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Old 01-28-2006, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default XP and a different COA #

I have just built a PC for my sis and her BF, and the copy of XP they had is scratched and will not complete the installation. Will there be any problems using my XP pro SP1 and their COA number for XP pro SP1?

Thanks, Trif.
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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put the xp cd on your system, lower the drive speed and copy it like that. or switch to pio mode which will take longer. You can use your cd on their system if you just want to do that
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So there will not be any problems with using my CD on two PC's (no side affects for my PC when I next install?)
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: XP and a different COA #

Quote:
Originally posted by Trifid
I have just built a PC for my sis and her BF, and the copy of XP they had is scratched and will not complete the installation. Will there be any problems using my XP pro SP1 and their COA number for XP pro SP1?

Thanks, Trif.
Yes if their the same OS it will work.
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Trifid
So there will not be any problems with using my CD on two PC's (no side affects for my PC when I next install?)

when you install that cd serial 3 times or more, you will need to get another key or call MS to give you another one. other than that, no
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've called them before, as I have done several instals on my PC.
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Warez isn't it 9 not 3?
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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3 and 3 only, unless you have the volume license
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's 9 (ish) times before you need to call for me and I'm pretty sure my keys are not volume licenses.
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Frequently asked questions about Microsoft Product Activation
January 10, 2006

INTRODUCTION
How MPA works
Privacy
Activation and product licensing policies
Technical activation details
Changes to Product Activation in Microsoft Windows XP SP1


INTRODUCTION
This article contains frequently asked questions about Microsoft Product Activation (MPA). The questions are separated into the following categories: What is MPA?

Microsoft Product Activation (MPA) is an anti-piracy technology that is designed to help verify that the product is valid.



Which Microsoft products include MPA?

MPA is included in several versions of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office XP (and single programs such as Word 2002), Windows XP, Microsoft Visio 2002, Microsoft FrontPage 2002, and Microsoft Project 2002. Product activation is required in retail packaged products and in new computers that have been purchased from a computer manufacturer. Product activation is not required for licenses that customers acquire through one of the Microsoft volume licensing programs, such as Open License or Select License.



Which customers have to activate?

All customers who purchase retail packaged products or a new computer from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) have to activate the product. The products on a new computer that was purchased from an OEM may be activated in the factory. Product activation is not required for licenses that customers acquire through one of the Microsoft Volume Licensing programs, such as Open License or Select License. Volume Licensing programs can be scaled to even the smallest businesses, and customers can qualify for the Microsoft Open License program by acquiring as few as five product licenses. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Licensing (http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/Default.asp)


How does MPA work?

MPA validates that the product's Product Key, which is required as part of product installation, has not been used on more computers than the product's end-user license agreement (EULA) allows. Generally, Windows XP can be installed on one computer, and Office XP can be installed on one computer and that computer user's portable computer. For more information, see the EULA for your product.

The Product Key information, which the Product ID contains, is sent with a "hardware hash" (a number that the computer's hardware configuration generates) to the Microsoft activation system during activation. In Windows XP SP1, the Product Key is also sent. Activation is completed either directly by using the Internet or by making a telephone call to a customer service representative. If you install Windows XP on the same computer by using the same Product Key, the number of activations is not limited. MPA discourages piracy by limiting the number of times that a Product Key can be activated on different computers.



Can a product (for example, Windows XP or Office XP) be turned off remotely by using MPA?

No, the product cannot be turned off remotely by using MPA.



Why does Microsoft require customers to activate their products?

MPA was designed as a simple way to verify the product license and to help reduce the spread of software piracy. People who use pirated software contribute to a problem that can adversely affect job creation locally and regionally in the software industry and related businesses. Software piracy is an enormous drain on the global economy, according to the 2000 BSA Software Piracy Report. The report estimates that worldwide losses from software piracy in 2000 were almost $12 billion. Software piracy also has a significant effect on the high-tech industry, and the results are lost jobs, reduced innovation, and increased costs to consumers.



