This copy of windows must be activated, then reboots and does it again

By ibobinator
Apr 17, 2009
  1. I had to replace my motherboard with an identical mb. When I rebooted the computer I get to the user login screen, then the welcome screen then a window pops up: This copy of Windows must be activated with MIcrosoft before you can log in. Do you want to activate windows now? no matter what I do it reboots.

    I ran the XP[setup] repair twice, and used valid key codes when asked.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    In theory, replacement of identical motherboard should not be 'noticed' by XP. But clearly in your case it is. If this is an OEM computer, then it may be keyed to a serial number in the motherboard CMOS, or even the partition serial. Or you changed something else as well, like the hard drive, the memory etc. Can you chase up with the motherboard (or OEM) supplier for any pointers?;en-us;306081 also has some possible answers using recovery console.

    Or you may need to do an in-place repair. Note you start from an install disc as if you were going to install from scratch (first press enter), THEN choose R repair. Here is more

    Failing that, it looks like a complete reinstall will be required, and you will I hope have everything you need backed up. If not, refer to this post to get a bootable CD with which you can save your data, or the whole drive if suitable.

    What install/reinstall media have you got?
  3. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,123

    Just call the 1-800 number for Microsoft and validate over the phone. When asked if you made any major changes to your computer say yes. They will give you a valid key so you can activate Windows again. it's all automated.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

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