Windows Key - Can Not Change

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

In trying to rescue a friend's e-Machine with a corrupted Windows XP
Home, and because he did not have the original disks, I used a copy of
my XP Home just to get it going (a side-by-side installation into
another directory - nothing in Recovery would bring his original back
to life) so that he could retrieve files. I had to use the key from
my disk to complete the installation, but I did not activate it.

Now, with only a few days left of the 30-days before activation has to
be done, I have tried to change the key to one for a copy of XP Home
that he went out and bought (at CompUSA - so it should not be
pirated). I first tried the key that was on the back of the CPU - NG.
I then tried a Repair of the working Windows installation, using the
new key when it requested it - still NG. I then tried the utility
RockXP v3.0 by Korben. still NG. The only key that it will take is
the one from my copy of XP Home.

I am about to try to wipe the drive clean (by deleting the
partition.) Just in case this doesn't work, does anyone have an
answer to why I can not yet change the key?
6 answers Last reply
More about windows change
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    You'll have to perform a "Repair Install" using the
    new Product Key and the Windows XP CD that came
    with it.

    How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

    --
    Carey Frisch
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP - Shell/User
    Microsoft Newsgroups

    Get Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies:
    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/protect/windowsxp/choose.mspx

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Scott" wrote:

    | In trying to rescue a friend's e-Machine with a corrupted Windows XP
    | Home, and because he did not have the original disks, I used a copy of
    | my XP Home just to get it going (a side-by-side installation into
    | another directory - nothing in Recovery would bring his original back
    | to life) so that he could retrieve files. I had to use the key from
    | my disk to complete the installation, but I did not activate it.
    |
    | Now, with only a few days left of the 30-days before activation has to
    | be done, I have tried to change the key to one for a copy of XP Home
    | that he went out and bought (at CompUSA - so it should not be
    | pirated). I first tried the key that was on the back of the CPU - NG.
    | I then tried a Repair of the working Windows installation, using the
    | new key when it requested it - still NG. I then tried the utility
    | RockXP v3.0 by Korben. still NG. The only key that it will take is
    | the one from my copy of XP Home.
    |
    | I am about to try to wipe the drive clean (by deleting the
    | partition.) Just in case this doesn't work, does anyone have an
    | answer to why I can not yet change the key?
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    Hi,

    The Product Key from e-machines would not work with a retail disk, they are
    not interchangeable (in either direction). To change a product key in retail
    versions requires doing a repair installation. The key is encrypted in the
    registry, and using the keyfinder utilities is loading the parallel
    installation's registry, not the original. Plus, even if you were to
    retrieve the original, it would likely be the one from the master image done
    in the factory, not the one supplied with the system.

    Use the parallel installation to backup critical data and mail files. Then
    do a clean installation with the e-machine recovery media and product key.

    --
    Best of Luck,

    Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
    http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
    Associate Expert - WindowsXP Expert Zone
    www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
    Windows help - www.rickrogers.org

    "Scott" <holdencaufield@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:chbse1953giqekvkbl7nndkmmeakatl7hs@4ax.com...
    > In trying to rescue a friend's e-Machine with a corrupted Windows XP
    > Home, and because he did not have the original disks, I used a copy of
    > my XP Home just to get it going (a side-by-side installation into
    > another directory - nothing in Recovery would bring his original back
    > to life) so that he could retrieve files. I had to use the key from
    > my disk to complete the installation, but I did not activate it.
    >
    > Now, with only a few days left of the 30-days before activation has to
    > be done, I have tried to change the key to one for a copy of XP Home
    > that he went out and bought (at CompUSA - so it should not be
    > pirated). I first tried the key that was on the back of the CPU - NG.
    > I then tried a Repair of the working Windows installation, using the
    > new key when it requested it - still NG. I then tried the utility
    > RockXP v3.0 by Korben. still NG. The only key that it will take is
    > the one from my copy of XP Home.
    >
    > I am about to try to wipe the drive clean (by deleting the
    > partition.) Just in case this doesn't work, does anyone have an
    > answer to why I can not yet change the key?
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 10:33:35 -0400, Scott
    <holdencaufield@earthlink.net> wrote:

    >In trying to rescue a friend's e-Machine with a corrupted Windows XP
    >Home, and because he did not have the original disks, I used a copy of
    >my XP Home just to get it going (a side-by-side installation into
    >another directory - nothing in Recovery would bring his original back
    >to life) so that he could retrieve files. I had to use the key from
    >my disk to complete the installation, but I did not activate it.
    >
    >Now, with only a few days left of the 30-days before activation has to
    >be done, I have tried to change the key to one for a copy of XP Home
    >that he went out and bought (at CompUSA - so it should not be
    >pirated). I first tried the key that was on the back of the CPU - NG.
    >I then tried a Repair of the working Windows installation, using the
    >new key when it requested it - still NG. I then tried the utility
    >RockXP v3.0 by Korben. still NG. The only key that it will take is
    >the one from my copy of XP Home.
    >
    >I am about to try to wipe the drive clean (by deleting the
    >partition.) Just in case this doesn't work, does anyone have an
    >answer to why I can not yet change the key?

    Try this method first
    Connect to the internet
    Click Start, and then click Run.
    In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.

