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Thread: Windows activation problems

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Skipjacks's Avatar
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    Windows activation problems

    I hate Microsoft. I really really do.

    So here's the problem.

    Windows was screwed up, so I reinstalled it. Did the overlay reinstall where it put a new copy of XP home edition over top the broken one and preserved the file structure.

    So that worked. Sort of...

    Windows installed, but it tells me I have 30 days left to activate Windows. So I click on the notice to activate it, and it says the copy is already active.

    It gives me no options to activate it again.

    I didn't enter my product key at any point in the install process. It never asked for it.

    I've seen this happen two times before on other people's machines and both times at the end of 30 days Windos locks itself out and says you need to activate it in order to use it, but still also says that it's already active.

    WTF?

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate marshallh's Avatar
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    Get on the horn with Microsoft tech support and tell them your story. More than likely they will give you a second chance. I've had several friends that did it fine.
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  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    This usually only happens when there was an activation crack used at some point.

    Anyways, the only fix is to get an activation hack, or do a complete re-install. After 30 days you will be locked out. If the msoobe timer has been activated, and the deactivate function is locked out, there is really almost nothing to do.

    I have read about a command line procedure where you manually "de-activate" your copy which should start or keep running the msoobe timer, as well as reinitiate the activate "feature". It has never worked for me. This has happened to me 2 times. Both times, just did a fresh reinstall.
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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Skipjacks's Avatar
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    I don't see where calling MS is going to do much good. There's no place to input any product code. So what can they tell me?

    As for hacking, this copy has never been hacked before. It's a clean legit install.

    I can't do a full re-install. I just can't do it. I'd have to reinstall EVERYTHING and I'd quite frankly rather hit myself in the head with a hammer than do that nonsense.

    First Windows screws itself up by letting me delete the monitor and not give me any possible fix, now this. Does anything about Windows XP work in a user friendly manner?

    Uhg...where do I go to find out how to hack it? I've got the product code so I don't mind de-activating it. I can easily activate it if it would just give me a chance.

  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Ok, well the 100% pure illegal hacks, I cannot and will not post links to. I believe that your copy is legit, but this problem happens very often with "cracked" copies. Therefore, when/if you call Microsoft (Which they now charge some bull**** $$$ for, not free) they will transfer you to their product fraud department or tell you to reformat. That simple.

    The gray-area workaround follows. I say gray area because technically modifying any of these files is a breach of the TOS agreement that you have to press F8 to accept on a full installation, but since you are using it to deactivate rather than activate, I see no problem.

    Do this 1 part first, and hopefully it will completely deactivate it. If this doesnt work, I will post more. This info can be found on the internet elsewhere of course, but usually it is "used for evil" so I dont want to put it too many places:
    1.) Use regedit to open up your registry and navigate to: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents\
    2.) Change the value [OOBETimer] by double clicking it or right click properties. Set the last byte to "FF" in hex or string mode, or "255" in decimal. Apply it, and reboot your computer.

    Upon reboot 1 of 3 things happen:
    1) It boots successfully to your desktop, and the xp activation window pops up, not just the baloon/bubble.
    2) It boots successfully to your desktop, and only the bubble/baloon pops up in the system tray. It could have still worked, but less likely it did. If so, then I can give the next steps.
    3) Endless reboot sequence never getting to the desktop. You fubarred the registry. This particular key is read every boot and decrypted. If it passes, it is activated. If not, it says you are deactivated. Since this is not a new install, it has been more than 30 days since the registry entry was created and it has been changed after the 30 days expired, and it detect your copy is not activated, so it "protects" itself by rebooting. Next time it starts same deal. Even in safe mode.

    No matter what you do, you are playing with fire. If you have another drive, do a bit by bit clone of the drive. Then start messing to activate it. If you fubar it, reclone the clone and try again!

    This first step almost never sends the computer into continuous reboot, but it has a few times. This apparent randomness is due to the version of winlogin.exe on your computer. it basically changes each time there is an update. I know this works for version 2600.0 which is a virgin XP install from an original CD (pre SP1), version 2600.1106 which is a virgin service pack 1 install, and version 2600.2180 which is a virgin SP2 install. Depending on the build version, different things can happen when the oobe timer is changed. After SP2 (latest latest latest sort of dating), I think they started to encrypt this even further, so you may not even be able to access it. Another reason I advocate not to install windows updates. Just more bloat that you can fix manually and know what it is changing.
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  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate slvrsol's Avatar
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    Just suck it up and reinstall.. its not that bad or time consuming with a second partition. By the time you fix your current problem, you could have everything back up and running. Two hours tops if you know what you're doing.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate Skipjacks's Avatar
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    If I can't make this work and get ****ed at it, is there any reason I wouldn't have to roll back my OS to Win2000? You know, the one that lets you install it quickly and then doesn't cry at you every 5 minutes?

    Are there any known problems with iGuidance or WinAmp running Win2000?

    I'm saving that as a last resort. But I'd like to know if it's a bad option. And could I uninstall XP and install 2000 preserving my file structure? Or would 2000 demand that I format the disk?

  8. #8
    FLAC strohj's Avatar
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    why no just re-install a valid copy of XP ?
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  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate Skipjacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strohj View Post
    why no just re-install a valid copy of XP ?
    This IS a valid copy of XP. It's just a bug. It both thinks it's activated AND thinks it needs to be activated.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Skipjacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Do this 1 part first, and hopefully it will completely deactivate it. If this doesnt work, I will post more. This info can be found on the internet elsewhere of course, but usually it is "used for evil" so I dont want to put it too many places:
    1.) Use regedit to open up your registry and navigate to: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents\
    2.) Change the value [OOBETimer] by double clicking it or right click properties. Set the last byte to "FF" in hex or string mode, or "255" in decimal. Apply it, and reboot your computer.
    Hey, Toaster. I finally got a chance to start playing with this and ran into a question.

    There are 2 lines in the WPA logon.

    0000 and 0008

    Which line do I change to FF at the end? Also, do I change the text/numbers to FF or that crazy gibberish at the end of each line?

    By the way I called MS and told them the problem...they insisted that I just enter the product key. I kept telling them that there was no place to input it, and they kept saying just input it!

    They even gave me the access code you need when Windows says you've reached the max number of installs. They told me to input that instead of the product key. I told them again that there was no place to input ANYTHING.

    They told me again to just input the product key and I got ****ed and hung up.

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