Need help activating Windows XP (legitimately)

Facts: I own a purchased Windows XP Retail version from 2001. Why I still want to use it is my own issue, so please do NOT ask. My product key recently got blocked by Microsoft because I have made "too many activations" over the past ~15 years. I have spoken to the representative over the phone and was told I had activated the software 80 something times (which is not a lot considering that I format my PCs VERY often plus I've installed the OS on VMs countless times). License is for 3 PCs. Product key has not been "leaked" to others.

I want to install the OS again now, but I can't activate it. I've been on the phone with MS well over 3 hours in total the past 2 weeks, trying to figure out a solution. As XP has reached EOL, they do NOT support it whatsoever. They cannot unblock my product key. They cannot bypass the activation procedure even though I explain everything to them. I do not own a second retail copy, and do NOT want to purchase one either. OEM keys (which I do have) do NOT work for the retail version. Tried getting a product key from MS dreamspark (for which I am eligible, and the keys are retail), but they have already removed the damn thing from the catalog. Tried downgrading from a valid Win7 license, but a valid XP license key is ALSO required for the procedure to work (MS says so over the phone). Tried the wikihow article but does not work when I push the clock 30 days later. I've tried everything I can think of, and I'm even keeping this short.

Question: Is there anything on your mind that may be of help?

I only care about not executing arbitrary "crack" code on my computers.

Since you have explored the MS support route the only solutions I can see are to:

1) Wait for MS to release a patch that will disable the activation requirement,
2) Obtain another licence key,
3) Find a way to break the activation.

With regards to 2, talk nicely to someone with an active MSDN subscription, they will likely be able to obtain up to 3 product keys for Win XP.

I doubt MS would card about the technical breach of the EULA given that you own a legit copy and the software is unsupported.

EDIT: I don't think SLMGR -rearm command works for XP, you could try rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk to reset the 30 day trial period.

That's actually a helpful reply (not joking).

Do you think an active subscription to 'MSDN Academic Alliance' will suffice to get an XP product key (like I said, they removed it from dreamspark, due to age)?
EDIT: They appear to be the same thing

Hi ! I think I have an old or many a couple of xp oem licences lying around somewhere . Would that work, it is XP pro oem.

Thanks! However OEM licenses will not work for Retail versions (I have already tried it).

Retail means directly from microsoft, either from MSDN / Dreamspark or by buying the software

If someone is willing to share their retail product key, I will make sure not to activate with that key, but use the downgrading procedure (so as not to add +1 to the activation count of your key) from a win7 key I have.

I will then save the wpa.dbl file, (which I had already done, but the volume serial number must also be the same and I did not know that!) so hopefully I will not need another activation, at least until I find a way out of this mess.

Hi ! some of the licenses I have are retail, except I did not identify them because in the past I did use the keys, both oem and retail on oem (and retail) and it worked. I would have to have the same version cd that you have, or the other way around.(I can see that as a reason for not activating) I do not need the licenses. (most were sold by me and the machine upgraded later and I had to take the licenses off. )
Any way I can help.

Man, if that's the case, I will manually try each and every one of them. You have no idea how much trouble you'll be saving me from, because something else has ALSO come up (this just in): An XP installation that I use at the office has gone crazy and deactivated itself. I know it sounds weird, and in WPA's defense I did swap a CPU about 2 months ago (to test it out) however this hardware change only happened for 1 hour, everything went back to how they were, and de-activation happens now? What the fuck?

Like I said I won't be adding a +1 activation count to your key (will use downgrading from win7, but this procedure also needs a valid XP key as groundwork, duh). Anyway, shoot me a PM, I'll owe you one

Why not get an ISO of the OEM version and install that with one of your OEM keys?

