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Windows XP Validation

    Question

  • I have been running Windows XP Home edition for a few years now on my Gateway PC.  Today at startup, a windwo came up and told me "This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can log on".  ANy ideas why this is happening?  i have not installed any new OS software in a while (not since Service Pack 2). 

    I did try to activate my copy of Windows XP, but the "dialog" box will not accept any input.  I got the 25 digits worth of Product code from the CPU box, but I can't enter it in to the form.

    I cannot log on -- I am dead for all intents and purposes.  I was running fine before lunch time.

    Please tell me how to proceed.
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:54 PM

Answers

  • jvmim,

    Currently Windows XP is at Service Pack 3 and you can download and install it from here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=68c48dad-bc34-40be-8d85-6bb4f56f5110&displaylang=en&tm

    Please install this onto your machine.  Please clarify how you are not able to enter in the product key.  What error message does it give you? 

    You may need to call Microsoft for activation and if so, please visit this website:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326851/en-us

    But first you should probably get assistance from the Windows XP Forums

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/newsgroups/reader.mspx?dg=microsoft.public.windowsxp.general&lang=en&cr=US

     



    I hope this helps,

    Lori MS
    Lori MS
    • Marked as answer by Lori MS Thursday, August 07, 2008 5:14 PM
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:06 PM
  • Jvmim,

        No problem. We are here to do our best and support you. First turn off the computer. Wait a couple minutes and turn the system on again. It will probably start with a black screen offering you several options as how you want Windows XP to start. Please choose last known good.  Does this allow you to access/log on to your computer @ this point?  Curious do you have any anti-virus/anti-maleware programs installed and constantly updated on the computer? If so when was the last time you actually scanned the computer for any possible virus and/or maleware? Please attempt and run these programs first and see if your system gets any hits for either. If so follow the steps and remove the virus or maleware. Next reboot the computer and attempt to use the product key code you received during your telephone activation process.  Does this repair your problem? 


        Jvmim did you receive a Recovery Software Media Disc with your Gateway @ the time of purchase? The last ditch effore would be using this disc and restoring the system back to it's factory configuration. From my understanding Gateway only maintains recovery software media for the last three years. Should a customer require a recovery disc they will have to purchase an OEM or Retail disc? Last option is apply the following KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302822/en-us. You can contact Gateway Technical Support @

    800-369-1409. Again the information I provided may have changed.  Below are support sites for Gateway.  Also locate the Gateway forums there should be a wealth of information here as well. 


    http://www.gateway.com/about/contactus/index.php

     

    http://support.gateway.com/s/software/medialess/faq/suppage01su44.shtml





    Hopefully I was able to provide you with information to solve your problem and/or point you in the right direction.



    Take care,


    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager 


    Stephen Holm
    • Marked as answer by Lori MS Thursday, August 07, 2008 5:14 PM
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:35 PM

All replies

  • Hello Jvmim,


    Have you made any major hardware changes recently? First I would like for you to activate by telephone to see if this will resovle the problem. 

    To contact a Microsoft customer service representative to activate Windows by phone, follow these steps:

    1.

    Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Activate Windows.

    Or, click the Windows Activation icon in the notification area.

    2.

    Click Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to active Windows now.

    3.

    Click Read the Windows Product Activation Privacy Statement, click Back, and then click Next.

    4.

    Follow the steps in the Activate Windows by phone dialog box, and then click Next.

    Note The number appears now and differs based on the location that you select.

    5.

    When activation is completed and you receive the following message, click OK.

    You have successfully activated your copy of Windows.

    More information on how to activate Windows XP at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307890

    Also you may reference the following site for various telephone activation centers:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326851

    After you finish the above steps please restart the computer and try to validate Windows again: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine. Please locate the “Validate Windows” button in the upper right hand corner. Double click on the button and follow the guidance. Were you able to pass Windows Validation successfully? Please post again if you need further assistance. Thank you.





    Thank you,


    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager

    Stephen Holm
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:01 PM
  • Jvim,

    Should the telephone activation not resolve your problem I will need for you to run the MGA Diagnostic Tool and past the results back in this thread.  The results will allow us to see what you are experiencing so we may begin to troubleshoot the situation and provide you with a resolution. Please follow the steps below:



        Please try validating windows again by visiting the following location:  http://www.microsoft.com/genuine next click on the "Validate Windows" button in the upper right corner.  What happens?  The genuine site can also provide you with valuable information so please take time and review the documents.  Another site for helping customers identify genuine vs. non-genuine software is located here:  http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/

     

    Next please download and run the utility at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012, then click the Windows tab, Copy to Clipboard, then paste the report into a New Post on this Forum.  This would assist us immensely so we may analyze possible causes for a failed validation.  Next we will begin formulating a resolution for what may be causing the problem.

