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I brought an older system tower home from work so that I could wipe the drive and reinstall windows XP. I have reformatted the drive and when windows goes to log in for it's first use, it comes up with "This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can log in". I can't get beyond that, because I need to install drivers to make the network card work, so I'm stuck in a loop. I am using a OEM copy that was origionally used and I am using the same license key as well. I've tried reformatting the drive by using debug and fdisk. I even managed to boot to safe mode and used sysprep to try and reset the activation. It won't let me do that either. I am at a loss on this one. I think that there might be some firmware on the motherboard that has a "memory".
Anyone have any ideas???
Thanks.

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Last Post by minuteman263
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I brought an older system tower home from work so that I could wipe the drive and reinstall windows XP. I have reformatted the drive and when windows goes to log in for it's first use, it comes up with "This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can log in". I can't get beyond that, because I need to install drivers to make the network card work, so I'm stuck in a loop. I am using a OEM copy that was origionally used and I am using the same license key as well. I've tried reformatting the drive by using debug and fdisk. I even managed to boot to safe mode and used sysprep to try and reset the activation. It won't let me do that either. I am at a loss on this one. I think that there might be some firmware on the motherboard that has a "memory".
Anyone have any ideas???
Thanks.

You could call M$ and activate by phone?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307890

What about downloading the necessary drivers to flash drive and transferring them to other computer and installing them?

PP:)

Edited by PhilliePhan: n/a

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Sysprep? You mean you tried this command in a Start, Run box in Safe Mode?:
rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk
-that should reset activation timer. To restart the activation process you could [again in Safe Mode] try editing HKLM\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents\oobetimer to 0, and then RUN:
%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe /a.
Searching, though, shows those solutions are required after a Repair, not a fresh installation. If it is indeed some security chip on the mb you may find a reset option inside BIOS.

Edited by gerbil: n/a

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Yup. tried that and it wouldn't reset. It kept telling me that the limit had been reached. I did however try something since I posted this that seemed to work. I reinstalled windows and used another license key and was able to log in. I haven't connected to the internet yet, because the key I used is already active on another machine. I am going to go in and change the key back to the one it should be and see what happens. I'll post the results.

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OK It seems that all I had to do was use a different license and that allowed me to log in. I them went through the process of activation and changed the license key to the proper one and then I was able to activate it without any problems. So it's solved.

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