Closed Solved

howto activate windows xp

I need to (re)activate a fully licensed Windows XP64 installation. But, the MS activation server seems to be off-line. What to do?

Why XP?
My company has some expensive special purpose HW with custom drivers that are critical for a long term project. There are no drivers available for any other version of Windows, and the company that wrote the current ones is no longer in business. The system is never used for browsing or such, so Internet security is not an issue. I just replaced a broken HD, cloned the contents from a recent backup to a new HD, replaced a dying CD reader, and it seems I tripped MS's activation threshold. Yes, I could go with the XP emulation offered under Win7. But, if I can just get the current WinXP re-activated quickly, that would be better. What I had, worked just fine for many years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So, the question is "I know MS no longer supports XP re patches, updates, & such. But, do they provide a way to re-activate existing installations?".
24 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about howto activate windows
  1. Best answer
    You could do it over the phone.
    https://support.microsoft.com/kb/307890

    But why XP?
  2. XP is NO LONGER SUPPORTED BY MICROSOFT. As such, like trying to register Windows 2000 or other older OSes they 'pulled the plug' and you can't use it that way anymore it seems.

    Current 'off the shelf PC' with FULLY SUPPORTED Windows 8.1 Update is ONLY $249 Walmart Desktop OR LAPTOP. You will not believe how 'fast' it feels even on a low end system like the $249 as compared to your current system.
  3. Tom Tancredi said:
    XP is NO LONGER SUPPORTED BY MICROSOFT. As such, like trying to register Windows 2000 or other older OSes they 'pulled the plug' and you can't use it that way anymore it seems.


    No longer supported, but I'm not sure of the status of the XP activation server system. I've not been able to find out anything specific, yea or nay.

    As you said though....why bother with XP?
  4. I'm pretty sure you can still activate it, but they might have taken the servers offline. Just do phone activation.
  5. FALC0N said:
    I'm pretty sure you can still activate it, but they might have taken the servers offline. Just do phone activation.


    No that makes no sense. Why would I (M$) stop funding automated server authentication that has a much smaller cost than the cost of multiple call center buildings, electricity / upkeep of those buildings, desks, furniture, security, computer systems, then the users of those system (call center person your saying to call), management and associated HR costs for having those employees, the facilities and computer people to keep all that running, all to take phone calls that automated systems regionalized in virtual server farms would be ALOT LESS COSTS?

    And don't say "oh they already have those and they just do the XP too", because you just double to triple your workers 'calls' and now they can NOT answer for the products they do support. Do you really want to be on hold a hour and a half to get a answer why Office365 isn't saving a document? Or how your hardware partner's new HP Tablet needs a restore and how to do that in Windows 8 for great grandma in Connecticut?

    See if they kill one, they kill both. You would call in, they would politely inform you that they do not provide support for depreciated software (BTW you would get the same answer right now on your Windows 7 question too, because as a CONSUMER - aka not Corporate account - Windows 7 is no longer supported) and would offer the opportunity to upgrade to currently supported Operating System.
  6. I have never had to 'activate' my XP installs. I don't even have the network cable plugged in while installing. I enter the activation code and bingo, it works. I do have corporate serial though that works for 8 pcs.
  7. VLK's on XP don't require activation.

    Tom, I have no idea where you got the idea that MS isn't activating XP or windows 7. Not correct at all.
  8. Rocko1976 said:
    I have never had to 'activate' my XP installs. I don't even have the network cable plugged in while installing. I enter the activation code and bingo, it works. I do have corporate serial though that works for 8 pcs.


    Does the corporation allow you to do that, otherwise your speaking about a PIRATED edition, and Tomshardware does not support or allow any such discussions about that. As soon as you plug in your network connection it 'activates' or else you wouldn't be receiving updates, it would block you after 30 days.

    Additionally the rules about XP apply to Corp edition too. Currently I am quite aware each computer costs a additional $200 this year with XP on it, and then will be charged a additional $400 next year from Microsoft for Corp Accounts, and I any 'fixes' has to be done as a Engineering purchased project, which starts at $15K to INITIATE the process, not even to actually do the work / provide a solution, that is a additional cost. So financially it isn't beneficial to any company out there (costs exceed that of a replacement system).
  9. FALC0N said:
    VLK's on XP don't require activation.

    Tom, I have no idea where you got the idea that MS isn't activating XP or windows 7. Not correct at all.


