locked
Emachine + Microsoft = Pain in the Key Code RRS feed

  • Question

  • I had to replace the power supply and motherboard on my stepfathers PC over the weekend.  Now I did know that doing so would require me to reactivate the key code, but I have never had a problem until now.  I called the telephone number Microsoft Activation) and gave them the series of numbers on the 9 boxes at the bottom.  A few seconds later they told me that the key in this pc is invalid.  Obviously it is not, seeing as how it woked just fine before the board was replaced.  The man asked me to re-try adding the Product Key and to update it to refresh the numbers in the 9 boxes...No good, still invalid.  He told me that it is Emachines problem.  I called Emachine.  They said that it is Microsoft's problem.  I called Microsoft.  They told me that it is Emachines problem.  I called Emachine.  I got a hold of a lady that speaks English, and she gave me their generic Key Code, and said to use that because it always works, then when it is activated, I can at least change my Key Code.  Her generic Key Code didn't work either.  She also said that mine didn't work because the COA on the back of his PC is a one time use COA, and that Microsoft needs to give me another one.  I called Microsoft and Mohamad told me that Emachines needs to give me the COA.  WTF do I do know?  He is stuck without a machine because I am getting the run around!  ANY suggestions? 

     

    Thanks,

    Steve

     

    Also, don't post saying to use that stupid Microsoft verifier, I am locked out of this PC until it gets re-activated.

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 6:28 PM

Answers

  • If Windows XP was preinstalled by eMachine and you
    did not replace the defective motherboard with the exact
    eMachine replacement, your eMachine OEM version of Windows
    XP is not going to activate since it is looking for the eMachine BIOS.
    All you can do is to purchase a conventional "Full Version" of
    Windows XP and proceed with a "Repair Install".

    A preinstalled OEM version of Windows XP cannot be used
    with a different type of motherboard.  The license is tied to
    a specific motherboard model and BIOS and cannot be transferred.

     

    Changing a Motherboard or Moving a Hard Drive with XP Installed
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html


    How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.­com/XPrepairinstall.htm  

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:14 PM
    Moderator
  • System Locked Preinstallation

    Used by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) uses information stored in the computer BIOS to protect each installation from casual copying. No communication by the end customer to Microsoft is required. At system startup, the operating system compares the computer's BIOS to the SLP information. If it matches, no activation is required. Conversely, if there is no match, Windows cannot be activated.

    Product Activation and new pre-loaded PCs: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457054.aspx

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:23 PM
    Moderator
  • OK, can that key be used for anything at all?  For example, since I was given a working generic working key code from Emachines, can I use her code initially With a full copy of Windows XP, then, change the key code back to the original after the OS has been "repaired"?

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:26 PM
  • You can try performing a "repair install" using your full version Windows XP CD and the product key that came with that CD.  After the repair install is completed, do not attempt to activate.  Instead, use the Windows Product Key Update Tool to change the product key to the one affixed to the eMachine computer, then activate.  You'll likely have to "activate by phone".  Remember, you must only use the correct edition of Windows XP (i.e. Windows XP Home Edition CD with a Windows XP Home Edition product key).

     

    Windows Product Key Update Tool: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/selfhelp/PKUInstructions.aspx

     

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:36 PM
    Moderator
  • I will have to use her key code because I refuse to make him buy another copy of Windows, just because Emachines makes *** and Microsoft can't get their stiff together.  I have a crack that will allow me to change the key code, bypassing the phone calling part.  Can I do that?

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:43 PM
  • I would strongly urge you not to use any "cracks" when it comes to product activation.  Follow the procedure I outlined previously.

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:49 PM
    Moderator
  • So in otherwords you are saying that he has to buy another copy of Windows.

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:53 PM
  •  

    If that is the case, FYI:

     

    He has Windows XP Home...Can I just have him go out and buy Windows XP Home Upgrade?  Or does he need the full?

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:57 PM
  • Or better yet, What if I somehow found the same mobo online and install it?  Is it too late for that, or will that even work?

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 8:02 PM
  • You would need a "full version" of Windows XP Home Edition, not an "upgrade version".

    Example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116056

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 8:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Steve Kramer,

     

    My opinion differs from Carey's in that I do not think that a defective motherboard invalidates your XP license.

