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Cyber Axe

How to Activate Windows XP Online in 2018

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Since there's not much info out there on the web unless you spend a considerable amount of time googling, I thought i'd post the solution so more people can find it quickly.

Update: The latest problem with activation affects both XP and Vista however it’s relatively easy to fix, you need to update your root Certificates (The same issue causes problems browsing the net too)

I have created a Batch script that will download and update the Root Certificates accordingly but it will be a couple of days before I can post it.

Below is the Original Fix I posted

Turns out it's exceedingly easy to restore Windows XP Online Activation

  • Open the Start Menu
  • Right Click on Internet and choose "Internet Properties"
  • Goto the Advanced Tab
  • Scroll down near the bottom to the Security Section and uncheck both:
  • "Check for publisher's certificate revocation"
  • "Check for server certificate revocation"

Now you can activate online as normal or use the "Windows XP Product Key Change Tool"

I would reccomend re-enabling both options afterwards even if you dont use Internet Exploder (which you REALLY REALLY should not be)
 

If you’re still having problems:

I highly recommend downloading the “Windows XP Product Key Change Tool” it’s an official Microsoft tool and you should be able to download it from majorgeeks worked in every other instance for me where the built in one didn’t. (And in think it also lets you use different type of keys from the media the OS was installed from, such as Retail on OEM and such)

Also make sure your clock is set correctly (A common source of TLS problems)

Edited by Cyber Axe
Update
  • Like 3
  • Upvote 2

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I'm trying to activate XP SP2 (upgraded to SP3), and it won't work.

I tried the settings described here to no avail.

Whatever I do, I get the "Configure your network settings" screen, and if I click next or skip, it eventually fails to connect to the server. Is it possible MS finally took it offline?

 

EDIT: I have a working internet connection (it's downloading updates presently), so that's not the problem.

c

Edited by cc333

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I could, but I just realized that the seemingly nonfunctional online activation may be due to the fact that all forms of TLS less than 1.2 were taken offline June 30, and if that applies to the XP activation servers, we're in trouble unless a) MS decides to release a patch that fixes the problem (not likely for XP Home/Pro, but POSReady 2009 might get one)] that we can use), or b ) some enterprising XP user comes up with a workaround.

c

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2 minutes ago, cc333 said:

b ) some enterprising XP user comes up with a workaround.

The workaround is to activate by phone.

  • Upvote 1

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Haha, I suppose so!

OK, I did it!

I'm glad the telephone activation is automated!!

c

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On 9/3/2018 at 2:56 PM, cc333 said:

... all forms of TLS less than 1.2 were taken offline June 30, and if that applies to the XP activation servers, we're in trouble unless a) MS decides to release a patch that fixes the problem (not likely for XP Home/Pro, but POSReady 2009 might get one)]

They did; actually there are two:

This one adds TLS 1.2 support to the base OS:

On 2/1/2018 at 12:14 AM, WinClient5270 said:

As for TLS 1.1/1.2, there seems to be an update for POSReady 2009 here that adds TLS 1.1/1.2 support to that OS.

... and this one adds it to IE8:

On 6/9/2018 at 2:40 PM, Thomas S. said:

There is a new cumulative update for IE8 on PosReady kb4316682.

"Adds the ability to use TLS 1.2 support in Internet Explorer (8)."

... so if you install XP, upgrade to IE8 and Windows Installer 4.5, then enable, download, and install POSReady '09 updates, you may be able to activate online again.

But since activating by phone is automated and known to work, that's the easiest way by far.

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After I posted this within a week we started being able to activate again without doing this fix (I volunteer at the Turing Trust, we deal with a lot of XP machines)

however if one is having problems with the built in activator I highly recommend downloading the “Windows XP Product Key Change Tool” it’s an official Microsoft tool and you should be able to download it from majorgeeks (Pretty sure MS no longer have it on their site) worked in every other instance for me where the built in one didn’t.

Also since TLS Certificates are playing a part in this process may want to make sure your clock is set correctly (A common source of TLS problems)

I’ll edit my original post to add in this info as it may be helpful.

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Installed Windows XP Pro 32 bit on an old computer so I could run some old software that Windows 7 and up do not support. While trying to register the XP install 130 updates downloaded even though Internet Explorer wouldn't let me connect to the internet. The automatic registration didn't work, evidently due to the IE problem, but the updates did get downloaded. There were 6 more updates completed after a restart. After the restart I now can get on the internet but downloading any other software hasn't worked.

Used the telephone to register and it worked as expected.

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13 hours ago, vcw39 said:

Installed Windows XP Pro 32 bit on an old computer so I could run some old software that Windows 7 and up do not support.

Slightly OT, but if you own Windows 7 Pro, you can download & install "Windows XP Mode" and use it to run those old programs in Windows XP on a virtual machine.

Anyhow, on your old PC you'll probably need the POSReady hack to get your https: support up to speed. That should help with downloads.

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Speaking of the phone method, I activated windows windows 8.1 by phone a few days ago, and the "do it on your phone's web browser" method was GONE! So I spent the next painful 15 minutes doing it by voice.

Edited by i430VX

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On 9/21/2018 at 4:43 PM, i430VX said:

Speaking of the phone method, I activated windows windows 8.1 by phone a few days ago, and the "do it on your phone's web browser" method was GONE! So I spent the next painful 15 minutes doing it by voice.

Maybe because MS wants people to fell the pain....

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On 09/07/2018 at 8:59 AM, Cyber Axe said:

however, if one is having problems with the built in activator

After reading this thread, I reinstalled XP just to see, using as Dell original XP cd (no service pack), on a Thinkpad z60m which has a valid XP sticker on it, and I managed to activate before.

I read you instructions, tried and tried, but it is 32777;  so I resorted to force and modified oobetimer (it works charmingly)

I have IBM, Toshiba, Dell, HP installation CDs, so activation is not needed;  but.......

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I recommend turning the clock forward a couple of months on xp for the force oobe timer you should find it stops working (unless you keep it un-updated then it may work indefinatley), also if you're using a DELL you should be able to legitimatley activate it using the SLP OEM Activation method.

I have only tested my methods on versions of XP that have been upgraded to SP3 and were from clean retail/msdn disk sources.

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> On June 19, 2018 Cyber Axe said:
> I have created a Batch script that will download and update the Root Certificates...

Not urgent (yet), but I'm still hoping to download this elegant fix.

This seems to be a potentially serious need.  Certificates not updated causes me to have a lot of website connection failures per old browser on Android and Java phone devices, as well as Win98.  I haven't figured out how to fix them.  

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