Well I didn't get around the activation scheme so easy.
In my experience, I got hit with the activation prompt after merely rolling back a new VIA driver that was apparently uncertified, and was causing havoc on the bootup. No matter what I tried, just couldn't get around that damned activation prompt to logon at bootup. So I took the only known option available to me at the time by reinstalling the OS, in which that solved the problem.
Incredibly annoying feature if you ask me, piracy considerations or not.
I got mine from a friend (WinXP Pro), and I didn't have to deal with activation. It just required me to enter the product key, and that's all. Patches, updates...no problem. I'm running great, and it's waaayyy better than Win98.
Since you like msft sooooo much, I'll give you this.
Nt 5.5, after you shut off all the Mickey Mouse stuff, is worth the $15 a friend spent on my Xmas gift. The driver setup is pretty smooth, and there's several extra options that make things easier to get to on the menus.
I would like a file search feature that I don't have to hit the 'back' button on every time, and can set the display to show 'detail' always; never 'view thumbnails' 'list' or any thing else. And a phone call that only takes 5 minutes as opposed to 15 would be nice. Note to potential installers: if you have a hoarse voice from all the flu/colds going around, study up on the military/police phonetic alphabet before you call.
I *was* in the midst of writing just the good stuff, when it blue screened on me. Which is actually a step up from Win2k, which just froze.
Yeah well, I thought about the phone call. But decided against it.
Something about being highly allergic to MS tech support of <i> any </i> kind.
Note : As a matter of fact, I was *compelled* to activate the OS just a few hours ago instead of going through yet another reinstall of XP. I guess when the CMOS time & date gets reset to a much earlier date in the BIOS, it must somehow flip an activation flag in the OS, perhaps fooling XP into thinking you've had it for more than 30 days.