    POINTS TO OP STATEMENT

    wcrouch said:
    I need to (re)activate a fully licensed Windows XP64 installation. But, the MS activation server seems to be off-line. What to do?


    And Windows 7 for CONSUMERS is no longer supported. That means if Mr./Mrs. Consumer calls M$ about a problem they will be told the same thing I just said. We do not support depreciated software, but I can offer you the opportunity to upgrade to our currently supported OS.

    If you try and 'lie' that your a CORP, you can't, is a totally different set of numbers, offices, and locations, AND as part of the BUSINESS LICENSE CONTRACT you would need to provide you CORP account so they can charge for the services rendered. Which if your lying you do NOT have a CORP account that you are a registered authorized participant on and well back to the Consumers line you go.
  10. wcrouch - have you tried it again? Or have you tried the phone robot option?
  11. wcrouch said:
    I need to (re)activate a fully licensed Windows XP64 installation. But, the MS activation server seems to be off-line. What to do?

    Why XP?
    My company has some expensive special purpose HW with custom drivers that are critical for a long term project. There are no drivers available for any other version of Windows, and the company that wrote the current ones is no longer in business. The system is never used for browsing or such, so Internet security is not an issue. I just replaced a broken HD, cloned the contents from a recent backup to a new HD, replaced a dying CD reader, and it seems I tripped MS's activation threshold. Yes, I could go with the XP emulation offered under Win7. But, if I can just get the current WinXP re-activated quickly, that would be better. What I had, worked just fine for many years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So, the question is "I know MS no longer supports XP re patches, updates, & such. But, do they provide a way to re-activate existing installations?".


    Honestly OP; BLAH BLAH heard it before excuses. A Manager / Decision Maker / Stakeholder has to be told the TO BAD SORRY answer. You put off what you were supposed to invest in (can your company vehicles drives 100,000miles on the same tires? what happens when they reach 200,000 miles you keep using them? NO YOU REPLACE THEM) and you didn't and now you will have to pay 2-10x what you could have paid before.

    You need to suck it up, hire a Business Systems Analyst to review this 'special purpose expensive HW' and find your solutions you will HAVE to suck up and buy into. Honestly the BSA will give you the same answers, if this 'critical' system shuts down tomorrow and there is no way to fix it, what impact does that have to your bottom line, is that less then replacing it? If not then as a COST SAVINGS it is time to retire the risk.

    Secondly your totally fooling yourself "The system is never used for browsing or such, so Internet security is not an issue." You apparently never had a RISK ASSESSMENT done, because ANY Analyst would have provided to you Suxnet as a shining example of a HW that is expensive special purpose, was compromised and it never was used for browsing and such. In fact the hardware was under strict MILITARY control, with extreme level security and severe restricted access...... Nuclear Centrifuge hardware. Yet it was infected and taken down, so how LESS secure is yours in comparison to some simple OOPS by a worker? HIGH RISK.

    And that addage " If it ain't broke, don't fix it." doesn't apply to depreciation items. As I noted a company vehicle depreciates overtime, and so does the bathroom piping in your building, the electrical wiring to a segment of your building now being repurposed for other uses, and so on. You and your Management need a wake up call to understand computers are as much a INFRASTRUCTURE item as the toilet, the parking lot, the machinists tools, electrical wiring, etc. And such needs to be CALCULATED in for depreciation, which XP is PAST THAT TIME PERIOD.
    Think now your at 300,000 miles on your delivery truck and you keep saying If it ain't broke, don't fix it, well in comparison to your new HD, replaced a dying CD reader, you just replaced the Engine and Transmission in it again, and now you realize it is a LEAD Engine you still been using when LEAD gas is no longer sold, how will you get around it?

    See this is where RIsk and Cost-Benefit analysis comes in, and someone (MANAGEMENT) needs to step up and make a well educated decision on the RISKS, COSTS and BENEFITS.

    You are at a point now you either have a non-PRODUCTIVE piece of equipment or you have to deal with addressing the problem (it has to be replaced).

    Oh BTW, do note: 4K drives are the norm now, and they require a UEFI motherboard to function, and only sold in the current SATA III format, which XP has no way of understanding nor the BIOS. So you can't just 'reformat it' it is embedded at the HW layer, and if your drives and such go down again, that also is a HW issue you can't get around (no one selling old drives).
  12. Tom, If you called about a PROBLEM, yes. You seem to be confusing support with activation. They WILL activate it.

