Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
Leo, sorry to hear of your trauma on the phone (can't image staying calm through that), but thank you for doing it. This is the best (or at least most personally useful) article (and replies) I've seen here for a while.
I've been wanting to reinstall XP on my kids machine for a while now (too many years of games she doesn't use anymore, a housesitter accessing questionable internet content, etc. generally cluttering things up) but always reluctant as all I had was the OEM "go back to square one" disc (NOT a full XP installation disc, but XP on her machine does have a valid license). The info here may help me make the plunge into a full reinstall.
P.S. If you have a valid XP (or whatever Windows etc.) installation but don't have the key on a sticker or what have you on your box, Belarc Advisor (probably found the link here originally) is great freeware for documenting ALL the license keys for ALL your software - good to run NOW in case something dies).
I am 54 years young and I can remember a young M$ and an old IBM. IBM got arogant and did not care about its customers both public and business because it thought it had them all locked up and with Unix flavors hurting each other it was correct. Except for M$ and now the same thing is happening again except IBM is M$ and M$ is Linex.
I just upgraded to XP from Win98SE at home.
After an hour and a half XP reported that my Motorola software wasn't compatible with XP, but the installation completed. I have the 30-minus days to activate icon sitting in the system tray.
I found the Motorola software but the install didn't look quite right, but at least I have a computer that knows how to read USB drives, my digital camera and digital frame (hopefully). If I can get back on the net I will avoid the telephone activation.
Thanks for the info on the USB drive viruses and turning off autoplay.
I am now using Ubuntu linux on a laptop which consistently froze when booting XP. Whatever I tried, including reformatting and reinstalling, the computer always froze at a certain point when starting XP and I couldn't figure out what the problem was.
Although Ubuntu has fair share of problems and bugs, overall once it was setup to my liking, until I want/need to change the hardware, network or anything else that requires configuration it is nice and reliable.
Personally I wouldn't have bothered. I stopped using Microsoft Windows in 2002. The whole activation thing got up my nose once too often. I'm now a happy Linux (Mandriva) user, with no activation issues, no single computer install issues, and access to more software than I can poke a stick at. I no longer find anything compelling about Microsoft Windows, and when I am forced to use Microsoft Windows the experience is one of downgrading to a far less useful system with huge chunks of functionality missing.
I have read your article with great interest !If YOU had these problems,imagine an old geezer of 69 years of age (Me) who only had a PC for 1 year and learned mostly from "Dummies"books.
I subscribed to your newsletter recently and read all keenly (even if some is still over my head) Found a lot af help in your articles !!
Keep up the great work and thanks for bothering at all !
Cheers and good luck,regards,Fred
In the future when you can't use the windows installer in safe mode you may wish to refer to this link, which also works in Vista:
My opinion is that your install CD was corrupted, thats; why the installation did not reboot and was not finished (your NIC driver was missing)
Anyhow, if you have a message that you need to activate and you cannot login,
You can get around it, just look around try F1 for help, find any link that will open Internet Explorer. and with internet explorer you just launch explorer.exe and work with the PC for ever, just keep the windows with activation open, closing this window will end your session.
I had a similar experience, except mine wasn't an OEM version and I wasn't given given an option to activate by phone. I was told I had an illegal version, even though it was not and I had reinstalled it with no problems many times in the past. My question to you is why did you bother? I stayed with Ubuntu and even if I could reinstall windows I wouldn't. XP sits on the shelf gathering dust and thats where it will stay.
I can't understand why people put themselves through so much pain for an evil corporation like Microsoft. Just install Linux and you'll more software than you know what to do with, no malware, no spyware, no crashes no cost, no pain.
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