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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    I had to "repair" Windows when I moved my hard disk to a new computer, and through a series of mishaps that are no longer important, I gave it a product key that made it unhappy. Now Windows warns me that I am running a pirated copy every time I boot, and at intervals while I work.

    I've got a valid product key to enter, but I can't find a way to make Windows accept it. I don't want to do another repair because I consider it a dangerous measure, to be avoided unless something is really broken.

    I found a variety of web sites that describe essentially the same procedure for entering a new product key, which involves clearing a couple of entries in the registry, then running the registration program. It doesn't work. The program does nothing, and when I look at the registry, the entries I cleared are back.

    Has anyone done this successfully? What's the trick?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I actually contacted MS with a similar problem. They worked me through a solution that satisfied all parties. Try the MS contact web site.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Installing an os from a previous setup to a new computer will become invalidated when transfered.
    You will need to purchase a new os disk specific to your new hardware in order for it to be genuine.
    We at WS do not offer information on ways/means of subverting/cracking product codes.
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  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    >Installing an os from a previous setup to a new computer will become invalidated when transfered.
    >You will need to purchase a new os disk specific to your new hardware in order for it to be genuine.
    >We at WS do not offer information on ways/means of subverting/cracking product codes.

    Wrong. Read the license agreement.

    "4. TRANSFER-Internal. You may move the Product to a different Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you must completely remove the Product from the former Workstation Computer.

    Your assumption that I am asking for help with "cracking" a product code is groundless and insulting.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Download the MS product key update tool:
    http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/sel...displaylang=en

    BTW:

    I found a variety of web sites that describe essentially the same procedure for entering a new product key, which involves clearing a couple of entries in the registry, then running the registration program. It doesn't work. The program does nothing, and when I look at the registry, the entries I cleared are back.

    Has anyone done this successfully? What's the trick?
    IS asking for help with "cracking" a product code.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Your original post could have been interpreted as a request for help cracking a product key. It could have been interpreted either way since you did not specify your intention to uninstall the OS on your original PC. Plus moving the HD to another PC is not exactly the same as doing what you quoted from the MS EULA. That's why I suggested a call directly to MS. I have used this avenue twice in the past and both times the MS representative had me up and running within 15 minutes for free. It's worth the few minutes to dispell any notice of inpropriaty that may be present whether real or perceived.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  7. #7
    4 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas Kaestner View Post
    Download the MS product key update tool:
    http://www.microsoft...?displaylang=en

    BTW:

    IS asking for help with "cracking" a product code.
    I don't care to pursue this debate further, but I've read over my original post and there's nothing in it to support that inference.

    I moved my hard disk to a new computer. Period. Forget the rest. As far as the EULA is concerned that's all I did, it is legal, and it has nothing to do with cracking.

    The old computer is not in use. When and if I revive it, I will use it to run Linux.

    Since this seems to have created some confusion, I'll spell out what happened, details which I originally omitted because they were irrelevant.

    When I moved the disk to the new computer and had to re-enter my product key, I couldn't find it due to disorganization caused by a recent move. To get a new key I bought a new, sealed copy of XP from a long-established, high-rated vendor on eBay. When I entered that key it didn't work, for reasons that are still unclear. (The disk looks genuine, and the vendor was cooperative and open with me when I contacted him. I suspect that the disk includes a different service pack, and the product key software is clever enough to detect that.)

    I have since found my original product key, and I want to enter it, but Windows won't let me.

    I hope everyone will move on now.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    jsachs177,

    As Ted suggested, the best move for you would be to contact MS support on this. I am certain they will be of great help in this matter, and will work with you to resolve this difficulty.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsachs177 View Post
    I don't care to pursue this debate further, but I've read over my original post and there's nothing in it to support that inference.

    I moved my hard disk to a new computer. Period. Forget the rest. As far as the EULA is concerned that's all I did, it is legal, and it has nothing to do with cracking.

    The old computer is not in use. When and if I revive it, I will use it to run Linux.

    Since this seems to have created some confusion, I'll spell out what happened, details which I originally omitted because they were irrelevant.

    When I moved the disk to the new computer and had to re-enter my product key, I couldn't find it due to disorganization caused by a recent move. To get a new key I bought a new, sealed copy of XP from a long-established, high-rated vendor on eBay. When I entered that key it didn't work, for reasons that are still unclear. (The disk looks genuine, and the vendor was cooperative and open with me when I contacted him. I suspect that the disk includes a different service pack, and the product key software is clever enough to detect that.)

    I have since found my original product key, and I want to enter it, but Windows won't let me.

    I hope everyone will move on now.
    As you previously quoted your copy of EULA, I assume that you had "retail" version installed on your old computer. If that's the case, tinkering around sensitive registry keys related to product activation and entering a product key issued for another type of licensing will mess up things for sure. I suppose that the "new sealed copy of XP" was OEM type licensing...
    Using the right tool from Microsoft (you have to have internet access in order to use it, as it checks with MS if the product key is not blacklisted AND if some key files are not tampered with) should solve your problem: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/sel...displaylang=en (Andreas Kaesler pointed it right).

    As a long-shot approach, i would suggest to revert your install to the point (restore point) when you moved the hard-drive in the new computer, then enter the original key when asked.
    Another trick you might try is deleting (after a backup) %system32%wpa.bak and %system32%wpa.dbl (usually %system32% is "C:\WINDOWS\system32\"), run "sfc /purgecache" (and solve any problems that might arise), then reboot and try to reactivate. Check http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d....mspx?mfr=true for details on "SFC".
    Anyway, you should be sure to have the right XP installation for the right valid key. Stolen OEM kits ARE genuine, but most often than not they are also blacklisted. The same goes for VLK (Volume License Keys). Those 2 files mentioned above are directly related to product activation. Deleting/moving them causes your computer to ask for reactivation.
    If any of that doesn't solve your problem, call your local MS tech support and/or backup+reinstall.

  10. #10
    4 Star Lounger
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    I didn't have time to pursue this further until my work slowed down with the approach of the holidays.

    I tried to go the route of calling Microsoft for support, but I hit brick walls. First I learned that Microsoft no longer provides phone support for Windows XP activation. I tried to proceed with the e-mail support option, but when I reached a page to "Select billing option," I gave it up.

    However, I found that's the "Windows Product Key Update Tool" that Andreas mentioned fixed the problem for me in a few minutes. If I recall correctly, it has been available since early 2008 -- long enough that I would have found it when I first had this problem, if I had only known what to look for.

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