Greetings Folks - My 20 year old forgot his password for our main XPPRO Desktop (I could have logged in as Admin, but NO ..) and used some hacked up "change your password" product that has wreaked havoc on this OS.

Now, it does not recognize windows as registered, and prompts for activation on every boot. No matter how many times we enter the verification key it will not accept it.

I am fairly comfortable working in the registry and can do a Safe Mode Command Prompt login.

Obviously something has to be changed there, yet I have no clue and have a way too much to lose to simply wipe it and start over.

If someone has a suggestion of how to handle this it will be greatly appreciated.




To me, it sounds like you're dealing with two issues. 1. The changes made by your havoc program, and 2. XP Copyright control measures (which are no picnic).

Although you can't perform a clean install, why don't you attempt to install over the current copy. Perhaps you'll get lucky. Otherwise, think about backing up your data for a clean install. You may spend hours upon hours trying to perform an impossible fix.


I disagree, you are one of the lucky people that when faced with a full reinstall, get the opportunity, (at a risk maybe in this case) to save all of you needed documents.

If you do, just make sure to Virus check them, before sticking them back on the new build.

good luck, mmf