XP validation problem RRS feed

  • Question

  • I used to live in the States (Houston TX) and bought a Dell Laptop which did not come with any XP recovery CDs. I now live in the Middle East (Qatar) The laptop has a Windows XP sticker on the bottom with the  license info on it.  Sometime ago I had a hard disk failure and got it repaired.  Recently I have received the  WGA validation error and my screen background is black.

    I suspect that when the machine was repaired they may have installed a non genuine version of XP.  I bought my machine with a valid factory installation of XP from Dell. If it is corect that the XP version on the laptop is non geniune, how can I update the license key to refer to the original genuine license information on the sticker on the bottom?

    Thursday, August 6, 2009 9:44 AM


  • Hello brodiet,

      What you describe is a very common issue. We call it the 'Repair Shop Scenario'.

      There are two ways to resolve the problem:

    1) First try the Product Key Update Tool (http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/selfhelp/XPPkuinst.aspx) to exchange the Non-Genuine Key for the Genuine Product Key (called an OEM COA Product Key) found on the sticker on the computer.

    (Note: The tool checks that the software hasn't been damaged or modified in some way. If it has, the tool won't make the exchange)

    2) Reinstall XP using the key from the sticker.  It is recommended that you use the recovery software for that specific computer model (Dell may be able to provide replacment software) but as long as the software is OEM, it is likely to work (Retail software, however, usually will not work with an OEM COA key)

    Thank you,
    Darin MS
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 7:21 PM