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USB drive requires XP re-activation RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is it normal for WinXP Pro to require re-activation each time an external USB hard drive is plugged in or unplugged? This seems quite odd since the idea of an external drive is that it is EXTERNAL. 
    Monday, December 27, 2010 3:15 AM

Answers

  • "Jordan456" wrote in message news:747972e2-17fc-45a0-bfde-9acf4b459a88...
    I ran the The XPInfo Utility. It is indicating my graphics adapter has changed. The fact is it has never changed as it is on-board graphics-- and I've never installed any other. XPInfo also indicates the IDE controller has changed, which is not the case. Given XPInfo's rather old 2003 vintage, shouldn't I be skeptical of the info it is providing with XP SP3?


    I ran XPInfo with the USB hard drive still attached but I did not run it with the drive unplugged since I'm still very concerned about the effect on my license that repeated activations would have. You stated that re-activation with the same hardware doesn't use a 'life', but isn't that exactly the problem. Meaning, if I remove and then re-attach the USB hard drive, the system thinks I DO NOT have the same hardware. It thinks I'm removing existing hardware and adding new hardware. I'm hoping for the best, but in your description of MS policy you used the terms 'in theory', 'although', 'may get snotty', 'if it feels', and 'usually' all in the space of two short sentences. To be frank-- that has me concerned enough to never unplug the drive.


    Regarding Removable Device-- If you are asking if the USB hard drive appears as a 'Removable Device' in the 'Safely Remove Hardware' applet in the Taskbar.... Yes it is indeed listed as a 'Removable Device' there.

    If I use the Windows Explorer 'Show in Groups' option, the USB hard drive is listed in Explorer's 'Hard Disk Drives' group as a 'Local Disk'. It is not listed as a 'Removable Disk' in the 'Devices with Removable Storage' group. Although as I understand it, this is a function of how the firmware in the external drive's drive controller tells XP to list the drive and cannot be changed.


    I Checked BIOS boot options. The BIOS settings for this computer do not provide a means for specifically excluding 'other devices' or USB from the boot process. It does provide for exclusion of what it calls 'removable' devices from the boot process, however, the USB hard drive is seen by the BIOS as a hard drive, not a removable device. It is therefore listed in the BIOS boot options as a bootable hard drive. There is no way to exclude it from this boot list of hard drives. The boot order/priority of drives can be changed but drives can't be excluded from the list of bootable drives.


    Regarding VM's-- I'm currently learning how to set up and run XP on VMware Player. Still requires a legal XP license, activation and re-activation if many changes are made though so it is only a solution as long as one has an XP license that can still be activated. Player seems to be much faster and have more capabilities than Win7 XP-Mode.


    Although.... I suppose it is safe to assume that MS will continue to sell Win7 XP-Mode for the foreseeable future. That would mean -- at least until they stop selling it -- that there will be a means to run XP (on Win 7 anyway) if one cannot find an actual XP license.


    >>>Odd about your access problems - I have no problem at any time of day/night. Maybe it's your local network?

    It is a regional problem in some areas of NW US. Does not matter what ISP one is with or what town one is in -- you simply are not going to access some MS sites at busy times like noon and 4:00 - 6:00 PM. May well not actually be MS servers, but there is a MS-only bottleneck somewhere. Non-MS sites are fine at the same times. Its nothing new-- its been this way for many years.

    Sometimes updating drivers can trigger the activation flags - and if you happen to do enough updates at the same time this will trigger a re-activation request.
    I suspect that your access problems may be down to flooded DNS servers or transparent proxies at the ISP - I access from the UK on any ISP without a problem.
     
    VM Player is not really intended for use as a full VM, as I recall - more for demo purposes (but it's a few years since I played with it).
    To all intents and purposes, XP Mode should be a fully-functional XP machine - it's not like an ordinary VPC install which has problems with USB, etc.
     
    Odd that your BIOS sees the USB drive as a  fixed device - and I suspect that this is the root of your problem.Ensure that none of the partitions on your USB Drive are marked as 'Active', and that it is set as the last boot device - hopefully that will minimise the effects.
    Are there any updates available for the BIOS? (one could always hope that they fixed this at some point!)
     
