For reasons not relevant here, I decided to ditch the Windows XP Professional SP2 system supplied with my Lenovo laptop and install a fresh system from non Lenovo sources (except for drivers).
Purchased in 2008 (to have as a spare) Windows XP Professional SP2 OEM CD in its sealed wrapping. Now I have slipstreamed SP3 into the SP2 to produce Windows XP Professional SP3 OEM.
Removed the old XP installation from the laptop by formatting C: and installed the new slip streamed XP onto C:. At appropriate stage entered the product key on the label, which was accepted. Declined to activate, which was not possible online because laptop was not connected by wireless or LAN.
Later (after installing Lenovo drivers and setting display and desktop my way, etc) connected to LAN and internet. Tried to activate but could not find any relevant menu item. Ran “00be/msoobe/a” and was told that it was already activated. Puzzled by that.
Tried to run Windows Update (actually Microsoft Update). Was told that I did not have a genuine windows and was unable to run Microsoft Update. Furious with that. Emailed vendor (Amazon UK reseller) arranging for refund and return instructions.
Did a bit of Googling and found Windows Product Key Update Tool. Ran it and inserted the product key that Lenovo supplied with the original XP that came with the machine. Imagine my surprise when it worked and I was able to run Microsoft Update normally.
I feel that there is a catch somewhere. Did I really have a pirated CD, and has what I have done made it into a legal system? Will the new installation turn round and bite me one day? If it was a pirated CD which has been made legal - can I trust that the pirated CD now made honest had correct and uncorrupted Windows files on it? It would be very difficult now to get another (legal) copy of XP. I do want to stay with XP until April 2014.
Genuine Advantage validation seems to run when it feels like it. Is there a way to force it to re-validate again. It would be reassuring if I could get it to repeat that the system is valid.
Is it OK to stick with this, please? (If so I can tell the vendor to relax).