How to activate Windows XP

Table of contents:

How to activate Windows XP
How to activate Windows XP
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To get the most out of Windows XP, you must activate it with your Windows XP product key. If you have Internet access or a dial-up modem, it only takes a few clicks to complete the activation. Otherwise, get your activation code by calling Microsoft directly. If you are unable to activate Windows XP, try bypassing the activation message.

Steps

Method 1 of 4: Internet Activation

Connect to a Wireless Internet Connection Step 15
Connect to a Wireless Internet Connection Step 15

Step 1. Make sure you have an internet connection

The easiest way to activate Windows is to connect to Microsoft directly over the internet. Microsoft will validate the product key and send the activation code to your computer.

If you do not have internet access, click here to activate over the phone

Activate Windows XP Step 2
Activate Windows XP Step 2

Step 2. Run the activation wizard

To do this, click on the "Activation" icon on the taskbar. You can also click Start → All Programs → Accessories → System Tools → Windows Activation.

Activate Windows XP Step 3
Activate Windows XP Step 3

Step 3. Enter your product key if you haven't already

Before you continue, you will be asked to enter your 25-character product key.

If you don't have a product key, click here

Activate Windows XP Step 4
Activate Windows XP Step 4

Step 4. Select “Yes, activate Windows over the Internet”

Windows will first try to connect via a network connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi). If the system does not find the network adapter, it will start looking for a dial-up modem.

Activate Windows XP Step 5
Activate Windows XP Step 5

Step 5. Read the privacy statement and decide if you want to register

Registration is optional, and now that support for Windows XP has ended, it has lost all meaning. To skip registration, select "No, activate Windows and register later."

Activate Windows XP Step 6
Activate Windows XP Step 6

Step 6. Wait while Windows completes the activation procedure

If you have Internet access, the Activation Wizard will automatically connect and activate your copy of Windows.

Activate Windows XP Step 7
Activate Windows XP Step 7

Step 7. Contact Microsoft if necessary

If you used a Windows XP product key on a different computer or installed new hardware, you may be prompted to contact Microsoft by phone. This procedure is necessary to prevent piracy. As long as you do not violate the terms of the license agreement, you should have no problem getting support from a Microsoft representative to activate your account.

  • Your support representative will ask you to provide an installation code, which can be found in the Activation Wizard window.
  • After you provide the installation code, Microsoft will verify it and provide you with the code you need to enter to activate Windows.

Method 2 of 4: Phone Activation

Activate Windows XP Step 8
Activate Windows XP Step 8

Step 1. Start the activation wizard

If you do not have high-speed Internet or dial-up modem, activate your copy of Windows XP by phone. To start the Activation Wizard, click the Activation icon on the taskbar or click Start → All Programs → Accessories → System Tools → Windows Activation.

Activate Windows XP Step 9
Activate Windows XP Step 9

Step 2. Enter your product key if you haven't already

Before proceeding with the activation process, you may be asked to enter a 25-character product key.

If you don't have a product key, click here

Activate Windows XP Step 10
Activate Windows XP Step 10

Step 3. Select activation by phone

Select "Yes, activate Windows by phone."

Activate Windows XP Step 11
Activate Windows XP Step 11

Step 4. Select your region

Microsoft provides local numbers for most regions or toll-free numbers that you can call from anywhere in the world. Use the drop-down menu to choose the number that best suits you. Step 5. Select a language.

This step is usually optional, since only Russian-speaking operators are available for the "Russia" region. Step 6. Select the product you want to activate.

Since you want to activate Windows XP, press 1 on the dial pad.

Activate Windows XP Step 14
Activate Windows XP Step 14

Step 7. Call Microsoft and provide the 54-digit installation code

Call Microsoft Support at the number provided. The operator will ask you to provide a 54-digit setup code. You will find it in the same window where the phone numbers are located.

Activate Windows XP Step 15
Activate Windows XP Step 15

Step 8. Enter the 35-digit code provided by your Microsoft representative

After confirming the installation code, a support representative will provide you with the activation code. Enter this code into the provided fields at the bottom of the window to complete the activation.

