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Reactivate XP after Motherboard replacement

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by kalek, Sep 1, 2005.

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  1. kalek

    kalek Thread Starter

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    Hey folks, I need a little help getting an XP computer running again after I replaced a fried power supply and motherboard.

    When I start up the computer now, it displays the lists of users as normal, but after I select one, it says that windows needs to be activated. I tell it to go ahead and do so and it thinks for a moment, then tells me that it's already activated, and loops back to the login screen.

    I've tried starting up in Safe Mode to try to get around it somehow. Regular safe mode just tells me that I need to be in normal windows login to activate and reboots. Safe Mode with command prompt does the same, but I can get into windows settings with the .cpl files, so I'm hopeful that there's something in here I can do in here to kill this activation window.

    I've asked around a few other places and been told to try creating a new hardware profile and see if it'll start up that way, to just call MS and wait on hold and see what they say, or to use the system restore disks that came with the guy's computer (eMachine W1800). I don't think the disks will work, as OEM restore CDs are generally keyed to the manufacturer's hardware, and since the motherboard I put in is compatible, but not the exact same as what the computer came with, I'd most likely end up with the same problem after restoring.

    Any other suggestions? I'd sure hate to spend god knows how long on the phone waiting for MS support to tell me a quick little thing to fix it or that I need to buy a new copy of Windows (any bets on which they'll say?).

    I'd appreciate any suggestions,

    Scott
     
  2. auroratech

    auroratech

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    Kalek, I have the exact same problem with an Emachines T2672 I purchased for my kid for Xmas Dec 2003. I changed the motherboard (as close a match to the one removed as I could find) and the power supply. When I boot it says I must activate XP but then when I click on Yes it says XP is already activated. I can save you time and $35. I phoned Microsoft support, they transfered me to support (in India, I asked) and the guy there kept me on the phone quite a while and then said that because Emachines did not give me a CD I needed to purchase a full $199 copy of Windows XP Home Edition. The guy at Microsoft did agree with me that that info was not worth $35 and agreed to credit the $35 back to my Visa card in 10 days. I also called a computer store and they told me that for $50 if the Windows XP product key was on a sticker on the case (it is) that they could get me to a point where I could phone the Microsoft 800# and do a phone or Internet activation. I would sure like to know what they are going to do to get my system to allow me to get to a screen where I can do the activation. I can get it to boot in Safe Mode and the Windows screen wallpaper shows up before it flips to the blue screen that says I've got to activate and then tells me its already activated.

    Emachines support, email only, was equally useless to Microsoft. Can anyone out there help Kalek (Scott) and me?

    Auroratech
     
  3. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, I have no other ideas for solving this problem---but, I have a client waiting for a motherboard for an eMachines W2040--- we tried the $149 ones (ouch!) from eMachines but they dont stock and cannot get any now...

    Two year old machine,can't get those important parts...hrrrmphhh.
    Wonder what they do when you blow one up still under warranty. ?

    I can see already that I will have to do the XP activation bit. Been reading a lot about it lately and most places say the phone call is painless and not that time consuming. You give them the Product Key on the sticker and they give you a big long new code to type in with directions....then you get a new activation. Sounds good, let;s hope it proves so!

    And> another friend recently went to a Circuit City store, bought a midlevel e tower, XP was not activated yet when we started it up.
    That one went in smoothly over cable service....

    http://aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.htm <<
    Anyone who would like to read a very techish page or two about Product Activation, here you go--- a very thorough tutorial on whys and wherefores, what can make XP require new activation, very good info.
     
  4. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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  5. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    At the OEM builder site Microsoft specifically states that If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do NOT need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC.

    I would reinstall Windows with the manufacturers supplied restore disks an Microsoft will probably catch it at WPA. They should give you a number to call and a I believe a 42 digit code number. When you call and tell them the motherboard was replaced because it was defective they should give you a new code number to key in and you should have no more problems.

    As I read Microsoft's position on this issue their position is if the motherboard has been changed, then a "new" computer has been created which would require a new operating system, then they make the exception for the motherboard being replaced because it was defective.
     
  6. auroratech

    auroratech

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    Thanks for that information. Unfortunately Emachines does not include any Windows CD's witht their packages so doing a repair or reloading from the manufacturers CD's is not an option.

     
  7. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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    My only fear is that the disks might not allow this switch of motherboard, especially if its just a rescue CD not an OS, they may have to get a little creative, or take the easy way out and just buy a disk, just so they can dodge all the "fun" OEM BS.
     
  8. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Gateway now owns Emachine.
     
  9. auroratech

    auroratech

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    Byteman, I got this off one of the links you refered me to. Basically it says I am SOL and have to purchase a new version of XP, read the following:

    OEM versions
    Restrictions of specific license types may limit the foregoing. OEM versions of Windows XP are licensed together with the hardware with which they are purchased, as an entity, and such a copy may not be moved to a different computer. Also, other specific license types (e.g., Academic licenses) are handled in different ways. These aren’t a WPA issue per se, but rather an issue of the license for that purchase, and therefore outside the scope of this discussion of WPA.