How does MPA help reduce piracy?

MPA helps reduce casual copying by making sure that the copy of the product that is being installed is valid and that it has been installed on the computer in accordance with the product's EULA. Installations that are not compliant with the EULA are not activated.



Have companies tried to implement anti-piracy technologies?

Anti-piracy technologies have been used in the past, but they have not been easy for customers to use. These technologies were generally not acceptable to customers or to the industry. For example, some early computer products required specialized hardware components or disks that were cumbersome for the user. MPA is a breakthrough technology because it makes activation a part of installing the product and helps avoid the problems of previous anti-piracy methods.



How does the customer benefit from this approach?

Over time, the result of reduced piracy is that the software industry can invest more in product development, quality, and support. This leads to better products and more innovation for customers. Ultimately, customers benefit from the economic effect of reduced piracy through more jobs and increased wages. Customers also receive the added value for their software investment by receiving product updates and other product information. MPA also helps prevent unsuspecting customers from purchasing counterfeit products. Customers who purchase counterfeit products may find that they are missing key elements, such as user manuals, Product Keys, certificates of authenticity, and even software code. They may also find that the counterfeit product contains viruses or does not work well.



Where has MPA been tested?

MPA was tested with Microsoft Office 2000 when it was released in 1999 in six countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), New Zealand, and the United States. This test resulted in over 7 million successful activation transactions. Microsoft received significant feedback from customers who have used product activation. Microsoft has incorporated the feedback in the latest version of MPA that is being used with Windows XP, Office XP and Visio 2002.



What were some of the key lessons that Microsoft learned by testing MPA with Office 2000?

Customers generally found activation to be easy. Telephone calls averaged two to three minutes in length, with hold times of two to three minutes or less. On average, over 70 percent of the activation requests were conducted over the Internet, and approximately 2 percent of the activation requests occurred because of hardware changes or reactivations.




How MPA works
• Does MPA make it more difficult for customers to install and use the products?
• Are customers notified that they have to activate?
• Is there a grace period during which the product works without being activated?
• What is "reduced functionality mode" in Office XP and Office XP family products?
• How do I know if my product installation is activated?
• How does MPA connect over the Internet?
• What are the hours of operation of the customer service centers?
• If I am outside the United States, how do I activate my installation by using the telephone?
• Why are the installation and confirmation IDs so long when I activate by telephoning a customer service representative?
Does MPA make it more difficult for customers to install and use products?

MPA is designed to be easy for customers who acquire valid product licenses. Customers have the choice of activating over the Internet or by using the telephone. Customers can also delay activation for several uses of the product until a time that is convenient for them to activate the product. Customers who obtain product copies that are not valid will find that MPA makes their use of that product more difficult. Millions of customers have used MPA to date with little or no difficulty.



Are customers notified that they have to activate?

Yes. Customers are notified of the activation requirement on the box if they purchase a retail version of the product. Additionally, for programs such as Word, customers are reminded to activate every time that they use the program, up until the fiftieth use, which is the maximum number of times that they can use the program before they have to activate. For Windows, customers are reminded every time that they log on and regularly up until the end of the activation grace period, which is 30 days. If they have not activated the product in the specified time frame, they have to do this to continue using the product.



Is there a grace period during which the product works without being activated?

Yes. Users can use a product for a while without activating it. For the Office XP family of products, the grace period is the first 50 uses. For Visio 2002, the grace period is 10 uses. For Windows, it is 30 days from the first installation or upgrade.



What is "reduced functionality mode" in Office XP and Office XP family products?

Programs go into reduced functionality mode if the user does not activate before the end of the grace period, which is the fiftieth use for Office XP and its family products and the tenth use for Visio 2002. In this mode, users cannot save changes to documents or create new documents, and additional functionality may be reduced. Existing files are not affected and can be edited or saved with an activated installation of Office XP or Visio 2002. Users can regain full functionality of the product by activating.



How do I know if my product installation is activated?