Method 3 of 4: Activating Safe Mode

Step 1. Know when to use this method

Sometimes, after reinstalling Windows with non-standard hardware, users are unable to log into Windows to activate it. The system will inform you that in order to continue working you need to go through the activation procedure, but it will be impossible to connect to the Internet or generate an installation code. In such a case, you will have to use Safe Mode to fix the drivers and activate Windows.

Activate Windows XP Step 17
Activate Windows XP Step 17

Step 2. Boot the system into Safe Mode

You will need to fix problems with your device drivers. The solution to this problem will allow you to either connect to the internet or generate an installation code and activate Windows over the phone.

Restart your computer and quickly press the F8 key at startup. This will take you to the Windows Advanced Boot Options menu. Select "Safe Mode" from the list of options

Activate Windows XP Step 18
Activate Windows XP Step 18

Step 3. Download the required drivers to another computer

You will most likely need to download the drivers to another computer. Windows XP Safe Mode blocks the installation of programs, so you need the driver files, not their installers.

  • Determine the source of the problem. Press ⊞ Win + R and enter devmgmt.msc to open Device Manager. Look for devices marked with a "!" or "?". These are devices that need to be reinstalled drivers.
  • Open the manufacturer's support site on a different computer. If you are using a laptop or a pre-built computer, you should be able to find all the drivers you need in one place. If you are using a custom-built computer, you will need to find the manufacturer of a specific device that does not work.
  • Download the INF files for the problem device. Since the installer doesn't work, you need the driver files themselves. They are in INF format. Transfer these files from your work computer to your non-work computer using a USB drive or disk.
Activate Windows XP Step 19
Activate Windows XP Step 19

Step 4. Install the driver

Right click on the non-working device in Device Manager and select Update Drivers. Find the downloaded INF file on your computer and download it. You will be prompted to restart your computer.

For more detailed instructions on finding and installing drivers, click here

Activate Windows XP Step 20
Activate Windows XP Step 20

Step 5. Try to activate Windows

Now, nothing should prevent you from logging into Windows and activating it over the Internet, or getting an installation code and going through activation over the phone. Above you will find more detailed instructions for both types of activation.

Method 4 of 4: Disable Activation

Activate Windows XP Step 21
Activate Windows XP Step 21

Step 1. Consider upgrading to a newer version of Windows

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, so all users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. This will ensure you have access to the latest security updates. Windows XP will no longer receive updates.

Activate Windows XP Step 22
Activate Windows XP Step 22

Step 2. Consider purchasing a valid key

If you don't want to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, you should still consider purchasing a valid key. There are many key resellers on the internet. If you purchased Windows XP but now can't find your key, Microsoft can restore it if you contact support.

Activate Windows XP Step 23
Activate Windows XP Step 23

Step 3. Contact Microsoft if you have a real key that doesn't work

If you have a broken Windows XP key, contact Microsoft before trying to bypass activation. It is highly likely that a support representative will be able to restore the key to work and activate the computer.

Activate Windows XP Step 24
Activate Windows XP Step 24

Step 4. Click

⊞ Win + R and type regedit.

This will open a Registry Editor window that will allow you to bypass Windows XP activation. This method is only recommended as a last resort. You won't be able to use Windows Update if your copy of Windows is not activated.

Activate Windows XP Step 25
Activate Windows XP Step 25

Step 5. Go to the required section

Use the schema on the left side of Registry Editor to open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE → SOFTWARE → Microsoft → Windows NT → CurrentVersion (or "Current Version") → WPAEvents.

Activate Windows XP Step 26
Activate Windows XP Step 26

Step 6. Double click on the "OOBETimer" parameter

A new window will open.

Activate Windows XP Step 27
Activate Windows XP Step 27

Step 7. Change the "Value"

Delete all data in the field and enter

FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F D5 33 93 FD

… Click OK to save changes

Activate Windows XP Step 28
Activate Windows XP Step 28

Step 8. Right click on the WPAEvents section and select Permissions

Select the System group from the list at the top of the window.

Activate Windows XP Step 29
Activate Windows XP Step 29

Step 9. Check the "Deny" box in the "Full Control" line

Click OK to save your changes.

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