Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
Found a perfect way past this problem as i had repaired a pc for a neighbour whose installation of windows on her laptop became corrupted.
The usual fixboot / fixmbr all failed to work but she needed to keep the info and files that she had on her laptop so a full installation was out of the question so did a repair install of windows which went ok apart from 1 lock up.
Was then met with the you must acticate windows before you can log on.....
as per the most of you i could not connect as the drivers for the ethernet or wireless were yet installed,
so i used the tip from this site and it works 100%
hope it can help anyone else stuck with the same problem.
I dont know if it's a legitimate way - but it works
and to me - thats all that matters
especially if the OS your asked to fix is legitimate version
I had exactly the same problem. Found Leo's advice and tried manual install of netcard-drivers. This allowed me manual activation by phone, but the result was the evil logon/activation loop: "you must activate before logon/XP already activated/you must activate.. "
Microsoft of course went directly into parrot-mode: try reinstalling, try reinstalling, try ....
The Windows-repair method didn't work - the unplug-the-network-cable didn't work - the try-another-legit-cd-method didn't work and the how-to-login-to-expired-windows method didn't work (the Narrator utility only exists in english language XP).
At the end, I found out that the solution was exactly the same as mentioned in the article by Barry at May 19, 2008 7:22 AM:
1. When you install don't add a password for the administrator-account when asked - leave blank.
2. Don't name the machine just accept the default name that is in the box.
That did the trick. For the first time I wasn't forced to activate before I could log in, and I could happily install network- and other drivers and activate XP by the internet.
would you believe i had same problem today. Thanks to you I put old network card in and it went online and activated in seconds...Thanks, you saved me an afternoon
Thanks Leo! That did the trick.
I was given an HP a6500f desktop that was reloaded with XP Pro but never activated. It had been sitting in a closet for over 60 days, hence the forced activation. Booted into Safe Mode, loaded the NIC driver and was off and running.
THANKS for the advice (or the hint).
The line that is ALL SO TRUE above, is that this happens when Windows can't find the internet. I went into the device manager in safe mode and re-activated my Ethernet card.
Straight into Windows.
PS: Never, ever think that a support rep can help you with this stuff - always go to the internet!!
I was trying to re-install XP Home on a Toshiba laptop for a customer. The first install I got the pop up to activate XP before it would let me to the desktop. Clicked yes and of course there was no internet connection. Tried the activate by phone and like Leo's problem, no numbers.
Re-installed a second time with a different disc, which turned out to be a corporate disc with the key built in. Got the key changed and wound up talking to a Microsoft rep to get it activated. Then the endless loop of you need to activate / it's already activated. Tried Microsoft's solution of making registry changes and really got things botched up.
Third install with yet another XP disc resulted in such and such file can't be loaded so I aborted the install. Started over with disc 2 for the 4th install. After it loaded I got the "You must first activate this copy of Windows before you can log in" message again, but this time there were numbers to give the automated voice. Activation completed, and the endless loop started again.
That's when I found this article and loaded the network card in safe mode. Booted back into regular mode and still had the activation required message. I thought about it for a while and decided to try installing SP2 in safe mode. It installed and when it came back to regular mode, no more activation required message. I proceeded to install drivers and so far the installation is working fine.
I'm going to slipstream an SP2 disc so that hopefully I won't run into this again.
Hi. Thanks for the advice Leo. I have just spent HOURS trying to get Microsoft to allow me to reactivate XP Pro on one of my laptops after a completely fresh install, and discovered that not all drivers had been correctly installed. Loaded the drivers,the computer regenerated a new key- and bingo,Microsoft allowed me to reactivate what I had already paid for ! Hope Bill Gates enjoys his retirement, we have all paid for it with blood, sweat & tears.....
good dude :)
here is one more trick which i got
Same issue here folks. Wasted over an hour on the phone with Microsoft East. Final fix... Safe Mode, MSCONFIG, Selective Startup, uncheck Load Startup Items. Make sure that there is nothing checked in the Startup tab. Reboot regular, added IP address and NIC, activate over internet OK. MS needs to get their act together.....
Leo, your way has been patched, and its very hard to re-install xp now.
It's because it more popular than vista... my advice is to download SP2 and SP3 for multiple installations and use an original SP1 disk.
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