Saturday, September 09, 2006

Windows XP activation woes

I had my first encounter with a "non-genuine" Windows XP activation today. Grouchette has a new computer, a Shuttle xPC with a AMD Sempron processor inside of it. I would have loved to install something other than Windows XP on it but she needs Microsoft products for school and had a student version she received as part of her education.

I installed the operating system and device drivers then used Autopatcher XP to get everything current, tweaked for performance, secured, etc. That was about two weeks ago (she is taking her time). When I went to activate the product, though, it said the copy of Windows XP had already been installed and activated. Just great.

I called Microsoft and got transferred to India. You can always tell when you get transferred overseas because you get a couple of funky tones followed by the line sounding like crap for a couple of moments then clearing up somewhat just as you get the recognizable accent asking you for your Id something-something.

To make a long story short I had to repeat a couple of times the machine I was activating was the only machine the copy of XP was installed on before getting a 36 digit verification code (after repeating a 36 digit code). I clicked next and was sent on my way. I asked (acting stupid) why I had to do this with a valid copy of XP. I only understood half of the response but it sounded like either my key was pirated b someone else or they made a mistake somewhere.

I'm thankful the process was almost painless. It could have been worse. I could have been arguing with a courteous Hindu for a half-hour without getting activated like someone at work ended up doing thanks to Windows Genuine Advantage.

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