    There are two versions of OEM Windows XP systems. One can be purchased separately, with qualifying subsidiary hardware, and installed with that hardware to an existing machine, to which it becomes bound. The software may be reinstalled and reactivated indefinitely as with a retail system as long as it is still on the original machine. It may not be transferred to a different computer. It is activated as described above, but if it were installed to hardware seen as not substantially the same, the activation would be refused as falling outside the license.

    In the other OEM form, the system is provided pre-installed by a major supplier. Instead of activation, the system is ‘locked’ to the BIOS on the motherboard. The validity of this lock is checked at boot. As long as this is satisfied, other hardware may be changed freely, but any replacement motherboard must be for a compatible one supplied by the original maker.

    If a BIOS-locked system is installed to a board where the lock fails, it enters a normal Activation process at startup. However, beginning 1 March 2005, the Product Key supplied on a label by the computer manufacturer, and used for the initial intallation, will not be accepted for activation. A new copy of Windows XP, with a license allowing installation on a different machine, will be needed. This means that any replacement motherboard (or upgrade to its BIOS) must be supplied by the original maker, who will ensure the lock is maintained.
     
  10. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    That would REALLY REALLY IRRITATE me :mad:
     
  11. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, Some newer XP eMachine computers probably don't come with Recoery CDs nowadays, but I assure you.....they did, up until a year or so ago!



    I've set up the brand new ones, they prompt the new user to create their own CD or DVD for a Recovery disk or CD set, you use the burner software to make a kit that will do the same job as the ones eMachines USED to give out....lots of OEM companies do it this way, now. You also when you set the new ones up....have to activate XP. That may only be needed once, though I havent had to restore one of the brand new ones so I can't say.

    It looks like from the quote above, that hardware changes should not affect anything, but I would think a completely different motherboard might...in any event, as several of us have said....call the phone number = toll free, painless, and they will help reactivate it.
    There is a lot of bad information around...your license is still valid for your eMachine> Microsoft WILL GIVE YOU a new product key, believe me!!!

    So, either yours came with a Recovery CD or it uses a Recovery partition, that is all you basically would need to return the pc to factory condition. (Providing things still work and no one has removed the Recovery partition!)
    I am not sure that you can still purchase Recovery sets from eMachines...might depend on how old the pc is. I've just bought one for an HP that was over 2 years old, it just depends on what is available!
     
  12. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Here is where to find out for sure:

    Chat with a Tech, call toll free, email, etc. Try several different times, get good answers, keep after them that your motherboard is not available now....you are not upgrading for performance, your computer broke!!!!

    http://www.emachines.com/support/tech_support.html

    For relacement CDs find out here if you can still get them:

    Says to contact a Customer Support person....

    http://www.emachines.com/support/upgrades.html

    You can tell if there is a Recovery partition or not right in the System Restore turn-off applet> "Turn off Restore on all Drives"....you may see just drive C:, or have the Recovery smaller partition, as well. You can turn off Restore on the Recovery one, as it does not benefit from monitoring a-tall.

    I really can't say if the Recovery CDs or any Recovery would work, never tried one with a new motherboard put in. Works fine on new hard drives, long as you keep most of the other hardware. It's the total of "votes" you get when XP boots that determines the new activiation, but what the new hardware being detected and new drivers loaded does, a completely 'nother situation! What did you run into if I may ask, just the reactivation bit, no new hardware being found, drivers installed....or was there?

    I'm trying to find the same model motherboard, and we are watching bids on an actual eMachine same model as we need that appeared on eBay this AM...also, we have some chances on the same NON-eMachine boards, same chipset and hardware, just not from E. Ours are FIC boards> AM37L. I've seen a LOT of other eMachine ones, working, some are brand new. The sellers, crafty people that they are, know that they will sell high and don't usually have "Buy It Now" prices, just let the bidding go on up... I could buy 2 brand new mobos twice as good for the $149 price tag eMachine has on most of their mobos....and, they can't even get a lot of boards now!

    Most forums where I've read about eMachine board replacements with XP have good results, provided you use a very very similar, or the same, mobo.

    All in all it's a very frustrating situation you and I and probably many others are and have been in. I will post back what happens when I try booting up> it will be a week or more till we get the part.
     
  13. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Unfortunately a number of manufacturers are now putting a "recovery" partition on the hard drive for making your own recovery CD's rather than the manufacturer furnishing them with a new unit.

    I recently had to "wipe" 2 major manufacturers drives that were contaminated and the owners had not made recovery disks from the hard drive. We were able to order a set of recovery disks for each computer from the manufacturer @ about $25 per set.

    Some of the manufacturers today put the burden on you to produce what they should be supplying with the new machine. I know that they must a protocol in place to produce recovery disks if the recovery partition is damaged or if you can't access the recovery partition because of a damaged motherboard.
     
  14. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Dell now gives you an option to add recovery cds to your online order at $10.
     
  15. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Lol, another way to get 10 more dollars. These manufacturers don't miss a trick.
     
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