In all Office XP family products, users can click Activate Product on the Help menu to determine the program's activation status. In Windows, users can click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Activate Windows.



How does MPA connect over the Internet?

For Office XP family products, activation over the Internet requires users to have their own Internet service provider (ISP) connection. Users who do not have an ISP connection have to activate by telephoning a customer service representative. For Windows XP, users who do not have an ISP may use the Microsoft ISP network to activate. Users who do not have an ISP and cannot use the Microsoft ISP network have to activate by telephoning a customer service representative.



What are the hours of operation of the customer service centers?

Most customer service centers are open 24 hours a day. Some international customer service centers are only open during extended business hours.



If I am outside the United States, how do I activate my installation by using the telephone?

Microsoft has regional and, in some locations, local customer service centers to process activation requests. Telephone access numbers to these customer service centers are toll-free where available. Some countries can only be serviced with local toll numbers because of their telephony infrastructure or other issues. For very few countries, users have to contact Microsoft by calling collect.



Why are the Installation and Confirmation IDs so long when I activate by telephoning a customer service representative?

Microsoft did usability testing of both numeric and alphanumeric Installation and Confirmation IDs. Although the IDs might have been made shorter by using alphabetical characters, Microsoft learned through usability testing that users' interactions with the customer service representatives were substantially more error-free when the IDs were all numeric. There were fewer misunderstandings with numerals than with alphabetical characters. Because the conversations were more error-free, the calls were shorter and customer satisfaction with the telephone activation process was improved. Additionally, all languages use numerals, whereas not all languages use Latin-based script characters.




Privacy
• How does MPA respect customer privacy?
• Is there rechecking of the activation after initial activation? Is there any secret data transfer to Microsoft?
• If I decide to register my product, what happens to the personal data that I provide to Microsoft?
How does MPA respect customer privacy?

Microsoft highly values respect for and protection of customers' private information. User privacy was a paramount design goal for MPA. MPA is anonymous, and no personally identifiable information is collected. Activation is different from product registration. Customers can voluntarily register their products by providing their names and contact information. Registration is for those customers who want to receive future communications on product updates, service releases, and other special offers. Any information that is provided to Microsoft is treated securely, is kept private, and is used only for the purposes that are specified by the customer. The hardware hash that is used during activation is a combination of the hash values of various computer components and cannot be used to determine the make or model of the computer. It also cannot be backward-calculated to determine the raw computer information.



Is there rechecking of the activation after initial activation? Is there any secret data transfer to Microsoft?

The product does check itself occasionally to see if it is activated and if it is still installed on the same computer that it was originally activated on. At no time is information transferred to Microsoft because of MPA, except while the user is actually in the process of activating the product. There is no "secret" data transfer.



If I decide to register my product, what happens to the personal data that I provide to Microsoft?

If customers decide to voluntarily register their product to receive future communications on product updates, service releases, and other special offers by providing their name and personal data to Microsoft, Microsoft will then store the users' personal data in the United States and possibly in the country where the users live. Personal information is protected from unauthorized distribution. Under no circumstances is personal data sold to third parties. Based on registration, users may receive information about product updates, new products, product offers, and other matters.




Activation and product licensing policies
• How many installations can be made with one product license? Has this changed with the introduction of MPA?
• Does MPA allow customers to install products on a portable computer and on a desktop computer?
• If I have to reinstall the product, do I have to purchase a new license?
• If I have to reinstall the product, is reactivation required?
• What happens if you try to install and activate a product on more computers than the EULA allows?
• Can I transfer a license to another computer?
• I do not want to activate. What can I do to turn this off?
• Does Microsoft use activation to require me to upgrade? Will Microsoft ever stop issuing activation codes for any one of the products that require activation?
• If I buy a new computer that has a preactivated copy of Windows XP Home Edition, and then I upgrade to a retail version of Windows XP Professional, what happens to the activation of the Windows XP Home Edition?
• If Product IDs are used by Microsoft for activation, how do businesses build images by using generic installations scripts and deployment tools?
How many installations can be made with one product license? Has this changed with the introduction of MPA?

