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Am I screwed? RRS feed

  • Question

  • In early 2002, I purchased hardware to build 6 PCs along with one full OEM Windows XP Pro package (CD, book, COA) and 5 additional COA stickers from a reputable(?) vendor. (I still buy from the same vendor today.) They said just buying the licenses like I did was fine at the time. I built three of the PCs for my church and had no problems activating Windows off of those COA's. About 6-8 months later, I built the other two PCs and had problems activating. Microsoft support told me it wasn't a problem becuase my CD and COA lables were genuine and gave me new product keys over the phone. Everything was fine until this a few months ago...

    After WGA was installed on one of my original church PCs, it said our product key had been reported as stolen. I opened up a new case and got the standard canned reply to run the WGA Diagnostic tool. By the time I got around to trying it, we couldn't even log into the PC. Because we had the pilot version of WGA, several people suggested we try to remove it. I used the official instructions and removed it. Now, Windows says we must activate it... I have emailed replies to my opened case every week, including copies to my case worker's manager for the last 6 weeks with NOT A SINGLE REPLY. I don't dare do any updates to my other two church PCs until I get this one resolved.

    Am I screwed? Since Support stopped replying to my emails, do I have to break down and just buy retail copies of XP Pro for these three PCs?

     

    Thanks,

    Dennis

     

    Thursday, October 5, 2006 2:24 AM

Answers

  • Dennis,

    In hindsight, it would seem that many or all of the "licenses" you purchased, even if valid at the time, have since been compromised by irregular practices and have been flagged by MS as no longer genuine.

    Under NO circumstances should you purchase a COA without the rest of what should accompany it.  In fact, IIRC, that practice has been made illegal here in the USA.  Legitimate XP systembuilder/OEM licenses each come with:

    1.  Genuine MS hologram XP CDROM

    2.  Genuine COA for the correct edition, with "OEM Software" in black lettering, affixed to the exterior of the computer case.

    3.  Genuine User Guide thin pamphlet.

    4.  When installed as required by the systembuilder agreement using the OPK, the end user will be presented with an End User Licensing Agreement upon first starting the computer.

    Unless you have all four, you don't have a proper XP systembuilder license.

    Saturday, October 7, 2006 2:01 PM

All replies

  • Dennis:

     

    Have you tried telephone activation?

     

    -phil

    Thursday, October 5, 2006 3:32 AM
  • Phil,

    I tried to do the telephone activation twice and was told I had an invalid product key both times even after reentering my key and generating new installation IDs. From the last time I paid the $35 support call fee, I knew I could hit the 0 key on my phone repeatedly right after saying I wanted to activate Windows XP and get to a real person. (If you hit it too soon, your call is disconnected. Why do you have to pay to get information like that???) That person had me go through the same thing again. Same invalid product key message. He transferred me to a customer rep who asked me a bunch of questions (Who built the PC--Me, how many times has copy been reloaded--None, etc.) and said she couldn't help me. She extorted $35 from me to let me speak to a technician who conferenced me in with two separate activation people and another customer rep (all asking me the same questions over and over and over...) to no avail. He then had me change registry settings and repeat the above process AGAIN. Still same invalid product key errors.  He then had me do a repair/reinstall of Windows XP and repeat the above AGAIN. STILL I got the same invalid product key error twice during the telephone activation. Out of options, he then conferenced in a customer rep and begged her to give me a new product key. After answering a bunch of other questions she issued me a product key that worked on the first try. (Well, after talking to yet another activation person.)

    After sitting on the phone for a total of 3 hours and 21 minutes, talking to 9 different Microsoft people with accents so thick I could hardly understand a word (Drew, Sunny, Byron, Jane, Gwen, Jack, Sandip, and two I couldn't understand at all), half an hour with the Star Trek sounding computer activation voice, fiddling with registry settings in safe mode, 5 reboots, and reinstalling Windows, I have ONE computer fixed.

    Thanks for your advice. In a roundabout way, it really did fix my problem. I think I'll just go buy new copies of XP for the other two computers. Or, isn't there a program where I can buy a new licenses online? My head still hurts from that phone call and I'd rather just buy new licenses than waste 6 more hours on computers that ran prefectly for 4+ years until I agreed to the WGA license because I knew I was running genuine software...

     

    Thanks,

    Dennis

    Friday, October 6, 2006 8:59 PM
  • Dennis,

    In hindsight, it would seem that many or all of the "licenses" you purchased, even if valid at the time, have since been compromised by irregular practices and have been flagged by MS as no longer genuine.

    Under NO circumstances should you purchase a COA without the rest of what should accompany it.  In fact, IIRC, that practice has been made illegal here in the USA.  Legitimate XP systembuilder/OEM licenses each come with:

    1.  Genuine MS hologram XP CDROM

    2.  Genuine COA for the correct edition, with "OEM Software" in black lettering, affixed to the exterior of the computer case.

    3.  Genuine User Guide thin pamphlet.

    4.  When installed as required by the systembuilder agreement using the OPK, the end user will be presented with an End User Licensing Agreement upon first starting the computer.

    Unless you have all four, you don't have a proper XP systembuilder license.

    Saturday, October 7, 2006 2:01 PM
  • Dan,

     

    Good advice. The only thing Customer Support could tell me was that my product key was legitimate but had been flagged as invalid for activation.

    At the time I bought these, the vendor recommended me getting the COAs like I did to save my church some money. I thought they were doing me a favor. I called them a couple of weeks ago to try to get them to give me new licenses. They said no (of course) because they said it was legal to sell me the COAs like they did at the time I bought them.

    Sunday, October 8, 2006 12:05 AM