Information on Windows XP validation and activation, especially with regard to Microsoft's blocking of one of the University of Wisconsin's Windows XP volume license product keys.
NOTE: Windows 95/98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP are no longer supported by the Help Desk. We can only provide best effort support. If we are unable to resolve your Windows 9x/2000/XP issue, you may be able to find help in Microsoft's Knowledge Base.
These products are no longer actively supported by Microsoft. No further development will take place on these products and security updates are no longer issued. It is highly recommended that you upgrade to Windows 8, 7, or Vista.
when installing Windows XP with the key?
when using a WinXP computer that was installed with the key?
Windows Product Activation (WPA) ties your product key (and thus your Product ID, or PID) to your computer by creating an installation ID. The installation ID is made up of your PID and a PC identifier, called a hardware ID, or HWID. The installation ID is sent to a Microsoft license clearing-house, which checks that Microsoft manufactured that PID and that the PID has not been used to install the operating system on more hardware than is defined by the product's End User License Agreement (EULA). If this check fails, activation of Windows XP Professional fails. If this check passes, your computer is sent a confirmation ID, which activates your version of Windows XP. After Windows is activated, you never need to perform Product Activation again, unless you significantly overhaul the hardware in your computer. You must activate your installation within 30 days after installing Windows XP Professional.
Validation checks the key used to install Windows XP when you log onto Microsoft web sites to download non-critical product updates or add-ons. If the key has been labeled as invalid, you would only be able to download critical updates, not optional ones such as IE7.