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Windows XP Invalid Key

By catsforus ·
Hi I need help with WinXP Professional with SP2. I recently ran a check for updates on Microsoft Web Site. It cam back with the new update wizard to be installed. I did this and when I ran update aging it asked to validate my WinXP Version. I accepted this and it then came back with validation failed, invalid key. I then download a few utilities to check my key and it is the same as is on my OEM Windows Professional installation pack.

I have now tried the following.

Start by changing one of the values of the Registry Key specified below to any number 0-9 or character A-F. Changing any character will do - it doesn't matter which one you change or what you change it to.
Key: Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents
Name: ODBETimer
Value: just change one of the entries as mentioned above
What this will do is deactivate the copy of Windows. Now click Start, Run, and copy the following into the Run box:
%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe /a
When I run the above script it brings up the registration window and just tell me product already resisted? I have also tried a few utilities that are supposed to change the key and these did nothing as well.

Any Ideas?

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Windows XP Invalid Key

While I have not heard of this happening on anything but Volume Licenses Copies of XP Pro {It's another undocumented feature of SP2!}

What I've had to do in the past was to obtain a new product key from MS. I then use Keyfinder to change the product keys. It's happened on every copy of XP Pro that I've installed on a volume license and that covers quite a few companies. It's painful annoying and time consuming to fix and is part of the New MS WUS system that is supposed to download all updates for MS products as they become available, instead of requiring a visit to the Windows Update Site and then the Office Site and any other MS software that you have installed.
You'll need to ring MS and read the number off the center of the install CD and they will e-mail you a new Product Key in about 10 days.

If you have a Pre Built system from HP, Dell or the like you'll need to contact them for a replacement key I don't know how they work it but without the original MS CD MS will not help you.

You can download a copy of Key Finder here.


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by wcp In reply to Windows XP Invalid Key

It is possible, for whatever reason, that your product key might have been activated before with a different system.

I recommeend to call Microsoft at 1-800-936-5700 and talk to a customer service rep.

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by dmiles In reply to Windows XP Invalid Key

This error is displayed on machines where the product key that has been used to install Windows is known to be used heavily on pirated versions of Windows XP. Service Pack 2 will not install, if you wish to check if your product key is genuine visit

Product IDs that matches one of the following (where X is any numeric value): XXXXX-640-0000356-23 XXX or XXXXX-640-2001765-23 XXX will be blocked from installing the service pack as they were blocked from Service Pack 1 (Click here for how to view your product id). If you have brought what you believe to be a legal version of Windows go back to where you purchased it and ask for a legal product key.

In order to install SP2 you will need a legal version of the Windows XP Edition you are currently using, insert the CD
into your drive before Windows loads and boot from the CD (may require this function to be enabled in your computers BIOS). Once Windows XP setup has begun press Enter to start setup and press F8 to agree to the EULA. Select the current windows install to repair and press R. This will give you the ability to change the pirate key with a new legal retail key.

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by catsforus In reply to

Great thanks for this advice it worked great. There were however a few extra things needed after this. I had to reinstall some of the drivers and run repair on MS Office 2003 as well. It was however not such a major deal compared to having to reinstall Windows and the all the other programs and setups.

The funny thing is I phoned Microsoft as well and all they could tell me was to return it to the vendor and have then reinstall Windows.

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by wlbowers In reply to Windows XP Invalid Key

All good answers. Your key might be valid, genuine.

But if it somehow has been one of the valid keys that has been ripped and posted on the web, microsoft has flagged it bogus.

Contact the vendor if it is a Dell, HP, ect. Call Microsoft if it is a white box.


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by catsforus In reply to Windows XP Invalid Key

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