I had to format a hard drive so I popped it into my computer. I messed up the first time I tried (put both of them master or slave). In the end, it messed up my legitimate copy of Windows XP Home (OEM version) and it wants me to activate it AGAIN (activated it about a week ago with my new computer). But when I try to, it tells me I have reached the maximum number of activations for the key.
I tried to call to the toll free telephone number but it doesn't even exist (or work)! Is there any simple way I can just bypass this activation?
You'll have to call Microsoft to activate. Here are the instructions for getting the phone number If you don't activate, XP will be limited, not sure what it means but likely won't be able to do updates.
To activate Windows by phoneThe Windows Product Activation Wizard is located in System Tools. To open a system tools item, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click the appropriate icon., then click Activate Windows.
Follow the activation instructions that appear on your screen.
Alternatively, you can open the Windows Product Activation wizard by clicking Start, then Run, and type in "oobe/msoobe /a".
If you do not have a modem or an Internet connection, you can activate your copy of Windows by calling a Microsoft customer service representative. Activating Windows is fast and does not require your name or other personal information.
If you have not yet activated Windows XP, you can initiate activation at any time by clicking the Windows Activation icon in the system tray. Once you have activated Windows XP, this icon disappears from the system tray.If you choose not to activate now, reminders will appear periodically during the next 30 days. After that time has expired, you will be required to activate in order to continue to use Windows.