The underlying principles of Microsoft product licenses have not changed. Microsoft EULAs have always specified the number of computers where the product can be installed. MPA does not change that. For Office XP, primary users can also install one copy of the product on a portable computer for their exclusive use. To install Office XP on more than these two devices, the user must acquire another license of the product. Licenses for copies of Office XP that are preinstalled on new computers are single-computer licenses that cannot be transferred or installed again on another computer. The licensing terms have not been changed because of MPA.



Does MPA allow customers to install products on a portable computer and on a desktop computer?

Consumers may use the terms of the product's EULA to determine if this is allowed. Sometimes, the Microsoft EULA permits customers who are the primary users of Microsoft programs, such as Office and Word, to install one additional copy on their portable computers for their exclusive use. This does not apply to product licenses that are acquired with the purchase of a computer. These OEM licenses are single-use licenses that cannot be transferred to another computer. Windows XP can only be installed on a single computer. A new license is required if you install and activate the product on a different computer.



If I have to reinstall the product, do I have to purchase a new license?

Generally, if the same version of the product is reinstalled on the same computer and it has not been installed on any other computer, no new license is required. Additional licenses are generally required for installations that are not permitted by the product's EULA.



If I have to reinstall the product, is reactivation required?

Reactivation is not always required when you reinstall the product. If the same version of the product is reinstalled on the same computer and the hard disk is not reformatted before the product is reinstalled, the product remains activated. Reactivation is required if the hard disk is reformatted and then the product is reinstalled. Reactivation is required because the product's activation status is stored on the hard disk and reformatting the hard disk removes that status.



What happens if you try to install and activate a product on more computers than the EULA allows?

Installation of the product on more computers than the EULA allows is a violation of the EULA. Technically, MPA does not limit the number of computers where the product can be installed. For example, you could install Windows XP on 100 computers, but activation would not be successful on 99 of those computers. If you installed Office XP on 100 computers, activation would not be successful on 98 of those computers. This limits the usefulness of the installations that are in violation of the EULA. Outside MPA, Microsoft does not know how many computers have Windows XP or Office XP family products installed.



Can I transfer a license to another computer?

Consumers may use the terms of their license agreements to determine if transferring a license to another computer is allowed. If a transfer is permitted by the license agreement, the product has to be removed from the computer where it was first installed. Users may have to complete the activation on the new computer by phoning the Microsoft Activation Center.



I do not want to activate. What can I do to turn this off?

Activation is required for continued use of the product. Businesses and other customers who have to acquire multiple licenses for an organization must contact their software reseller about their eligibility to purchase licenses through one of the Microsoft Volume Licensing programs.



Does Microsoft use activation to require me to upgrade? Will Microsoft ever stop issuing activation codes for one or more of the products that require activation?

No. Microsoft does not use activation as a tool to require people to upgrade. Activation is only an anti-piracy tool.

Microsoft will also support the activation of Windows XP and will likely provide an update that turns off activation at the end of the product's life cycle so that users would no longer have to activate the product.



If I buy a new computer that has a preactivated copy of Windows XP Home Edition, and then I upgrade to a retail version of Windows XP Professional, what happens to the activation of the Windows XP Home Edition?

Because the upgrade to Windows XP Professional is a retail upgrade, it overrides the preactivated copy of Windows XP Home Edition. You have to activate the Windows XP Professional upgrade.



If Microsoft uses Product IDs for activation, how do businesses build images by using generic installations scripts and deployment tools?

Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements are not limited to the Select License program. Microsoft also offers smaller companies the ability to acquire volume licenses at a discount by using the Microsoft Open License program. Customers can qualify for the Open License program by purchasing as few as five product licenses. Most small businesses can qualify for the Open License program. Customers who acquire their licenses through one of the Microsoft Volume License programs do not have to activate those licenses. For more information about Microsoft Volume License programs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Licensing (http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/Default.asp)



Technical activation details
• What data does Microsoft gather as part of activation?
• What is an Installation ID?
• Do Installation IDs differ for different computers?
• How does MPA identify the computer's hardware?
• Can I change or upgrade my hardware components?
• How does MPA determine tolerance? How many components of the computer can I change before I have to reactivate?
• Are the changes cumulative? If I change one component today, and then change one component tomorrow, is that considered two component changes?
• What are the 10 hardware characteristics that are used to determine the hardware hash?
• Does MPA deter hard disk cloning by comparing the hardware hashes?
• If I reformat my hard disk, is reactivation required?
• Does MPA put cookies on my computer when I activate?
• Does MPA really help reduce piracy?
• Product activation has been cracked before and it will be cracked again. What's the use?
What data does Microsoft gather as part of activation?

The only information that is required for activation is an Installation ID. For Office XP and Office XP family products, such as Visio 2002, the name of the country where the product is being installed is also required. The Installation ID facilitates activation. It has two components: the Product ID, which is generated by using the Product Key, and a hardware hash value, which is generated by using your hardware configuration information. For Windows XP SP1 and later, a third component, the Product Key, is also used.

MPA uses a hash algorithm to generate the hardware identifier but does not scan the customer's hard disk, detect any personal information, or determine the make, model, or manufacturer of the computer or of its components. For example, if the computer's color is used as part of the Installation ID, the hardware hash would be the high four bits of the color. That color would always produce the same high four bits, but those four high bits cannot be used to determine the color. For users who activate over the Internet, the Installation ID is sent electronically. For users who activate by telephone, the Installation ID is converted to decimal format (versus digital format) and is displayed in the product's user interface (UI). The user who activates by using the telephone has to read the Installation ID to the customer service representative.



What is an Installation ID?

The Installation ID is the data that is used to activate a product. The Installation ID is a code that you provide to Microsoft as part of activation, either electronically, if activation occurs over the Internet, or by reading it to a customer service representative, if activation occurs over the telephone. The Installation ID has two components: the Product ID and a hardware hash value. For Windows XP SP1 installations, the Product Key is also used.

The Product ID is unique to that installation, and it is generated from the Product Key that is used during installation. The hardware hash value is a representation of the computer where the product is installed. It is named a hardware hash value because it has no direct correlation to the computer and cannot be backward-calculated to the original value. If the Installation ID is used for a telephone activation, it is a 50-digit code (54 digits for Windows XP SP1 activations) that has to be read to the customer service representative.



Do Installation IDs differ for different computers?

Yes. The Installation IDs are different if they are generated by different computers.



How does MPA identify the computer's hardware?

MPA detects the hardware configuration for the computer where the product is being installed, and then MPA creates a hardware hash value for that configuration. A hash is a value that is mathematically derived from another value. In this case, the hash is derived from the hardware configuration values. MPA does not scan the customer's hard disk, detect any personal information, or determine the make, model, or manufacturer of the computer or of its components. MPA uses hash values because of respect for users' privacy. A hash value cannot be backward-calculated to determine the original value. Additionally, Microsoft only uses a part of the original hash values. These hash values are combined to form the hardware hash.



Can I change or upgrade my hardware components?

MPA can tolerate some change in hardware components by allowing a degree of difference between the current hash value and the hash value that was originally activated. Users can change hardware components without having to reactivate the product. If users make substantial changes to their hardware components, even over long periods of time, they may have to reactivate the product. In that case, users may have to contact a Microsoft customer service representative by telephone to reactivate.



How does MPA determine tolerance? How many components of the computer can I change before I have to reactivate?

Common changes to hardware, such as upgrading a video card, adding a second hard disk, adding RAM, or upgrading a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, do not require reactivation.