     

    To get genuine, you have to borrow from someone what is called a systembuilder/OEM CD for XP Home Edition.  This is a genuine MS hologram CD that does NOT have the name of any computer manufacturer on it.  It has "for use with a new PC" printed in the hologram.  This type of media is used by smaller and neighborhood computer builders to install  a proper OEM license on the computers they build for customers.  If you do a clean installation with that CD using the Product Key that's on your eMachines CoA, you will be able to complete installation.  Finally, you will have to do a telephonic activation to activate.  Since a clean installation destroys all data on the hard disk, be sure to back up any valuable email, pix, docs, music, etc etc that you cannot afford to lose.

     

    I wrote this detailed response to another poster a few months ago, but it applies to you, too:

     

    "There are two types of licenses for XP that consumers will encounter, retail (aka full packaged product), and OEM (original equipment manufacturer).

    Retail licenses may be moved from one computer to another, as long as the license is activated on one computer at a time and as long as the previous installation of the license is removed from the previously licensed computer.

    OEM licenses for XP are tied to the first computer onto which they are installed and the license is not permitted to be moved to any other computer.  For the purposes of defining what a computer is, since a computer is really just a collection of parts, Microsoft has established that the motherboard is the base or "defining" component, and the OEM license is permanently tied to the motherboard.

    There is one exception, the case of a defective motherboard.  If a motheboard becomes defective, you are of course permitted to change it and reinstall your OEM XP license to it.  For reasons stated below, if at all possible, you should replace it with an identical board or the manufacturer's designated replacement.

    The details become sticky when the license was obtained thru a major manufacturer that uses SLP technology, which sets the recovery or repair CD to look for certain bits in the BIOS of the official manufacturer's motherboards.  If such bits are not found, as they would not be if you replaced the defective board with one not from the original computer manufacturer, then the CD will refuse to install XP.  The correct thing to do in these cases is to install XP using a genuine systembuilder/OEM MS XP CDROM, which does not have the SLP technology.  However, when installing, be sure to use the Product Key on the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to the computer, and NOT the Product Key that came with the CD. (Note that retail and Volume License CDs will NOT accept OEM product keys, returning an "invalid product key" error.)  Finally, when installation is complete, do a Telephonic Activation because the OEM PK on the COA will not be accepted by the automated online activation system.  If the automated telephone system also refuses activation, choose the option to speak with an activation rep and explain that you are replacing a defective motherboard and cannot use the manufacturer-supplied recovery CDs.

    One does not "lose their license" for XP if the motherboard becomes defective and has to be replaced.  If the computer owner chooses to use, or because of availablity is forced to use, a board that is not a direct or identical replacement, there has to be a mechanism to accommodate these circumstances, and that is why a telephonic activation is authorized.

    Note that if the computer owner decides to replace the motherboard for performance reasons or to add features or new technology, the defective exception is NOT applicable and a new license for XP is required to be purchased."

     

    Monday, September 24, 2007 4:14 PM
  • I do not wish to do a clean install.  Thank you, but I may have to go with Carey on this one.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 6:09 PM
  • Steve Kramer,

     

    OK, but be advised that full retail copies of XP Home go for around $199.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 10:58 PM
  • So here's the question then,  I have already put this new motherboard in causing the Microsoft validation to come up.  If I find the correct motherboard, will the Validation go away?  Or is it too late?

     

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:37 PM
  • Steve,

     

    You should be able to re-activate if you can't find a similiar motherboard. Please keep in mind what Dan was explaining about the different versions of the EULAs regarding the operating software. Right now I would weigh various situations before making any decision. Hopefully we have answered the question for you. Thank you Steve.

     

     

    Stephen Holm, MS

     

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 7:23 PM
  • Steve,

     

    First please refraim from using the language on the forums. Forums are a public asset used globaly by various users and don't accept the use of language. Now referring to your comment. You have a certain license agreement. Should you have any concerns please contact your system's manufacturer.  The purpose of this forum is the support of Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program. Your question pertains to activation. Please review your End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) and work with the system manufacturer. We have attempted to assist you but activation is outside my area of knowledge. Steve I would like to share one last bit of information:   OEM System, motherboard is changed by the customer themselves and not per the OEM recommendation due to a defect: This is considered a new system and a new license is required. At this point it appears you will be required to purchase a new license.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Stephen Holm, MS

     

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:21 PM
  • Stephen,

     

    Sorry about that, this whole thing has just been driving me crazy.  I appreciate all the help you have provided me with.  It may just be easier to buy a new PC.

     

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 11:07 PM
  • SteveKramer,

     

    If you can gain access to a genuine systembuilder/OEM CD for XP Home, you can use that CD plus the Product Key as printed on the CoA of the eMachines computer to complete a clean installation of XP Home onto the computer.  Once setup is complete, use the Telephic Activation procedure.  If your telephonic activation attempt is rejected by the automated system (as it probably will be), you will be presented with the option to speak with a live activation rep.  Choose that option.

