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Unattended activation of retail XP(inc SP2)


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I've read through pages and pages in here, and not found an answer so here's my question, in its own new topic!

I've created an unattended CD for XP Pro (SP2). I often change my hardware, and hence reintstall this version often. Is there any way to activate it that can be included in an unattended cd, so that I don't have to keep phoning Microsoft everytime I format and reinstall?

And pls don't mention the "copy the wpa.dbl from an activated system32 folder" method. It doesn't work. Like I said, I change my hardware often so this method can't work. But even more simply, this method doesn't work with SP2, which I have.

Someone suggested editing the registry with this:

;Make the Windows XP registration with Microsoft unnecessary

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion]

"RegDone"="1"

Does it work? And if I connect to do updates, will Microsoft then ask me to activate anyway?

I'd really appreciate any help. Thanks.

Edited by Ads
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Make the Windows XP registration with Microsoft unnecessary

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion]

"RegDone"="1"

Just takes care of registration not activation.

And like you say the other methods don't work with SP2.

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Oh! My bad! Should've picked up on that registration not activation thing. :blushing: Thanks for pointing it out.

Any ideas on the activation?

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Thanks mc134. Appreciate the input.

Unfortunately though, that method only makes XP activate automatically without any user input. The PC will still need to connect to Microsoft to activate though. And since I'm constantly reformatting and reinstalling, it doesn't work, and I have to phone Microsoft and activate it over the phone.

Problem still not solved! Maybe there is no solution? :(

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I don't think there' a solution either at least not one that is

ok with microsoft or can be discussed in this forum without breaking

the rules.

Edited by jbm
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Hectic! You'd think Microsoft would realise that there must be thousands of users like me, who for one reason or another format their PC's on a regular basis, and hence have the hassel of having to phone their contact centre all the time to reactivate!

Surely they have a solution! And if they haven't developed one, surely there must be programmers in this forum who can! It just doesn't seem logical that there shouldn't be a solution to this. The "copy the wpa.dbl from an activated system32 folder" method seemed brilliant, but it just doesn't work anymore. Isn't there a similiar way one can save the activated state of their copy of Windows for future reinstalls, even with new hardware.

Infact, Microsoft do have a solution. They manage to do it when we phone them to activate. How do they do that? Or can that not be discussed on this forum?

This is so frustrating! :( Please help!

Edited by Ads
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I have a MS Licencing document that states thet licences can only be tranferred to different hardware for long-term use. The only exception listed is if the origional hardware fails. The document defines long-term as longer than 90 days. (It is interesting to note that the EULA has no time restictions for tranferring licences.)

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Microsoft does have a solution for users that reinstall frequetly and don't wish to activate every time: corporate edition. I agree with you that there should be an easy, legit, way for home users to reinstall, but I'm sure jbm is right. It just keeps the honest people honest.

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It just keeps the honest people honest.

[rant style=ironic]Which is the least you can expect from a company found guilty of dishonest business practices.[/rant]

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I have a MS Licencing document that states thet licences can only be tranferred to different hardware for long-term use. The only exception listed is if the origional hardware fails. The document defines long-term as longer than 90 days. (It is interesting to note that the EULA has no time restictions for tranferring licences.)

I don't transfer it to different hardware. I change parts of my hardware all the time, as I'm sure most people in this forum do. What good are PC's if you keep the same hardware for years! I'm sure if you get a new motherboard, or graphics card for example, Microsoft don't expect you to go and buy a new licence.

Anyway, this is all besides the point, as we still don't have a solution. Surely someone knows how to solve this obvious problem.

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:hello: (highlight below to reveal hidden text)

What you'll need is AntiWPA ("Antiwpa-V3.4.6 for X64 and X86.zip" is the latest, afaik).

There is an automated method of integrating it into your install CD, "PencilNeck's Antiwpa3 integration patch 1.1 for X86" is what you're after.

antiwpa (dot) org (dot) ru

Edited by kai445
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There is no "magic" way to get out of activation. Here are the possible solutions:

1. Only activate when absolutely necessary. Microsoft gives retail users a 30-day grace period after you install to use Windows and change all the hardware you want. No questions asked. Take advantage of it and use Windows until day 29 or 30. You'll probably want to suppress Windows Activation notices so you don't get pestered all the time. Note that this script does NOT get you out of activating! Your grace period still ends after 30 days - the script just ensures Windows won't annoy you in the meantime.