Specifically, MPA determines tolerance by using a point system. Ten hardware characteristics are used to create the hardware hash. Each characteristic is equal to one point, except the network card, which is equal to three points. Tolerance is determined by what has not changed, instead of what has changed. If the current hardware hash is compared to the original hardware hash, there have to be seven or more matching points for the two hardware hashes to be considered in tolerance. For example, if the network card, which is equal to three points, remains the same, only four additional points have to match. If the network card has been changed, a total of seven points have to match. If the device is a portable computer (specifically a dockable device), additional tolerance is allotted and only four matching points are required. Therefore, if the device is dockable and the network card has not changed, only one additional point has to be the same, for a total of four points. If the device is dockable and the network card has changed, a total of four points have to match.



Are the changes cumulative? If I change one component today, and then change one component tomorrow, is that considered two component changes?

The changes are cumulative; however, if a user is asked to reactivate, the hardware profile is reset to the new configuration.



What are the 10 hardware characteristics that are used to determine the hardware hash?

The following 10 hardware characteristics are used to determine the hardware hash: • Display adapter
• SCSI adapter
• IDE adapter
• Network adapter media access control address
• RAM amount range (for example, 0-64MB or 64-128MB)
• Processor type
• Processor serial number
• Hard disk device
• Hard disk volume serial number
• CD-ROM/CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive


Does MPA deter hard disk cloning by comparing the hardware hashes?

One form of piracy that MPA helps guard against is hard disk cloning. Some forms of hard disk cloning are allowed. However, by comparing the original hardware hash to the current hardware hash, MPA deters hard disk cloning by requiring reactivation if the hardware hashes are substantially different.



If I reformat my hard disk, is reactivation required?

If you reformat the hard disk and you reinstall the product, reactivation is required. The same grace periods for activation apply in this situation. You can reactivate a product on the same computer as many times as you require. The activation can be completed over the Internet or by using the telephone.



Does MPA put cookies on my computer when I activate?

No. MPA does not put any cookies on your computer as part of activation.



Does MPA really help reduce piracy?

MPA is not the end of global piracy. However, MPA is significantly more sophisticated than past methods and is not easy for would-be pirates to circumvent. At the same time, it is an easy process for customers who have valid software. It helps deter casual copying of software, which is by far the single most prevalent type of software piracy. It also helps deter some hard disk cloning and counterfeiting. It is not designed to target sophisticated and organized criminal counterfeiters.



Product activation has been cracked before and it will be cracked again. What's the use?

Product activation is significantly harder to crack than most people think. The measure of success is not completely stopping software piracy. Completely stopping piracy is not an attainable goal. Success is better measured as increased awareness of the terms of the license agreement and increased license compliance.




Changes to Product Activation in Microsoft Windows XP SP1
• What changes have been made to MPA in Windows XP SP1? How do these changes affect customers?
• Have the same changes been made in a service pack or update for Office XP?
• Is my activation state affected if I install Windows XP SP1? Do I have to reactivate after I install Windows XP SP1?
• What happens if I try to install Windows XP SP1 on a computer that had a copy of Windows XP that used a pirated Product Key?
• What should I do if I unwittingly acquire a pirated copy of Windows XP? How can I acquire a valid license for Windows XP if I have a pirated copy?
• Which Windows XP Product Keys are affected by piracy?
• Does Microsoft Windows Update verify that the Product Key is valid? How does MPA use the Product Key after I install Windows XP SP1?
• How does the additional grace period work?
• How can I encrypt Volume License Keys (VLKs)?
• If I try to activate a Windows XP SP1 installation with a Product Key that has been used on another computer, I get an error message that prompts me to buy an additional Windows XP license. Is this new?
• Why can I purchase additional licenses only in certain countries?
• Where can I find more information about the changes in Windows XP SP1?
What changes have been made to MPA in Windows XP SP1? How do these changes affect customers?