    (I do always try to use good CYA practice - I've been caught out too many time where what  I 'knew' was true turned out to be the exception, rather than the rule <g>)
     
    Incidentally - once the flags are set (the ones that XPInfo sees) the only time they get reset is when Windows is re-activated, or when the timer runs out after (IIRC) 120 days from the date of the change. As far as I am aware, the information that XP Info provides is still perfectly valid (but you could ask Licenturion for confirmation), as the only changes to XP Activation were made in SP1, that I recall.
    For more details on what XP Activation entails, read the following article by a (unfortunately late) friend of mine - it's been kept updated since his death, so is still valid.
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:24 AM
    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 2:00 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • "Jordan456" wrote in message news:f6d2b730-0007-4843-b446-7c5e6d71c077...
    Is it normal for WinXP Pro to require re-activation each time an external USB hard drive is plugged in or unplugged? This seems quite odd since the idea of an external drive is that it is EXTERNAL. 

    No- it's not normal, at all!
    All I can think is that the hardware enumeration is borked in some way, or there are other problems with activation that the USB triggers
    To start with, please provide an MGADiag report of the machine in its normal state, and another when the request for activation shows - we may be able to see what's happening
    To properly analyse and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the report produced by the MGADiag tool (download and save to desktop - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 )
    Once saved, run the tool.
    Click on the Continue button, which will produce the report.
    To copy the report to your response, click on the Copy button in the tool (ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your response.
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Monday, December 27, 2010 9:31 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the response. Sorry this reply is so late but the MS forum servers are apparently so busy the only time I can access the forums is later at night.         
             
    I was aware of the need to post a MGADiag report but wanted to know if this is a normal condition or not before doing that.         
             
    The PC in question has a retail end-user license install of WinXP Pro with all current updates as far as I am aware. This USB external hard drive is the only USB item that causes the issue to occur. I regularly use USB flash drives and I use USB connections to download image files from a camera. These other USB items can be connected and unconnected multiple times without causing an activation condition to occur. In fact I've never had an activation occur for several years with the exception of those caused by the USB harddrive.          
             
    I'm sure it is not a case of me having made changes to the PC that were 'adding up' and unplugging the USB drive finally triggered an activation.  A) I have not made any hardware changes --and--  B) The activation condition is immediate. Back when I installed the USB drive, I rebooted the PC after getting the drive to work and on that reboot (with USB drive connected) WinXP required re-activation even though I made no other changes then or for several years prior. A short time later I unplugged the USB drive (while the PC was turned off) to use it on a laptop. The next time I booted up the PC I had forgotten that I had the USB drive on my laptop. As soon as WinXP began to start up on the PC (with the USB drive not connected) it required activation again. This in spite of the fact that absolutely no other changes had been made to the PC. In fact it had not even been turned on!!          
             
    BTW the above mentioned laptop is Win7 64 bit and connecting/disconnecting the same USB external hard drive from it has never caused a Win 7 activation request. However that is a Win 7 OEM installation so I suspect it would not be subject to the same sort of activation situation.         
             
    >>>To start with, please provide an MGADiag report of the machine in its normal state, and another when the request for activation shows>>>         
             
    I've included the MGADiag report as the PC is now -- with the USB drive connected -- however I don't think I can afford to 'waste' another activation by disconnecting the USB drive to cause an activation request. I absolutely have to have WinXP in my business because I need to use several older technical engineering programs every day that will not run in Win 7 and which will never be updated. I've already 'wasted' 3 activations with this problem. I'm afraid to 'waste' any more for fear MS will deny activation at some point. I'm at the point where I need to add more RAM and replace a burned-out DVD writer-- which may cause yet another activation. If I use up all my activations, I would be totally locked out of programs that are mandatory to my earning a living. (Seems an unfair circumstance but I don't see any solution.) I've looked around and cannot even find any XP licenses to buy for 'insurance'.

