locked
XP Activation problem RRS feed

  • Question

  •      I recently performed a repair installation of XP Pro SP3 on my Dell E510. I got through the repair installation okay. Now, when the computer boots up, and right after I enter my password at the Welcome Screen, I get a message saying, "This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can log on. Do you want to activate with Microsoft now?" or something to that general effect. I have no problem with activating it, as it came with my computer and has been bought and paid for. When I clicked "Yes" it took me to my desktop, and no further. The background image was displayed, my cursor is there and is functional, but there are no icons, no Start menu, no taskbar. Nothing. Every once in a while, the cursor will show some HDD activity, but that's it. I left it like this overnight, thinking it might just be running slow, but it was still the same in the morning. I rebooted the computer, and this time said "No" I didn't want to activate, thinking I could do the Activation by Phone. But, it just logged me out instead. I tried to log on in Safe mode, but it said activation cannot proceed in safe mode. At this point, I am at wit's end. I cannot run the WGA utility tool that you require because I cannot get on my desktop to do so. Any help you could provide would be most appreciated. Thank you.
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:48 PM

Answers

  • Hello slycer_2000,

    Generally no, as long as you have your data backed up to somewhere other than on this computer.

    What was the problem that prompted you to do the repair?


    When stuck at the desktop, did you try CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the Task Manager or the Windows Security window, which has a button for the Task Manager?  If you can get to Task Manager, you can try to run the explorer.exe command to bring up the rest of the desktop, or you can run the specific command to bring up the Activation Wizard, %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a


    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Friday, September 11, 2009 9:07 PM
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:56 PM

All replies

  • Hello slycer_2000,

    At this point you have an activation problem and not a WGA problem.  Activation has to be completed before the WGA utilities kick in.  In fact, the repair reinstallation erased whatever WGA programs that were on the computer before.

    Whatever problem prompted you to try a repair may not have been fixed the by the repair, so you probably want to begin preparations for backup and offload of data and then a clean installation using the Dell-supplied CD or Recovery partition (Dell PC Restore).
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:27 PM
  •   I was thinking the same thing myself. I have a new WD Caviar Green 1TB on its way, should be here in the next day or so, figured I'd reinstall on that and then mount the old HDD as a slave unit to pull the information off. Thanks for the help.

    Quick question: Do you think another repair install would hurt anything, just to make 100% sure?
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:40 PM
  • Hello slycer_2000,

    Generally no, as long as you have your data backed up to somewhere other than on this computer.

    What was the problem that prompted you to do the repair?


    When stuck at the desktop, did you try CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the Task Manager or the Windows Security window, which has a button for the Task Manager?  If you can get to Task Manager, you can try to run the explorer.exe command to bring up the rest of the desktop, or you can run the specific command to bring up the Activation Wizard, %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a


    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Friday, September 11, 2009 9:07 PM
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:56 PM
  • Hello slycer_2000 and Dan at IT Associates plus anyone else,

    I am having exactly the same problem, with the same manifestations described by slycer_2000.  CTRL-ALT-DEL does nothing.  Sometimes I can get it into safe mode, but other times it will not let me without activation - it advises me to restart in normal mode to do the activation!  Ha ha.

    In my case, I ran the repair install after installing a new motherboard with a different chipset.  The old motherboard burned out, that's why the machine wound up in my shop.  XP does not handle this situation well, and one is forced to try the repair install.  Usually it works, but not this time.  It is a bit like pulling the lever on a slot machine.

    It would be nice to have a backup on another machine, but that is not the cards dealt here.

    I have a semi-retirement computer business in a very small town (Rumney NH), and I don't like to lose the client's data and applications by a total reinstall.

    I'm glad I do not depend on this for a living, but would still like to avoid being tarred and feathered by clients who trust me to fix their computer.  Microsoft operating systems are too fragile and their activation paranoia makes bad situations worse.

    Pkease help if you can.  Also, I will follow this up after (if) I awake from this particular nightmare.
    Friday, October 2, 2009 6:13 AM