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Last Updated September 08, 2008

How to change the Windows XP Product Activation Key Code

Since the release of Windows XP Professional, Microsoft has discovered that the vast majority of illegitimate copies in use are using a small handful of leaked "corporate" keys. In an effort to thwart these illegitimate users, Windows XP Service Pack 1 (and possibly all future updates) will not install on systems using these keys, and it is unclear what additional steps Microsoft may take in the future. Microsoft claims that legitimate licensed users of XP Professional should be unaffected, however there are a number of different ways one of these leaked keys can find its way into an otherwise legal environment and cause serious deployment issues. (When a legitimate corporate key is not at hand during an installation process, it's a common practice for some administrators to simple search the web for a valid key.) Here's how to check if your systems are using a leaked key, and how to change the product activation key if they are. 
 
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DISCLAIMER

This article is intended for IT Professionals and systems administrators with legitimate corporate licenses for Windows XP Professional. It is not intended for home users, hackers, or computer thieves attempting to crack the product ID on a pirated version of the Operating System. Please do not attempt any of these procedures if you are unfamiliar with modifying the Windows XP registry,  and please use this information responsibly. LabMice.net is not responsible for the use or misuse of this material, including loss of data, damage to hardware, or personal injury. INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND FREEDOM FROM INFRINGEMENT. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. 

  
  

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Original Publication Date: July 2002

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