    Diagnostic Report (1.9.0027.0):
    -----------------------------------------
    Windows Validation Data-->
    Validation Status: Genuine
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    Cached Validation Code: N/A
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-C33F2-F9HF4-2FB8V
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    Windows Product ID Type: 5
    Windows License Type: Retail
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    ID: {D63EDAEE-343C-4DD4-A5C8-9866E411C99D}(3)
    Is Admin: Yes
    TestCab: 0x0
    LegitcheckControl ActiveX: Registered, 1.9.40.0
    Signed By: Microsoft
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    TTS Error: N/A
    Validation Diagnostic: 025D1FF3-230-1
    Resolution Status: N/A

    Vista WgaER Data-->
    ThreatID(s): N/A
    Version: N/A

    Windows XP Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: 0
    File Exists: Yes
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    WgaTray.exe Signed By: Microsoft
    WgaLogon.dll Signed By: Microsoft

    OGA Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
    Version: 2.0.48.0
    OGAExec.exe Signed By: Microsoft
    OGAAddin.dll Signed By: Microsoft

    OGA Data-->
    Office Status: 100 Genuine
    Microsoft Publisher 2002 - 100 Genuine
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    Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 - 100 Genuine
    OGA Version: Registered, 2.0.48.0
    Signed By: Microsoft
    Office Diagnostics: 77F760FE-153-80070002_7E90FEE8-175-80070002_025D1FF3-230-1

    Browser Data-->
    Proxy settings: N/A
    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Win32)
    Default Browser: D:\Opera\Opera.exe
    Download signed ActiveX controls: Prompt
    Download unsigned ActiveX controls: Disabled
    Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Allowed
    Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe: Disabled
    Allow scripting of Internet Explorer Webbrowser control: Disabled
    Active scripting: Allowed
    Script ActiveX controls marked as safe for scripting: Allowed

    File Scan Data-->

    Other data-->
    Office Details: <GenuineResults><MachineData><UGUID>{D63EDAEE-343C-4DD4-A5C8-9866E411C99D}</UGUID><Version>1.9.0027.0</Version><OS>5.1.2600.2.00010100.3.0.pro</OS><Architecture>x32</Architecture><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-2FB8V</PKey><PID>55276-011-7703821-22494</PID><PIDType>5</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-1275210071-1957994488-839522115</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>Gateway</Manufacturer><Model>T3410</Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>Phoenix Technologies, LTD</Manufacturer><Version>6.00 PG</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="3"/><Date>20051111000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>8A1931770184C06C</HWID><UserLCID>0409</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>Pacific Standard Time(GMT-08:00)</TimeZone><iJoin>0</iJoin><SBID><stat>2</stat><msppid></msppid><name>eMachines</name><model>T3410</model></SBID><OEM/><GANotification><File Name="WgaTray.exe" Version="1.9.40.0"/><File Name="WgaLogon.dll" Version="1.9.40.0"/><File Name="OGAAddin.dll" Version="2.0.48.0"/></GANotification></MachineData><Software><Office><Result>100</Result><Products><Product GUID="{90190409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0050048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Publisher 2002</Name><Ver>10</Ver><Val>3330DF6D97557D8</Val><Hash>2jeF12XzARJtF76/4cbHIAg2djE=</Hash><Pid>54197-750-4312121-16285</Pid><PidType>1</PidType></Product><Product GUID="{91120409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003</Name><Ver>11</Ver><Val>314BAE6E4B22DD2</Val><Hash>6qrMLfH7O9y9Wb1JHhaFX0iqqag=</Hash><Pid>70141-745-1562232-56852</Pid><PidType>1</PidType></Product><Product GUID="{91170409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003</Name><Ver>11</Ver><Val>2D5A6F063D90DF3</Val><Hash>4KAFHcCjK39KeoK0ODV1ZKQwbHc=</Hash><Pid>72079-761-0825337-55946</Pid><PidType>1</PidType></Product></Products><Applications><App Id="19" Version="10" Result="100"/><App Id="16" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="17" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="18" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="1A" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="1B" Version="11" Result="100"/></Applications></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

    Licensing Data-->
    N/A

    Windows Activation Technologies-->
    N/A

    HWID Data-->
    N/A

    OEM Activation 1.0 Data-->
    BIOS string matches: yes
    Marker string from BIOS: 1C7A0:emachines inc|1C7A0:Gateway, Inc
    Marker string from OEMBIOS.DAT: N/A, hr = 0x80004005

    OEM Activation 2.0 Data-->
    N/A

     

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2:56 AM
  • "Jordan456" wrote in message news:7fcda44d-e657-4d18-84a0-c08ae076659b...

