.

Point your browser to here: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads...?displaylang=en

It will test your software to see if it is valid.


Thanks for your help, this 32 bit version has been validated as genuine. I guess that if it was validated by microsoft, then it really didn't need activating after all. Just the same, I think I will reinstall the 64 bit version and follow your advice to check that one too. Thanks again.



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Edited by acklan, 07 December 2006 - 07:09 AM.


#9 nlinecomputers

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:02 AM

Interesting. It should have needed to be activated. Are you certain that you didn't activate it during the install? You get hit with about a million questions during setup and one of them is product activation.
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#10 1up2down

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:28 PM

Interesting. It should have needed to be activated. Are you certain that you didn't activate it during the install? You get hit with about a million questions during setup and one of them is product activation.


No, definitely no requests to activate, not during or after installation. I have been installing operating systems for some years now with 98SE and XP Home, all of which asked for activation during installation, that is until I switched to cable, then because the modem had to be installed after the operating system was installed. Then you got little pop up reminders from the taskbar. It was only after building this new computer that I decide to change over to XP Pro, and like I said, neither the 64 or 32 bit version asked to be activated. Mind you, I did buy both on ebay, and your never know for sure what your getting on there. Pot luck and trust. LOL

#11 nlinecomputers

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:46 PM

So what happens if you hit Start/Accessories/System Tools/Activate Windows ?

Also have you tried searching Google for your product key? If you find the serial number on Google then it is likely bogus as it should be a unique number.

These sound like counterfeit copies that currently are passing Microsoft's test. WGA is constantly updated, so don't be surprised if in the near future you get a pop up box stating that your software is not genuine.
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#12 1up2down

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 05:21 PM

So what happens if you hit Start/Accessories/System Tools/Activate Windows ?

Also have you tried searching Google for your product key? If you find the serial number on Google then it is likely bogus as it should be a unique number.

These sound like counterfeit copies that currently are passing Microsoft's test. WGA is constantly updated, so don't be surprised if in the near future you get a pop up box stating that your software is not genuine.


There's no Activate Windows anywhere on the start menu.

#13 1up2down

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 05:54 PM

I don't know if it makes any difference, but I have just installed Belarc Advisor, and under Software Licenses I found this list. For obvious reasons, I have altered all the codes slightly, but the key on the COA would be the one listed under Internet Explorer, not Windows XP professional.

Belarc - Advisor 5563c4c2
Microsoft - Internet Explorer 55274-640-4390615-23621 (Key: PTXPR-VHKMG-9M423-KK6HP-YBTTQ)
Microsoft - WebFldrs XP 10235-111-1110111-18112
Microsoft - Windows XP Professional 55924-640-1464617-22618 (Key: DT8CM-PD5NC-6BCHT-M89B6-RPZTJ)

#14 nlinecomputers

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 06:38 PM

Sounds like a bogus copy to me. Both IE and XP should match not be different. When you did the install were you prompted to enter your Product ID key?

Edited by nlinecomputers, 07 December 2006 - 06:40 PM.

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#15 1up2down

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 12:34 PM

Sounds like a bogus copy to me. Both IE and XP should match not be different. When you did the install were you prompted to enter your Product ID key?


Yes I was prompted to enter your Product ID key when installing, and your right, I checked it out on my XP Home Edition which I did have to activate, and the keys are the same on both the IE and XP. However, this only makes it all the more confusing because Microsoft have validated it as being genuine. Plus, the 64 bit version of XP Pro I have which also never needed activating, has the same key for both IE and XP.




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