Last month, I needed to install Windows XP (Pro Version 2002 SP3) from a Reinstallation CD a co-worker gave me, and with a product key the IT team told me to use.
Everything installed successfully and I have been using the XP machine for the last 30 days without any problems; however it kept reminding me to activate Windows, and of course, I never did (laziness).
It now has me locked out of my machine and won't let me log in until I activate it. So I proceed to the Activation Screen which asks me:
Do you want to activate Windows now?
I choose "Yes, let's activate Windows over the Internet now.", and click the
Next button. It now asks me:
Do you want to register while you are activating Windows?
I choose "No, I don't want to register now; let's just activate Windows.", and click the
I now see the following screen:
Notice how the title reads "Unauthorized product key", and how there are only 3 buttons:
Remind me later
Please note that the
Retry button is disabled until I enter the full product key that IT gave me, then it enables. However, at no point in time do I see a
Next button, indicating that the product key was valid/successful.
So instead, I just click the
Retry button, and the screen refreshes, this time with a different title
Incorrect product key
Could something be wrong with the Windows XP reinstallation CD (do they "expire" after a certain amount of time, etc.)? Or is this the normal/typical workflow for what happens when you just have a bad product key? I ask because, after this happened I emailed IT and they supplied me whether several other product keys to try. But every time its the same result, same thing happening over again and again.
So I guess it's possible that IT has given me several bad keys, but it's more likely something else is going on here. Any thoughts or ways to troubleshoot? Thanks in advance!