    Thanks for the response. Sorry this reply is so late but the MS forum servers are apparently so busy the only time I can access the forums is later at night.         
             
    I was aware of the need to post a MGADiag report but wanted to know if this is a normal condition or not before doing that.         
             
    The PC in question has a retail end-user license install of WinXP Pro with all current updates as far as I am aware. This USB external hard drive is the only USB item that causes the issue to occur. I regularly use USB flash drives and I use USB connections to download image files from a camera. These other USB items can be connected and unconnected multiple times without causing an activation condition to occur. In fact I've never had an activation occur for several years with the exception of those caused by the USB harddrive.          
             
    I'm sure it is not a case of me having made changes to the PC that were 'adding up' and unplugging the USB drive finally triggered an activation.  A) I have not made any hardware changes --and--  B) The activation condition is immediate. Back when I installed the USB drive, I rebooted the PC after getting the drive to work and on that reboot (with USB drive connected) WinXP required re-activation even though I made no other changes then or for several years prior. A short time later I unplugged the USB drive (while the PC was turned off) to use it on a laptop. The next time I booted up the PC I had forgotten that I had the USB drive on my laptop. As soon as WinXP began to start up on the PC (with the USB drive not connected) it required activation again. This in spite of the fact that absolutely no other changes had been made to the PC. In fact it had not even been turned on!!          
             
    BTW the above mentioned laptop is Win7 64 bit and connecting/disconnecting the same USB external hard drive from it has never caused a Win 7 activation request. However that is a Win 7 OEM installation so I suspect it would not be subject to the same sort of activation situation.         
             
    >>>To start with, please provide an MGADiag report of the machine in its normal state, and another when the request for activation shows>>>         
             
    I've included the MGADiag report as the PC is now -- with the USB drive connected -- however I don't think I can afford to 'waste' another activation by disconnecting the USB drive to cause an activation request. I absolutely have to have WinXP in my business because I need to use several older technical engineering programs every day that will not run in Win 7 and which will never be updated. I've already 'wasted' 3 activations with this problem. I'm afraid to 'waste' any more for fear MS will deny activation at some point. I'm at the point where I need to add more RAM and replace a burned-out DVD writer-- which may cause yet another activation. If I use up all my activations, I would be totally locked out of programs that are mandatory to my earning a living. (Seems an unfair circumstance but I don't see any solution.) I've looked around and cannot even find any XP licenses to buy for 'insurance'.

     


    Odd about your access problems - I have no problem at any time of day/night. Maybe it's your local network?
     
    I can se nothing wrong with your report - so it makes a good baseline to work from.
     
    In respect of activations.....
    1) a Retail license in theory has unlimited activations - although yes, MS may get snotty if it feels that a license is being abused, and block a Key. In such cases a phone call with the right information will usually result in the issue of a new Key
    2) re-activation with the same hardware doesn't use a 'life'
    3) OEM installs of OS's (start out) use an OEM_SLP Key which is self-activating 
     
    One thing that may prove enlightening is running the following tool on your machine (again before/during the problem), which displays the hardware activation status
    download the XPInfo Utility, unzip it (then read the readme) - run it to see what the hardware status is currently, then again when the activation request is showing
     
    Is the USB drive showing as being a Removable Device? - if not then that may be your problem, and you should look in Device Manager to change that.
     
