Update a Product Key RRS feed

  • Question

  • I work in a health system where old machines getting ready for disposal are often used for testing.
    Each machine has the XP OS key but each is different.  Often as we update to a different machine, we want to start with a saved OS image with our testing enviroment settings confirgured.

    I can rebuild the OS on the machine with no problem but since the Key is different for each machine, when I move to a newer model, it requires validation and often fails. 

    Is there a way I can update the key to the new machine on the original image before trying validation so it is likely to work correctly. 

    The machine image often contains configuration settings that take some time to recreate and I am looking to avoid this. 
    • Split by RickImAPC Monday, September 15, 2008 3:41 PM How to Update a Product Key
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 6:10 PM


  • HgFjr,

    Thank you for contacting the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program forum. I understand that you have a question about updating a product key on a machine. A Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity for XP Professional affixed to your system indicates there is a strong likelihood your system is still licensed to run XP Professional.

    The following link will assist you with detailed instructions for updating and using the Product Key (PK) Update Utility.


    Next you will be required to select the version of Windows currently installed on your system. The PK Update Utility was designed to update a non-genuine key previously used to activate XP and/or Vista with a known good product key. If you have antivirus, antispyware, or firewall programs installed, please make sure these programs are set to allow the product key update utility to have full access to the Internet so it may perform correctly.

    If the above fails, you may need telephone activation information.

    Your issue is related to Windows Product Activation.  The purpose of this forum is the support of the WGA program and your question falls out of the scope for our support. In an attempt to assist I would like to provide some information which may or may not help. I do suggest trying to activate using the “Activate by Phone” method from the activation Wizard. Telephone numbers for Activation Centers vary by product license and country/region. Use the number provided on your Activation Wizard screen to call the Microsoft Activation Center.  Please follow the below guidance for telephone activation for activating Windows. 

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


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

    Or, click the Windows Activation icon in the taskbar notification area next to the clock.


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


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


    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.


    When activation is completed and you receive the following message:

    You have successfully activated your copy of Windows

    Then click OK.

    For more information on how to activate Windows XP see the following link:


    Also you may reference the following site for various telephone activation centers:


    Here is the website for international support and the contact information:


    After you finish the above steps please restart the computer and try to validate Windows again. See the following link:


    Please locate the “Validate Windows” button in the upper right hand corner. Double click on the button and follow the guidance. We hope this information was helpful for you. 

    Rick, MS

    • Marked as answer by RickImAPC Monday, September 15, 2008 3:47 PM
    Monday, September 15, 2008 3:46 PM