2. Use Sysprep for images. This lets you install Windows XP once, make an image and store it as long as you want. When you restore the image to disk, your 30 day counter starts over. Useful for lots of hardware testing without the pain of reinstalling Windows. Note: this is also not a way to get around activation, Microsoft only lets Sysprep reset the activation counter 3 times.

3. For longer periods of testing, consider getting an MSDN subscription. Prices are very reasonable considering all the software you get: $700 gets you perpetual (valid forever) licenses to every Microsoft operating system ever made, plus monthly updates for a year. Look for better deals on ebay, etc. MSDN OS licenses allow you 60 days before you must activate.

4. If MSDN is too expensive and you only care about Windows XP, you can buy a volume licensed copy of Windows XP for under $200. Note it's an upgrade only, so you still need some other licensed copy of Windows to qualify for this price. This is a completely legitimate way to acquire a copy of Windows that will never require activation. (Note: Volume license agreements require purchases of 5 or more licenses to start, but not necessarily all Windows. Media and license fees charged by the reseller are not included.)

5. Lastly, exercise your rights! If you do indeed honestly own a validly-licensed, genuine copy of Windows XP, you are entitled to activate as much as you want. Understand the license terms first though: Remember OEM copies of Windows are forever married to the box on which they're first installed or distributed with - no borrowing unused copies from work or swapping licenses amongst machines! Retail versions of Windows XP can be transferred to a new machine, but are only ever licensed for a single machine at a time, so be sure to uninstall or format if you're using on a new machine. As long as you are legit, Microsoft will activate you via internet or phone. You can also automate internet activation if you don't like clicking buttons. Again, this is not a way to get out of activation, just a way to simplify the process.

That said, I have found through nearly 5 years of experience that those that complain about activation fall into 2 categories:

1) Those who dislike it on a theoretical level. They may or may not own a copy of Windows, but they dislike the very idea of having to activate with Microsoft. Once they try it and see how simple it is, they're satisfied. Activation really is easy, and Microsoft has no problems activating you multiple times. The hardware changing algorithms are also very lenient. If all else fails, you can always call up the activation center (free call 24/7 from anywhere in the world) and explain your situation. They always activate validly licensed users.

2) Those who do not actually own a validly licensed copy of Windows. This may be an intentional pirate (knowingly downloaded Windows illegally on a p2p service, etc.), an innocent victim (corrupt reseller sold a computer with a pirate copy of Windows), or mis-licensed user (using an OEM license on a different computer, for example). For these people: you're not legit. You have no room to complain. Microsoft hasn't changed its OS licensing rules in a decade, but is now choosing to enforce those rules via activation. Either buy a legit copy of Windows or use something else.

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Thanks for the advice "baliktad". Sounds like the "volume licensed" version is the best idea. It is the only one that actually addresses the question. And I didn't know about it, so thank you for the suggestion.

Whilst I do appreciate all the information, I do take slight offence at the obvious insinuation that I do not have a legitimate copy of Windows. Whether you believe me or not is besides the point. I know Microsoft don't mind activating it over and over again. I have to do it all the time over the phone! Thats exactly the problem. Its a pain in the neck! If Microsoft simply activate it multiple times over the phone, I see no reason why they can't do the same for internet activation.

I am not trying to 'con' the system. I want to activate my Windows. I simply find phoning Microsoft often time-consuming and irritating. I've paid for it! I shouldn't have to keep activating it if I reinstall or change my hardware! It's mine!..... So I guess I dislike it on your proposed "theoretical level". Hence the reason for my question. But it appears there is no solution except:

1) Continue phoning Microsoft to activate when necessary (looks like thats the answer!)

2) Your much appreciated "volume licensed" verion idea (but means buying five products)

3) A corporate edition version (way way too expensive!)

So if anyone out there is curious, after much research and discussion, we have reached a conclusion I believe. When you need to reactivate Windows, phone Microsoft! There is no way around it.

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A volume licence isn't that expensive. You need to make an initial purchase of 5 licences but you can always buy Server CALs (about $25 each) to get the required quantity for your first purchase. Additional purchases can be purchased individually.

Also note that the Windows licences are only upgrades so you will have to have a qualifying previous version for each computer.

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