     

    Once in contact with the rep, explain that the motherboard and power supply on the eMachines computer were defective and had to be replaced.  Explain that no direct identical replacement motherboard was available from eMachines so you had to purchase a generic motherboard that does not have the eMachines SLP BIOS information, and that it why you cannot use the eMachines Recovery CD to install XP.  Explain that you are using the genuine generic systembuilder/OEM CDROM to install combined with the Product Key on the eMachines CoA.  I have done this many times personally.

     

    The license for XP Home that you are trying to activate is represented by the CoA (and the Product Key printed on it) that says eMachines on it.

     

    If you are refused by the Product Activation representative, it is because that particular representative is not properly trained.  Ask to be connected to a supervisor, or just hang up and call back later to be connected to a better trained representative.

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 3:17 PM
  • If you purchase a new Windows XP Home Edtion OEM license, such as the one I referenced before from newegg.com, you can perform a "repair install" and then activate normally.

     

    How to perform a Windows XP repair install: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 6:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, both OEM and Retail Windows XP CDs offer the same repair capability.

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 8:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Many major PC manufacturers, such as eMachine, use "System Locked Pre-installation,"
    or SLP. 

    SLP uses information stored in an OEM PC's BIOS to protect
    the installation from casual piracy.  When installing a eMachine OEM
    version of Windows XP, the eMachine CD compares the PC's BIOS to the
    SLP information. If it matches, Product Activation will succeed.
    If it does not match, Product Activation will fail.  Using a new Product
    Key will also fail because the eMachine BIOS does not exist with
    a non-eMachine motherboard.

     

    If you do not install the same model eMachine motherboard, 
    you'll need to purchase a new "Full Version" copy of Windows XP
    and perform a "repair install".  The OEM Windows XP
    license that originally came with your eMachine PC
    is no longer valid with a non-eMachine motherboard.

    Changing a Motherboard or Moving a Hard Drive with XP Installed
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 1:00 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If Windows XP was preinstalled by eMachine and you
    did not replace the defective motherboard with the exact
    eMachine replacement, your eMachine OEM version of Windows
    XP is not going to activate since it is looking for the eMachine BIOS.
    All you can do is to purchase a conventional "Full Version" of
    Windows XP and proceed with a "Repair Install".

    A preinstalled OEM version of Windows XP cannot be used
    with a different type of motherboard.  The license is tied to
    a specific motherboard model and BIOS and cannot be transferred.

     

    Changing a Motherboard or Moving a Hard Drive with XP Installed
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html


    How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.­com/XPrepairinstall.htm  

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:14 PM
    Moderator
  • System Locked Preinstallation

    Used by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) uses information stored in the computer BIOS to protect each installation from casual copying. No communication by the end customer to Microsoft is required. At system startup, the operating system compares the computer's BIOS to the SLP information. If it matches, no activation is required. Conversely, if there is no match, Windows cannot be activated.

    Product Activation and new pre-loaded PCs: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457054.aspx

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:23 PM
    Moderator
  • OK, can that key be used for anything at all?  For example, since I was given a working generic working key code from Emachines, can I use her code initially With a full copy of Windows XP, then, change the key code back to the original after the OS has been "repaired"?

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:26 PM
  • You can try performing a "repair install" using your full version Windows XP CD and the product key that came with that CD.  After the repair install is completed, do not attempt to activate.  Instead, use the Windows Product Key Update Tool to change the product key to the one affixed to the eMachine computer, then activate.  You'll likely have to "activate by phone".  Remember, you must only use the correct edition of Windows XP (i.e. Windows XP Home Edition CD with a Windows XP Home Edition product key).

     

    Windows Product Key Update Tool: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/selfhelp/PKUInstructions.aspx

     

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:36 PM
    Moderator
  • I will have to use her key code because I refuse to make him buy another copy of Windows, just because Emachines makes *** and Microsoft can't get their stiff together.  I have a crack that will allow me to change the key code, bypassing the phone calling part.  Can I do that?

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:43 PM
  • I would strongly urge you not to use any "cracks" when it comes to product activation.  Follow the procedure I outlined previously.

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:49 PM
    Moderator
  • So in otherwords you are saying that he has to buy another copy of Windows.

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:53 PM
  •  

    If that is the case, FYI:

     

    He has Windows XP Home...Can I just have him go out and buy Windows XP Home Upgrade?  Or does he need the full?