    You are also wrong about XP VLK's. They don't activate. They will do a WGA check if you try to update. Even if it fails, you still have access to security updates and service packs.
  13. Tom, 4k doesn't require UEFI, XP CAN read drives off a Sata 3 port, and you can still find 512k drives. Again, I'm not sure where your getting your information.

    It's also not your place to lecture them about business decisions. He came here for tech help, not your petty opinion.
  14. Tom Tancredi said:
    Rocko1976 said:
    I have never had to 'activate' my XP installs. I don't even have the network cable plugged in while installing. I enter the activation code and bingo, it works. I do have corporate serial though that works for 8 pcs.


    Does the corporation allow you to do that, otherwise your speaking about a PIRATED edition, and Tomshardware does not support or allow any such discussions about that. As soon as you plug in your network connection it 'activates' or else you wouldn't be receiving updates, it would block you after 30 days.

    Additionally the rules about XP apply to Corp edition too. Currently I am quite aware each computer costs a additional $200 this year with XP on it, and then will be charged a additional $400 next year from Microsoft for Corp Accounts, and I any 'fixes' has to be done as a Engineering purchased project, which starts at $15K to INITIATE the process, not even to actually do the work / provide a solution, that is a additional cost. So financially it isn't beneficial to any company out there (costs exceed that of a replacement system).



    We have a volume license key. It's most definitely NOT pirated. Also, I am aware of the forum rules, but thanks for reiterating them....

    Just re-installed a machine 3 weeks ago. No issues at all.
  15. Rocko1976 said:
    Tom Tancredi said:
    Rocko1976 said:
    I have never had to 'activate' my XP installs. I don't even have the network cable plugged in while installing. I enter the activation code and bingo, it works. I do have corporate serial though that works for 8 pcs.


    Does the corporation allow you to do that, otherwise your speaking about a PIRATED edition, and Tomshardware does not support or allow any such discussions about that. As soon as you plug in your network connection it 'activates' or else you wouldn't be receiving updates, it would block you after 30 days.

    Additionally the rules about XP apply to Corp edition too. Currently I am quite aware each computer costs a additional $200 this year with XP on it, and then will be charged a additional $400 next year from Microsoft for Corp Accounts, and I any 'fixes' has to be done as a Engineering purchased project, which starts at $15K to INITIATE the process, not even to actually do the work / provide a solution, that is a additional cost. So financially it isn't beneficial to any company out there (costs exceed that of a replacement system).



    We have a volume license key. It's most definitely NOT pirated. Also, I am aware of the forum rules, but thanks for reiterating them....

    Just re-installed a machine 3 weeks ago. No issues at all.


    If you're using that VLK in your corporate environment, no worries.
    If you're using it at home...that all depends on your licensing agreement with MS.

    But we're off track here with the OP's issue.
    wcrouch...have you gotten this fixed?
  16. FALC0N said:
    Tom, If you called about a PROBLEM, yes. You seem to be confusing support with activation. They WILL activate it.

    You are also wrong about XP VLK's. They don't activate. They will do a WGA check if you try to update. Even if it fails, you still have access to security updates and service packs.


    1) Uhm NO. You didn't READ what I stated. I said

    "You would call in, they would politely inform you that they do not provide support for depreciated software (BTW you would get the same answer right now on your Windows 7 question too, because as a CONSUMER - aka not Corporate account - Windows 7 is no longer supported) and would offer the opportunity to upgrade to currently supported Operating System."

    SO calling in for ACTIVATION or a Windows 7 question (aka SUPPORT) would both yield the same answer (note I made the distinction for a CONSUMER edition as the OP never stated what licensing they are using but appears COTS solution not Corp)>

    2) So I listened to what you said and decided to test your theory.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389?wa=wsignin1.0
    Click download SP3, gets you
    http://www.microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/en-us/download/redirect.ashx
    We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be found.

    So, maybe Technet might still have it, but seems your incorrect on that as well. Just as you can't get depreciated updates for Windows 2000, 98, NT4, etc. so XP has gone to the grave, Windows 7 is now buried, and the shovel being used to seal both 7 & 8's fate is Windows 10 (One OS to RULE THEM ALL! SIC) .
  17. Tom Tancredi said:

    SO calling in for ACTIVATION or a Windows 7 question (aka SUPPORT) would both yield the same answer (note I made the distinction for a CONSUMER edition as the OP never stated what licensing they are using but appears COTS solution not Corp)>


    bzzzzzzz
    Wrong. Activation and help desk support are two completely different things.
    Windows 7 is still being sold. It is on extended support (security fixes) for the rest of this decade.