I shall have a hunt around in the shed for ya mate, there should be a XP retail box somewhere in there. Will PM you if I have success.

as far as I know, upon a hardware change, the machine code changes; and after a couple a restarts the program, in this case windows xp pro than requires reactivation. I may say that more than once windows did not require a reactivation, and than a couple of times it did (WTF..k). Must be sensitive to some particular variations. It is always better to answer Microsoft with : only one computer, and the HDD went dead, otherwise the key is not supposed to be applied to a new build............(no comments).
How do you want to proceed, I do not want to put the keys on for all to view.
Were are you situated ?
fitchx s suggestion is quite valid, but I understood that you already have a build and do not want to reinstall. (correct ?)

if it works, I will probably send you in the mail the key stickers. (we will figure something out :-)

I just checked, and I have Xp Home (5), XP pro (1), Vista business(2) Vista Ultimate (1), 2000pro (6).
must have given the xp pro, or I cannot find them , I tough all the stickers I had were xp pro........
Sorry for my mistake. I will have another look..........

1) I have already created an nLited CD of Windows XP Pro retail with SP3 and ALL subsequent updates released along with IE8 & WMP11 plus will be adding .NET frameworks 1.1 & 4 and their security updates. We're talking 100's of updates and I do not want to have to do this again in a (very probable) re-deployment scenario.

2) This may not resonate with everyone but I enjoy using as much of a vanilla OS as possible. I do not want the OEM's version of the OS

3) I need to activate the XP installation that decided to deactivate itself. This is used in the office in a semi-production environment and is kind of urgent, but happened after I opened this topic

Yes, I thought that ONLY hardware mattered, and therefore re-installing and over-writing the wpa.dbl file in the SAME PC would suffice. Needless to say, it does not (at least not all of the time). Here's a useful document. See page 4 of 12 for parameters that influence the mood of Windows activator (assuming the document is correct). I re-installed on a laptop, having wiped the HDD, overwrote wpa.dbl, and it didn't work (Volume serial number might be the culprit).

As to abide by your requirement not to ask why you need xp, I don't know if this will help. If you have WIN7 installed, install the XP virtual machine. Its free and no license key is needed and you're getting it directly from Microsoft.

I am going to look in my data banks; I have licenses , that I know were un-installed .(sic) and may be able to help. I am putting a rush as I understand you are in a semi-pro envir.

Indicate how you want to proceed,
Cheers :-)

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Find the XP professional retail key - that's the only one that can help, and the only one I need. The PC in the office does not get much workload these days, but I will have to activate it at some point for sure


They removed it due to the fact that MS dropped all support to XP for consumers March 2014 and businesses 2015. This is what happens with Legacy hardware. Can't sit on it for this long when MS made multiple warnings over the past 3 years. My advice. Go ask for the pro key or retail disk from a college. They have boat loads.

FWIW I did nothing wrong. I am fully aware of the age of the OS, the possible vulnerabilities, no new patches.... I WANT to use Windows XP and THAT'S THAT. I paid for it. I did not sign some contract saying that after a certain number of activations, I lose the right to use. Microsoft screwed ME over, their paying customer, and I would pirate the damn thing were I not adamant in not executing foreign code on my machines.

Why bother with legitimate now support has ended, I have an illegitimate key for professional x86 that doesn't require a "crack" to activate, but doesn't pass genuine tests. I use it when I'm unable to use a legitimate key. I can't give it to you because its against the rules here, but google can help you find it.

Actually I think you did sign a contract when you agreed to the end user license agreement and the terms and conditions. YOU don't own software, you have purchased license to use that software for a set limited amount of times. According to MS. Just like how you don't own Steam games.

I'm going to come back and get the official terms and conditions for XP so I can highlight it in this same post. There are many reports on the net of people surpassing their activation limit. Some have been successful with calling MS and getting a new key that way. However some of those posts are several years old, so that may no longer be possible.

Number of (cumulative) activations is different than the number of active (activated) machines you have at any one point. License says I can install on 3 machines at any one time. I challenge MS to prove I've violated the terms. But they've blacklisted my key anyway, AND stopped support for the software and can't help me, AND still require activation

last time i activated windows xp. i turned the internet off and chose the activate by phone option. i was given a number that i entered into the phone and was given an activation code that i then put into the box given.

activation took a few seconds.
in total i activated my oem version 8 times over its life. on the 5th time i was redirected to a m.s operator who asked why i kept reactivating. i explained i upgraded, he said ok and gave me the new unlock key. after that i just went back to the phone method.

if you can activate windows the automated phone method is likely still the only option. if that doesnt work then there is likely no legal way to do it because m.s nolonger support it unless you pay for extended support. which includes activation.