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:57 PM
  • Or better yet, What if I somehow found the same mobo online and install it?  Is it too late for that, or will that even work?

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 8:02 PM
  • You would need a "full version" of Windows XP Home Edition, not an "upgrade version".

    Example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116056

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 8:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Steve Kramer,

     

    My opinion differs from Carey's in that I do not think that a defective motherboard invalidates your XP license.

     

    To get genuine, you have to borrow from someone what is called a systembuilder/OEM CD for XP Home Edition.  This is a genuine MS hologram CD that does NOT have the name of any computer manufacturer on it.  It has "for use with a new PC" printed in the hologram.  This type of media is used by smaller and neighborhood computer builders to install  a proper OEM license on the computers they build for customers.  If you do a clean installation with that CD using the Product Key that's on your eMachines CoA, you will be able to complete installation.  Finally, you will have to do a telephonic activation to activate.  Since a clean installation destroys all data on the hard disk, be sure to back up any valuable email, pix, docs, music, etc etc that you cannot afford to lose.

     

    I wrote this detailed response to another poster a few months ago, but it applies to you, too:

     

    "There are two types of licenses for XP that consumers will encounter, retail (aka full packaged product), and OEM (original equipment manufacturer).

    Retail licenses may be moved from one computer to another, as long as the license is activated on one computer at a time and as long as the previous installation of the license is removed from the previously licensed computer.

    OEM licenses for XP are tied to the first computer onto which they are installed and the license is not permitted to be moved to any other computer.  For the purposes of defining what a computer is, since a computer is really just a collection of parts, Microsoft has established that the motherboard is the base or "defining" component, and the OEM license is permanently tied to the motherboard.

    There is one exception, the case of a defective motherboard.  If a motheboard becomes defective, you are of course permitted to change it and reinstall your OEM XP license to it.  For reasons stated below, if at all possible, you should replace it with an identical board or the manufacturer's designated replacement.

    The details become sticky when the license was obtained thru a major manufacturer that uses SLP technology, which sets the recovery or repair CD to look for certain bits in the BIOS of the official manufacturer's motherboards.  If such bits are not found, as they would not be if you replaced the defective board with one not from the original computer manufacturer, then the CD will refuse to install XP.  The correct thing to do in these cases is to install XP using a genuine systembuilder/OEM MS XP CDROM, which does not have the SLP technology.  However, when installing, be sure to use the Product Key on the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to the computer, and NOT the Product Key that came with the CD. (Note that retail and Volume License CDs will NOT accept OEM product keys, returning an "invalid product key" error.)  Finally, when installation is complete, do a Telephonic Activation because the OEM PK on the COA will not be accepted by the automated online activation system.  If the automated telephone system also refuses activation, choose the option to speak with an activation rep and explain that you are replacing a defective motherboard and cannot use the manufacturer-supplied recovery CDs.

    One does not "lose their license" for XP if the motherboard becomes defective and has to be replaced.  If the computer owner chooses to use, or because of availablity is forced to use, a board that is not a direct or identical replacement, there has to be a mechanism to accommodate these circumstances, and that is why a telephonic activation is authorized.

    Note that if the computer owner decides to replace the motherboard for performance reasons or to add features or new technology, the defective exception is NOT applicable and a new license for XP is required to be purchased."

     

    Monday, September 24, 2007 4:14 PM
  • I do not wish to do a clean install.  Thank you, but I may have to go with Carey on this one.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 6:09 PM
  • Steve Kramer,

     

    OK, but be advised that full retail copies of XP Home go for around $199.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 10:58 PM
  • So here's the question then,  I have already put this new motherboard in causing the Microsoft validation to come up.  If I find the correct motherboard, will the Validation go away?  Or is it too late?

     

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:37 PM
  • Steve,

     

    You should be able to re-activate if you can't find a similiar motherboard. Please keep in mind what Dan was explaining about the different versions of the EULAs regarding the operating software. Right now I would weigh various situations before making any decision. Hopefully we have answered the question for you. Thank you Steve.

     

     

    Stephen Holm, MS

     

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 7:23 PM
  • First, I would like to thank everyone for all of you knowledge and for taking the time to help me.  I could not find a similiar motherboard though Sad but if I am not mistaken, the other post stated that if I am forced to use another motherboard, they (Microsoft) should activate the key code for me.  Am I hearing this correctly??  If this is true, than why do they keep giving me the run-around?

     

    Thank You,

    Steve

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:12 PM
  • If Microstoft decides to me, I did see a Microsoft Windows XP Home OEM for $89.99.  Will that do the repair installation so that I do not lose settings?