    If I cranked up a new Win 7 install today, it would activate just fine. Either online, or via the phone robot.
  18. Oh, and TechNet no longer exists. It was shut off last year, for (among other reasons) too many idiots buying a $200 TechNet subscription, and reselling those keys.

    Microsoft is retiring the TechNet Subscription service
    https://technet.microsoft.com/subscriptions
  19. There you go Tom. It took me all of 30 seconds to find. At least pretend your trying.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24
  20. I also have a fully legitimate “outdated” Win XP software package for personal use (not corporate). I’m a computer hobbyist who occasionally builds or rebuilds new or vintage desktop systems “from scratch”.

    When I attempt to activate my Win XP by phone the recorded robot informs me that Microsoft will Activate XP Software:

    “…when customers transfer the full package product license to a new system..”

    By nature spoken legalese sets off my caution buttons, so I am concerned by what this phrase may mean.

    Is this simply a reference to a new hardware configuration ?

    Or am I “transferring my full package product license" to any other legal entity??

    I'm sorry if I sound paranoid; but Micro$oft has always affected me that way.
  21. Muddyhead said:
    I also have a fully legitimate “outdated” Win XP software package for personal use (not corporate). I’m a computer hobbyist who occasionally builds or rebuilds new or vintage desktop systems “from scratch”.

    When I attempt to activate my Win XP by phone the recorded robot informs me that Microsoft will Activate XP Software:

    “…when customers transfer the full package product license to a new system..”

    By nature spoken legalese sets off my caution buttons, so I am concerned by what this phrase may mean.

    Is this simply a reference to a new hardware configuration ?

    Or am I “transferring my full package product license" to any other legal entity??

    I'm sorry if I sound paranoid; but Micro$oft has always affected me that way.


    Yes, that would seem to be "a new hardware configuration ".
  22. This might help:

    Today (May 5th 2016), I did fresh installs of XP SP3 on 4 used laptops I recently acquired. Two activated first time over the Internet, and two didn't. After much head scratching, I suddenly realised that the two that had activated had good CMOS batteries, and the two that didn't had dead CMOS batteries. Consequently, two of them had the correct date and time, and two didn't. I then reset the date and time on the two with dead CMOS batteries, and lo and behold, they then activated over the Internet perfectly. As to why the correct date and time seem to be required for activation, I have no idea.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards Chris H.


    wcrouch said:
    I need to (re)activate a fully licensed Windows XP64 installation. But, the MS activation server seems to be off-line. What to do?

    Why XP?
    My company has some expensive special purpose HW with custom drivers that are critical for a long term project. There are no drivers available for any other version of Windows, and the company that wrote the current ones is no longer in business. The system is never used for browsing or such, so Internet security is not an issue. I just replaced a broken HD, cloned the contents from a recent backup to a new HD, replaced a dying CD reader, and it seems I tripped MS's activation threshold. Yes, I could go with the XP emulation offered under Win7. But, if I can just get the current WinXP re-activated quickly, that would be better. What I had, worked just fine for many years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So, the question is "I know MS no longer supports XP re patches, updates, & such. But, do they provide a way to re-activate existing installations?".
  23. ChrisH42 said:
    . As to why the correct date and time seem to be required for activation, I have no idea.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards Chris H.



    Timing is the basic computer function that has to be accurate in order to ensure communication between A to B is valid (used as offset calculation value). It also signifies and validates the timezone, which is the locational address you physically are, the network you connect to, the Internet locations your network claims to be coming from, and then validate through the 'cloud' to MS servers. So if your in Indiana, your 'time' shouldn't be set for India, which would invalidate your edition of U.S. Windows your trying to certify. As well as the calculations done in the 'checks' to validate I sent "this is my name" value to MS server and the 'time' it takes and so on it should have a value of "this is my name" + takes 1.234ms from Indiana, where as if validating from India, it would take 3.567ms wait this doesn't calculate right.


    Just so you know, running XP is totally incompatible with all current / recent editions of software out there (Games, Office Suites, drivers, etc.) and there are no 'drivers' to fix many common issues (Why can't I get this USB Wifi to work? etc.) . So it isn't practical to use, just as it isn't practical to use Windows 2000, or 98.
  24. Why are we digging up a year+ old thread?

    Closing.
Ask a new question

Read More

Windows Servers Windows XP