     

    Step 2 is telling us about the COA. Tell us:

    1. What edition of Windows XP is it for, Home, Pro, or Media Center?

    2. Does it read "OEM Software" or "OEM Product" in black lettering?

    3. Or, does it have the computer manufacturer's name in black lettering?

    4. DO NOT post the Product Key.

    5. Please also provide a short description of the issue you are experiencing.

     

    NOTE: The data collected with the Genuine Diagnostics Tool does NOT contain any information that can personally identify you and can be fully reviewed, by you, before being posted.



    Please let us know if you receive any errors during the above process along with your Diag results.



    Thank you :-)



    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager


    Stephen Holm
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:06 PM
  • jvmim,

    Currently Windows XP is at Service Pack 3 and you can download and install it from here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=68c48dad-bc34-40be-8d85-6bb4f56f5110&displaylang=en&tm

    Please install this onto your machine.  Please clarify how you are not able to enter in the product key.  What error message does it give you? 

    You may need to call Microsoft for activation and if so, please visit this website:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326851/en-us

    But first you should probably get assistance from the Windows XP Forums

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/newsgroups/reader.mspx?dg=microsoft.public.windowsxp.general&lang=en&cr=US

     



    I hope this helps,

    Lori MS
    Lori MS
    • Marked as answer by Lori MS Thursday, August 07, 2008 5:14 PM
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:06 PM
  • Hello Stephen,

    Thank you for replying.  I have just spent 1 - 1/2 hours with telephone support -- but here goes.

    For some reason my Windows XP is no longer activated or the activation code valid.  I haven't done any changes to hardware or software.  My daughter has downloaded a few demo games from Play First and/or MSN games in the last few days.

    When the dialog box comes up, it displays a 25 digit alpha-numeric product code, tells me it is invalid and tells me to correct it.  I got the product number from the label on the CPU.  THE PROBLEM:  I cannot enter anything, edit anything, delete anything in these 5 boxes!  I cannot update the number because it won't let me.  The power light is on the keyboard and the mouse works.  This is why I spent 1-1/2 hours with someone (very polite) trying to give me new product codes.  Told me to contact Gateway (where I bought the box).

    So, as far as running diagnostics, looking at web-sites, etc, my computer is dead.  I cannot get past this dialog box.  I press "remind me later", but it won't let me log on.  Try to log on and I get back to "you must activate Windows".

    So, now what?  Can't figure out why this happened?  AM I going to have to reinstall XP?  AM I being punished for something (sorry, I'm tired)?

    Thank you.
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:45 PM
  • Jvmim,

        No problem. We are here to do our best and support you. First turn off the computer. Wait a couple minutes and turn the system on again. It will probably start with a black screen offering you several options as how you want Windows XP to start. Please choose last known good.  Does this allow you to access/log on to your computer @ this point?  Curious do you have any anti-virus/anti-maleware programs installed and constantly updated on the computer? If so when was the last time you actually scanned the computer for any possible virus and/or maleware? Please attempt and run these programs first and see if your system gets any hits for either. If so follow the steps and remove the virus or maleware. Next reboot the computer and attempt to use the product key code you received during your telephone activation process.  Does this repair your problem? 


        Jvmim did you receive a Recovery Software Media Disc with your Gateway @ the time of purchase? The last ditch effore would be using this disc and restoring the system back to it's factory configuration. From my understanding Gateway only maintains recovery software media for the last three years. Should a customer require a recovery disc they will have to purchase an OEM or Retail disc? Last option is apply the following KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302822/en-us. You can contact Gateway Technical Support @

    800-369-1409. Again the information I provided may have changed.  Below are support sites for Gateway.  Also locate the Gateway forums there should be a wealth of information here as well. 


    http://www.gateway.com/about/contactus/index.php

     

    http://support.gateway.com/s/software/medialess/faq/suppage01su44.shtml





    Hopefully I was able to provide you with information to solve your problem and/or point you in the right direction.



