Troubling Changing CD Key Win XP

I am working on a computer right now and their copy of XP is illegitamite. I have a CD Key that was purchased at a school for them but I can’t figure out how to change/ replace the old one. I tried doing it through the activate windows screen but it is saying that it is invalid. I’d like to not have to reinstall the operating system if at all possible.

Any ideas?

Does the key relate to the correct version of Windows that was installed on their machine? (i.e. home/pro, OEM/Retail, full/student license, etc) - also, the sentence ‘I have a CD Key that was purchased at a school for them’ is ambiguous; do you mean you purchased the key specifically to resolve this issue? (it could also be read to mean that the key was purchased for the school, but that you’re just giving it to them - which won’t work).

First, you need to clear your existing CD key from the registry. Click Start->Run and enter “regedit” in the box and hit ENTER. The registry editor will pop up. DO NOT EDIT ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT IS LISTED HERE. Your registry is the heard of Windows’ ability to do anything useful. Screw with it and you’ll need to reinstall Windows. Having said that, click the “+” beside the following sections:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    –+ Software
    ----+ Microsoft
    ------+ WindowsNT
    --------+ CurrentVersion
    ----------+ WPAEvents

Click on “WPAEvents” to reveal the key’s value. Right-click and change the value of that key by at least one digit. This will kick Windows into thinking its key has become invalid. Quit the registry editor.

Now, click Start->Run, enter “msoobe.exe” (without the quotes). Assuming whatever illegitemate copy of XP you are running did not eliminate this program from its distribution, you should enter the “Microsoft Out of Box Experience.” (If it does not run automatically from the “run” box, open a window to C:\Windows\System32\ and make sure there is an “oobe” folder there, and that “msoobe.exe” is present in it). If it is, run it.)

This should load up the program that will allow you to reenter and activate your new CD key.

There’s an easier way, but it takes much longer and involves doing a repair-install of Windows XP.

Or just use the amazing, tasty and stupendously useful MAGICAL JELLY BEAN KEYFINDER!.

But don’t assume it works every time because it doesn’t.

You could look here —> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328874

Boo. Fine. Amazing, tasty and full of stupendous potential!

Do note that not all keys work with all distributions of Windows. You may need to do an Upgrade Install of Windows.

kk, I’ll try what you guys are suggesting.

BTW, Jelly Beans doesn’t always work.