Windows XP SP1 includes additional measures that are designed to make sure that customers who have valid licenses receive the full benefits of owning licenses. Windows XP SP1 includes the following changes: • Access to the Windows XP SP1 updates is denied to computers that have pirated copies of Windows XP.
• Product Keys are validated during activation.
• Cracks in the activation process have been corrected.
Additional features have been added to provide a better customer experience, including an additional three-day grace period to reactivate after significant hardware changes are made. Volume License customers can now encrypt their Volume License Keys (VLKs) during unattended installations.

Licensed customers are not affected by these changes.



Have the same changes been made in a service pack or update for Office XP?

No. These changes are specific to Windows XP.



Is my activation state affected if I install Windows XP SP1? Do I have to reactivate after I install Windows XP SP1?

No. Windows XP SP1 does not affect the activation state of Windows XP. However, if you do not activate your copy of Windows XP before you install Windows XP SP1, it will still have to be activated after you install Windows XP SP1. If you activate Windows XP after you install Windows XP SP1, your activation grace period is extended to 30 days (or 60 days if you install Windows XP SP1 from the MSDN Web site). If you activate your copy of Windows XP before you install Windows XP SP1, it is still activated after you install Windows XP SP1.



What happens if I try to install Windows XP SP1 on a computer that is running a copy of Windows XP that has a pirated Product Key?

You cannot install Windows XP SP1 until you acquire a valid copy of the product and you use a valid Product Key to install it. Nothing happens to your underlying installation of Windows XP. Microsoft offers access to upgrades and service releases to those customers who have acquired and who use valid Microsoft products only. There are no exceptions to this.



What should I do if I unwittingly acquire a pirated copy of Windows XP? How can I acquire a valid license for Windows XP if I have a pirated copy?

Return to the point of purchase and demand a refund or a valid copy of Windows XP. To report software piracy directly to Microsoft, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Reporting software piracy (http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/reporting/default.asp)
You can acquire a valid copy of Windows XP from a trusted retailer or computer manufacturer.



Which Windows XP Product Keys are affected by piracy?

Microsoft is not publishing the Product Keys that are affected by piracy; however, the following Product IDs are generated from these Product Keys (where X may be any numeric value): • XXXXX-640-0000356-23XXX
• XXXXX-640-2001765-23XXX
To locate your Product ID, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties. The Product ID is located under Registered to on the General tab.



Does Microsoft Windows Update verify that the Product Key is valid? How does MPA use the Product Key after I install Windows XP SP1?

Yes. Windows Update verifies the Product Key and Product ID. There is no link to the activation system. After the Product Key and Product ID are verified, they are discarded; neither the Product Key nor the Product ID is stored after the validation check.

For activation after you have installed Windows XP SP1, Microsoft uses the Product Key as part of the Installation ID to determine if it is valid. If it is not valid, the activation request is denied. In the Product Key is not valid, the Product Key and the Installation ID are kept as part of the error record. Remember that no personally identifiable information is used to activate.



How does the additional grace period work?

Microsoft implemented the additional grace period to provide a time period for customers to activate if they make a hardware change. Previously, a significant hardware change would require an immediate reactivation. With Windows XP SP1, a significant hardware change requires reactivation in three days.



How can I encrypt Volume License Keys (VLKs)?

This feature permits customers to obscure VLKs in unattended installations. This feature permits system administrators who put a VLK in an unattended setup file (unattend.txt) to encrypt the VLK so that it is time-limited (in increments of 5 to 60 days) and is not visible as plain text. For more information about this feature, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Volume License Product Keys: Changes with Windows XP Service Pack 1 (http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/r...s_winxpsp1.asp)


If I try to activate a Windows XP SP1 installation with a Product Key that has been used on another computer, I get an error message that prompts me to buy an additional Windows XP license. Is this new?

Yes. Beginning with Windows XP SP1, Microsoft is offering the ability for users in certain locations to purchase an additional Windows XP license for a second computer at a discount. If you remove Windows XP from the computer that it was first installed on, no additional license is required.



Why can I purchase additional licenses only in certain countries?

Because of logistical issues, Microsoft can sell these additional licenses only in some countries. More countries may be added in the future.
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