    Take care,


    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager 


    Stephen Holm
    • Marked as answer by Lori MS Thursday, August 07, 2008 5:14 PM
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:35 PM
  • Hello Stephen,

    The first screen after power-up is a Gateway screen.  It offers 2 options: F10 boot menu (allows you to select boot device) and F2 Bios settings (set all types of boot parameters).  I don't get an option to boot in any kind of recovery mode (I think that's what you are talking about).  The next screen is the Windows XP screen (black with the MS flag).  Then comes the blue Welcome screen and then the Windows Validation Box.  My keypad works (I was able to press F10).  Once I get to the Windows Validation screen, my keyboard seems to be incapacitated.  Hence, I cannot enter or change the product code.  I can't even set Caps Lock (no light comes on).

    I have been running Trend Micro and they did detect malware about 2 weeks ago, but I ran some software that quarantined and deleted it.  I thought that I might have gotten something today, but what is it?  Again, the Windows Validation screen does not give me the option of logging on.  I either repair/replace this product code OR I can log out.  Nice, eh??

    Trend keeps itself current, I scan weekly and we probably have a C: backup from June.  Thank you for anything you can suggest.  ALL my data is on the PC.  Good thing I have this laptop (knock wood).
    Thursday, August 07, 2008 12:00 AM
  • Hello Stephen

    It's a Miracle!  We got into Safe Mode using F8 (we had to google this).  When we went into Safe Mode with networking OR "last known good" the validate Windows box came up, so we couldn't run any diagnostics from the web or in Safe Mode, for that matter.  BUT, in Safe Mode (without Networking) we did notice that the keyboard was once again unresponsive.  We ran diagnostics on the keyboard and we were told that the device driver was corrupt.  We uninstalled and reinstalled the keyboard (using the Help File instructions).  Then, we rebooted.  We then entered the new Product Code that the phone support people gave me earlier today and we are back!!!  We are now backing up our data files to an external drive, just because.

    I still don't know why my Windows became invalid.  Maybe it was the games downloads (?).   It is a freak coincidence that my keyboard driver was corrupted at the same time.  If you hadn't suggested Safe Mode, I (my husband) would never have been able to diagnose the problem.

    Well, I learned something today.  I am very grateful that these forums are here and that you and Lori responded so promptly!

    Thank You!!

    Jvmim
    Thursday, August 07, 2008 3:11 AM
  • Jvmim,

        Awesome!!! We are glad to you are operational again :-). There can be any number of reasons for what you have experienced. In the years past I have always stressed to my customers always perform a backup designed around your usage coupled with the criticality of your data. Using an external hard drive is a great means to backup data. Also another great option is using CD-RW and/or DVD-RW media in aggrate with the external hard drive. I would highly recommend you perform a complete system recovery once all of your data has been backed up. Please leave the  computer off line and install an anti-virus/anti-maleware program prior connecting to the internet. Side note ensure you check all files you backed up for virses and maleware.  Please visit Windows Update and install all critical updates for Windows XP including all service packs 1,2, and 3. 


        Now you will need HELP for fighting spyware and keeping a newly re-formatted system free from malware and viruses.  Please always ensure critical updates are updated by visiting Windows update @
    http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/vistadefault.aspx?ln=en-us  . Next you may download Windows Defender for free. Please visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/defender/default.mspx and learn more as how Windows Defender will help thwart malware infestations.  Another great read is the Microsoft Security Center here:  http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.mspx .  There are many links here providing customers comprehensible assistance for arming them against malicious activities which lurk abound the internet. 

        Windows Live OneCare is a great tool for providing the following services: Antivirus & Antispyware, Online ID Protection, Firewall, Multi-PC Management, Printer Sharing and Backup and Restore features.   Please visit http://onecare.live.com/standard/en-us/prodinfo/features.htm for more details. This suite will help detect and eradicate both malware and viruses from your system while silently running behind the scenes. OneCare may be purchased from Microsoft Marketplace @ http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/showcase.aspx?ctid=5&WT.mc_id=point_it_store_microsoft_a_G . This is a small price to pay for safeguarding your systems.  No matter what software suite you decide to purchase please ensure all signature files are updated all the time. Next schedule the anti-virus/maleware programs to run and/or manually run them weekly ensuring the system is maintained. 

        I encourage regular visits to The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) blog @ http://blogs.technet.com/msrc/default.aspxMicrosoft provides a real-time way for communicating with customers as well as helping customers understand Microsoft's security response efforts. 





    Take care and I hope this additional information will keep your computers running more smoothly :-).



    Thank you,


    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager





    Stephen Holm
    Thursday, August 07, 2008 7:32 PM