    Have you considered running your application inside an XP Virtual Machine or inside XP Mode? (either would mean not having to dual-boot)
    ....which  dings a bell for me!
    Check your BIOS boot options.
     Disable booting from 'other devices' and make sure that your boot order does not include the USB port.
    reboot
    then plug in the USB drive..... any joy?
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 10:02 AM
    Moderator
  • I ran the The XPInfo Utility. It is indicating my graphics adapter has changed. The fact is it has never changed as it is on-board graphics-- and I've never installed any other. XPInfo also indicates the IDE controller has changed, which is not the case. Given XPInfo's rather old 2003 vintage, shouldn't I be skeptical of the info it is providing with XP SP3?


    I ran XPInfo with the USB hard drive still attached but I did not run it with the drive unplugged since I'm still very concerned about the effect on my license that repeated activations would have. You stated that re-activation with the same hardware doesn't use a 'life', but isn't that exactly the problem. Meaning, if I remove and then re-attach the USB hard drive, the system thinks I DO NOT have the same hardware. It thinks I'm removing existing hardware and adding new hardware. I'm hoping for the best, but in your description of MS policy you used the terms 'in theory', 'although', 'may get snotty', 'if it feels', and 'usually' all in the space of two short sentences. To be frank-- that has me concerned enough to never unplug the drive.


    Regarding Removable Device-- If you are asking if the USB hard drive appears as a 'Removable Device' in the 'Safely Remove Hardware' applet in the Taskbar.... Yes it is indeed listed as a 'Removable Device' there.

    If I use the Windows Explorer 'Show in Groups' option, the USB hard drive is listed in Explorer's 'Hard Disk Drives' group as a 'Local Disk'. It is not listed as a 'Removable Disk' in the 'Devices with Removable Storage' group. Although as I understand it, this is a function of how the firmware in the external drive's drive controller tells XP to list the drive and cannot be changed.


    I Checked BIOS boot options. The BIOS settings for this computer do not provide a means for specifically excluding 'other devices' or USB from the boot process. It does provide for exclusion of what it calls 'removable' devices from the boot process, however, the USB hard drive is seen by the BIOS as a hard drive, not a removable device. It is therefore listed in the BIOS boot options as a bootable hard drive. There is no way to exclude it from this boot list of hard drives. The boot order/priority of drives can be changed but drives can't be excluded from the list of bootable drives.


    Regarding VM's-- I'm currently learning how to set up and run XP on VMware Player. Still requires a legal XP license, activation and re-activation if many changes are made though so it is only a solution as long as one has an XP license that can still be activated. Player seems to be much faster and have more capabilities than Win7 XP-Mode.


    Although.... I suppose it is safe to assume that MS will continue to sell Win7 XP-Mode for the foreseeable future. That would mean -- at least until they stop selling it -- that there will be a means to run XP (on Win 7 anyway) if one cannot find an actual XP license.


    >>>Odd about your access problems - I have no problem at any time of day/night. Maybe it's your local network?

    It is a regional problem in some areas of NW US. Does not matter what ISP one is with or what town one is in -- you simply are not going to access some MS sites at busy times like noon and 4:00 - 6:00 PM. May well not actually be MS servers, but there is a MS-only bottleneck somewhere. Non-MS sites are fine at the same times. Its nothing new-- its been this way for many years.
    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 1:08 PM
  • Hello Jordan456,

    Since this is a problem rare enough for both Noel and I (and you) to have never encountered it, and since this happens only with this one USB connected disk and nothing else, I would suggest that the answer has to do with the disk--either the idiosyncracies of the particular interface used by the enclosure, or perhaps as suggest by Noel, the partitioning of the file system of the disc itself.

    Have you tried connecting this disk to another XP machine to see what happens, if anything?

    Have you tried copying or transfering the contents of this disk to another media, and running your obsolete programs from there?

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 1:32 PM
  • "Jordan456" wrote in message news:747972e2-17fc-45a0-bfde-9acf4b459a88...
    I ran the The XPInfo Utility. It is indicating my graphics adapter has changed. The fact is it has never changed as it is on-board graphics-- and I've never installed any other. XPInfo also indicates the IDE controller has changed, which is not the case. Given XPInfo's rather old 2003 vintage, shouldn't I be skeptical of the info it is providing with XP SP3?


