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WinXP home activation woes

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  • WinXP home activation woes

    I recently reformatted a Dell Inspiron 1100 and sold it to my boss for a few bucks. I had a perfectly good key on the bottom of it, but the version of Windows that I had installed wasn't the same OEM or VLK or whichever it is (I recently learned all about MS keys, however late it may be). Anyway I couldn't get it to take a genuine key so instead of starting the entire process over I used a WGA crack that I've used plenty of times, no problems. There was a problem this time. Now when the Windows login screen comes up, it says that the evaluation period is over and Windows must be activated. When I try to activate it, it says that Windows has already been activated and closes, then just sits there and won't load the rest of the OS.

    What I really need to do is just salvage his data off the drive, its cool if I have to reformat as long as I can save his docs for him. I'm unable to execute anything once windows loads so I have to find a way to get to it from the BIOS or maybe connecting to it from another computer.

    Any help with this would REALLY be appreciated! I use Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP so a solution using either of those is fine.
    Last edited by vinsai; 29th November 2008, 04:25.

  • #2
    Re: WinXP home activation woes

    Either boot from a Linux live CD, or connect the hard drive to another computer and access it that way.

    Just so you know, we don't like discussion of illegal activities on this forum, however I appreciate that in this instance you are trying to remedy the non-legit installation. Just wanted to make sure you're aware of the stance that we take
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.


    • #3
      Re: WinXP home activation woes

      Well I had the sticker on the bottom of the machine still intact, it just wouldn't take it. So it was either re-re-format o_0 or crack it. But yea, I understand and I'm certainly not trying to promote such things.

      Anyway, those are pretty much the only two options I've come up with so far. I looked for an adapter for 2.5" HDD to 3.5" IDE soon after I posted and it was surprisingly cheap (broke college student here). I've got one on order, and that seems like the best way to access it. You don't suppose MS would lock the HDD until it gets its key?

      Anyway, I tried booting with my Ubuntu cd and it warned me of potential 'consequences' if I tried to read the NTFS windows partition from Linux, so I didn't try, but I'm curious if that would really work. I'd hate to compromise this data on a "what if".

      Got into it with safe mode. Took me a while to figure out how to do it, never had to use safe mode since win98 haha. Now begins the re-re-format, gotta go figure out how to find the right version of windows to put on it to match my valid cd key.
      Last edited by vinsai; 29th November 2008, 05:56.


      • #4
        Re: WinXP home activation woes

        It'll be an OEM CD from Dell. See if your college techs have one. The laptop's key should work with it.
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