Help Microsoft has me locked out of my PC!

Back in my days at MicroWarehouse I received a NFR copy of XP. It came in a plain white envelope with a CD Key on it. This CD was handed out by a Microsoft employee.

Over the years I lost the actual CD but kept the key and I was able to reinstall using other media.

On Saturday Windows popped up a box saying that my copy failed the genuine tests. I went through the rigmarole and was able to reactive it. I then installed some updates and rebootied.

On rebooting it said it was not activated and I need to activate it to continue. When I hit OK instead of opening up the activation window and letting me call Microsoft it just logs me off. Same thing happens if I hit no to activate.

I can boot into safe mode so access to my files is not an issue and I have backups of my data. I just don’t want to have to do a full reinstall.

I’ve been on Microsoft’s site and saw that if I edit a registry key it will allow me rerun activation. The problem is when I go to access the key it tells me I don’t have access to it.

I’ve tried access this key in Safemode as well as booting a PE CD, mounting the hives and trying to edit it that way.

I’ve now screwed it up so much that I can’t get safemode to run.

Any suggestions other thank nuking it from orbit?

(I won’t be online again until tomorrow night)

This might not work, but have you tried contacting Microsoft and dealing with them?

Rerunning the windows install would probably be easier/faster than going through all the steps to undo a corrupt activation.

Do you mean that you have the key you were physically given, or that you’ve still got a note of the key code? In the latter case, you may be SOL. Better get hunting that CD case!

I have the key code that was on the envelope

Have you tried doing an upgrade install? Make sure you slipstream a copy of the install set with SP3.

Quartz I will be trying that next.