    In the left pane, locate and then click the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current
    Version\WPAEvents
    In the right pane, right-click OOBETimer, and then click Modify.
    Change at least one digit of this value to re-deactivate Windows.

    Click Start, and then click Run.
    In the run box, type the following command, and then click OK.

    %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

    Click Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to
    activate Windows, and then click Next.

    Click Change Product key to key you installed with.

    Type the product key from the disk he got in the New key boxes, and
    then click Update.

    If you are returned to the previous window, click Remind me later

    DON’T reboot.

    In the run box, type the following command, and then click OK.

    %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

    Chose Internet than activate. You will need to allow connection from
    your firewall.

    (if it denies you. You will need to do the phone activation and tell
    them you installed a hard drive.)

    In the run box, type the following command

    %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

    And you will see this message.

    Windows is already activated. Click OK to exit.

    reboot

    If that does not work

    What model number is your emachine version is it? If so, I could
    legally mail you the restore cd, since I no longer use this cd.

    Emachine has to have dep disabled to work with xp sp2.
    It will crash a lot if it enabled


    Greg Ro
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    On Mon, 1 Aug 2005 09:50:54 -0500, "Carey Frisch [MVP]"
    <cnfrisch@nospamgmail.com> wrote:

    >You'll have to perform a "Repair Install" using the
    >new Product Key and the Windows XP CD that came
    >with it.
    >
    >How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install
    >http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
    Thanks for the replies.

    Sorry if I confused everyone. The repair install I tried (using the
    copy of Windows XP Home that my friend purchased - not from
    e-machines, but from CompUSA) was not on the original e-machine
    Windows, but on the installation I made (Windows2) using my Windows XP
    Home disk (using the key that came with it.)

    So, I did perform the steps you suggested above, but it would not take
    the key from the Windows XP Home CD that I was using to perform the
    repair install.

    This problem, and the problem of not being able to use the key
    changing utility occurred both before and after I deleted the original
    Windows directory - leaving only the registry from my installation
    into Windows4.

    Strange, but that is what was happening. I have just backed up his
    original hard drive both by copying files to another drive on my
    computer, as well as by imaging his drive (Acronis TrueImage), deleted
    the entire partition, and am now going to try a clean install from the
    XP Home he bought at CompUSA.

    I'll post results.

    Scott
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 12:58:20 -0500, Greg Ro <webworm11@yes.lycos.com>
    wrote:

    >On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 10:33:35 -0400, Scott
    ><holdencaufield@earthlink.net> wrote:
    >
    >>In trying to rescue a friend's e-Machine with a corrupted Windows XP
    >>Home, and because he did not have the original disks, I used a copy of
    >>my XP Home just to get it going (a side-by-side installation into
    >>another directory - nothing in Recovery would bring his original back
    >>to life) so that he could retrieve files. I had to use the key from
    >>my disk to complete the installation, but I did not activate it.
    >>
    >>Now, with only a few days left of the 30-days before activation has to
    >>be done, I have tried to change the key to one for a copy of XP Home
    >>that he went out and bought (at CompUSA - so it should not be
    >>pirated). I first tried the key that was on the back of the CPU - NG.
    >>I then tried a Repair of the working Windows installation, using the
    >>new key when it requested it - still NG. I then tried the utility
    >>RockXP v3.0 by Korben. still NG. The only key that it will take is
    >>the one from my copy of XP Home.
    >>
    Here is the answer to this problem. After a not short time on the
    phone with Microsoft, we confirmed that key that came on the label in
    the package was a valid key - except that it was a key for Windows XP
    Professional Upgrade, not for the packaged Windows XP Home Full that
    he had bought!

    Microsoft said it was one in a million.

    Scott
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 18:42:23 -0400, Scott
    <holdencaufield@earthlink.net> wrote:

    >On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 12:58:20 -0500, Greg Ro <webworm11@yes.lycos.com>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 10:33:35 -0400, Scott
    >><holdencaufield@earthlink.net> wrote:
    >>
    >>>In trying to rescue a friend's e-Machine with a corrupted Windows XP
    >>>Home, and because he did not have the original disks, I used a copy of
    >>>my XP Home just to get it going (a side-by-side installation into
    >>>another directory - nothing in Recovery would bring his original back
    >>>to life) so that he could retrieve files. I had to use the key from
    >>>my disk to complete the installation, but I did not activate it.
    >>>
    >>>Now, with only a few days left of the 30-days before activation has to
    >>>be done, I have tried to change the key to one for a copy of XP Home
    >>>that he went out and bought (at CompUSA - so it should not be
    >>>pirated). I first tried the key that was on the back of the CPU - NG.
    >>>I then tried a Repair of the working Windows installation, using the
    >>>new key when it requested it - still NG. I then tried the utility
    >>>RockXP v3.0 by Korben. still NG. The only key that it will take is
    >>>the one from my copy of XP Home.
    >>>
    >Here is the answer to this problem. After a not short time on the
    >phone with Microsoft, we confirmed that key that came on the label in
    >the package was a valid key - except that it was a key for Windows XP
    >Professional Upgrade, not for the packaged Windows XP Home Full that
    >he had bought!
    >
    >Microsoft said it was one in a million.
    >
    >Scott


    I hope microsoft offered him an exchange or fixed it. If not he can
    return for a full refund to Microsoft. It will take sometime to get a
    refund.


    Greg Ro
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