    I ran XPInfo with the USB hard drive still attached but I did not run it with the drive unplugged since I'm still very concerned about the effect on my license that repeated activations would have. You stated that re-activation with the same hardware doesn't use a 'life', but isn't that exactly the problem. Meaning, if I remove and then re-attach the USB hard drive, the system thinks I DO NOT have the same hardware. It thinks I'm removing existing hardware and adding new hardware. I'm hoping for the best, but in your description of MS policy you used the terms 'in theory', 'although', 'may get snotty', 'if it feels', and 'usually' all in the space of two short sentences. To be frank-- that has me concerned enough to never unplug the drive.


    Regarding Removable Device-- If you are asking if the USB hard drive appears as a 'Removable Device' in the 'Safely Remove Hardware' applet in the Taskbar.... Yes it is indeed listed as a 'Removable Device' there.

    If I use the Windows Explorer 'Show in Groups' option, the USB hard drive is listed in Explorer's 'Hard Disk Drives' group as a 'Local Disk'. It is not listed as a 'Removable Disk' in the 'Devices with Removable Storage' group. Although as I understand it, this is a function of how the firmware in the external drive's drive controller tells XP to list the drive and cannot be changed.


    I Checked BIOS boot options. The BIOS settings for this computer do not provide a means for specifically excluding 'other devices' or USB from the boot process. It does provide for exclusion of what it calls 'removable' devices from the boot process, however, the USB hard drive is seen by the BIOS as a hard drive, not a removable device. It is therefore listed in the BIOS boot options as a bootable hard drive. There is no way to exclude it from this boot list of hard drives. The boot order/priority of drives can be changed but drives can't be excluded from the list of bootable drives.


    Regarding VM's-- I'm currently learning how to set up and run XP on VMware Player. Still requires a legal XP license, activation and re-activation if many changes are made though so it is only a solution as long as one has an XP license that can still be activated. Player seems to be much faster and have more capabilities than Win7 XP-Mode.


    Although.... I suppose it is safe to assume that MS will continue to sell Win7 XP-Mode for the foreseeable future. That would mean -- at least until they stop selling it -- that there will be a means to run XP (on Win 7 anyway) if one cannot find an actual XP license.


    >>>Odd about your access problems - I have no problem at any time of day/night. Maybe it's your local network?

    It is a regional problem in some areas of NW US. Does not matter what ISP one is with or what town one is in -- you simply are not going to access some MS sites at busy times like noon and 4:00 - 6:00 PM. May well not actually be MS servers, but there is a MS-only bottleneck somewhere. Non-MS sites are fine at the same times. Its nothing new-- its been this way for many years.

    Sometimes updating drivers can trigger the activation flags - and if you happen to do enough updates at the same time this will trigger a re-activation request.
    I suspect that your access problems may be down to flooded DNS servers or transparent proxies at the ISP - I access from the UK on any ISP without a problem.
     
    VM Player is not really intended for use as a full VM, as I recall - more for demo purposes (but it's a few years since I played with it).
    To all intents and purposes, XP Mode should be a fully-functional XP machine - it's not like an ordinary VPC install which has problems with USB, etc.
     
    Odd that your BIOS sees the USB drive as a  fixed device - and I suspect that this is the root of your problem.Ensure that none of the partitions on your USB Drive are marked as 'Active', and that it is set as the last boot device - hopefully that will minimise the effects.
    Are there any updates available for the BIOS? (one could always hope that they fixed this at some point!)
     
    (I do always try to use good CYA practice - I've been caught out too many time where what  I 'knew' was true turned out to be the exception, rather than the rule <g>)
     
    Incidentally - once the flags are set (the ones that XPInfo sees) the only time they get reset is when Windows is re-activated, or when the timer runs out after (IIRC) 120 days from the date of the change. As far as I am aware, the information that XP Info provides is still perfectly valid (but you could ask Licenturion for confirmation), as the only changes to XP Activation were made in SP1, that I recall.
    For more details on what XP Activation entails, read the following article by a (unfortunately late) friend of mine - it's been kept updated since his death, so is still valid.
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:24 AM
    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 2:00 PM
    Moderator