     

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:16 PM
  • Steve,

     

    First please refraim from using the language on the forums. Forums are a public asset used globaly by various users and don't accept the use of language. Now referring to your comment. You have a certain license agreement. Should you have any concerns please contact your system's manufacturer.  The purpose of this forum is the support of Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program. Your question pertains to activation. Please review your End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) and work with the system manufacturer. We have attempted to assist you but activation is outside my area of knowledge. Steve I would like to share one last bit of information:   OEM System, motherboard is changed by the customer themselves and not per the OEM recommendation due to a defect: This is considered a new system and a new license is required. At this point it appears you will be required to purchase a new license.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Stephen Holm, MS

     

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:21 PM
  • Stephen,

     

    Sorry about that, this whole thing has just been driving me crazy.  I appreciate all the help you have provided me with.  It may just be easier to buy a new PC.

     

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 11:07 PM
  • SteveKramer,

     

    If you can gain access to a genuine systembuilder/OEM CD for XP Home, you can use that CD plus the Product Key as printed on the CoA of the eMachines computer to complete a clean installation of XP Home onto the computer.  Once setup is complete, use the Telephic Activation procedure.  If your telephonic activation attempt is rejected by the automated system (as it probably will be), you will be presented with the option to speak with a live activation rep.  Choose that option.

     

    Once in contact with the rep, explain that the motherboard and power supply on the eMachines computer were defective and had to be replaced.  Explain that no direct identical replacement motherboard was available from eMachines so you had to purchase a generic motherboard that does not have the eMachines SLP BIOS information, and that it why you cannot use the eMachines Recovery CD to install XP.  Explain that you are using the genuine generic systembuilder/OEM CDROM to install combined with the Product Key on the eMachines CoA.  I have done this many times personally.

     

    The license for XP Home that you are trying to activate is represented by the CoA (and the Product Key printed on it) that says eMachines on it.

     

    If you are refused by the Product Activation representative, it is because that particular representative is not properly trained.  Ask to be connected to a supervisor, or just hang up and call back later to be connected to a better trained representative.

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 3:17 PM
  • Hi Dan,

     

    I do not wish to do a clean install.  Thank you for your help though.

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 6:08 PM
  • If you purchase a new Windows XP Home Edtion OEM license, such as the one I referenced before from newegg.com, you can perform a "repair install" and then activate normally.

     

    How to perform a Windows XP repair install: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 6:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Carey,

     

    THAT IS THE ANSWER I AM LOOKING FOR!  Thank you!  I posted earlier that I wasn't sure if the $89.99 OEM would have the "Repair" feature on it as opposed to the "Full" or "Retail" version.  I went to that link, and it seems that no reactivation is required.  I take it that it embedds that particular OEM info on the new motherboard??

     

    Thanks again!

    Steve

    Friday, September 28, 2007 8:03 PM
  • Yes, both OEM and Retail Windows XP CDs offer the same repair capability.

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 8:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Wow, this is very useful knowledge. Thanks,

     

    I have ran into this problem twice.

     

    I had a cust with a eMachine, wont boot, power supply tested good. Couldnt find exact motherboard replacement, not available. So I got one that was compatible with this processor installed. I then had to reload XP with a retail CD and had customer try to contact eMachines and Microsoft to activate with no luck.

     

    My next cust with eMachine, power supply was blown, I replaced. Still wouldn't boot. I again had to get a new motherboard that was compatible. The original is not available. Now my only problem is that it is Windows XP Home edition. I do not have this CD. Where can I get this CD from? So that I can reinstall XP Home, with the COA key that is on back of the PC......

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 12:29 AM
  • Many major PC manufacturers, such as eMachine, use "System Locked Pre-installation,"
    or SLP. 

    SLP uses information stored in an OEM PC's BIOS to protect
    the installation from casual piracy.  When installing a eMachine OEM
    version of Windows XP, the eMachine CD compares the PC's BIOS to the
    SLP information. If it matches, Product Activation will succeed.
    If it does not match, Product Activation will fail.  Using a new Product
    Key will also fail because the eMachine BIOS does not exist with
    a non-eMachine motherboard.

     

    If you do not install the same model eMachine motherboard, 
    you'll need to purchase a new "Full Version" copy of Windows XP
    and perform a "repair install".  The OEM Windows XP
    license that originally came with your eMachine PC
    is no longer valid with a non-eMachine motherboard.

    Changing a Motherboard or Moving a Hard Drive with XP Installed
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 1:00 AM
    Moderator