Lv 4
Peace asked in Computers & InternetSoftware · 1 decade ago

I Just bought a used computer, and it's saying that microsoft cannot validate windows? Help?

I bought a used gateway computer, it came with windows xp. But I wanted to upgrade the internet explorer and in order to do that it needed to validate that my windows was authentic. It came back saying that is was unable to validate it's autenticy. I entered the product key number located on the side of my computer tower. And said it was invalid. So now what so I do? I'm guessing this windows might be counterfit? I have really no idea. If that is the case how do I get the Real Windows Xp? I still have my old computer with the real windows Xp on it, but no disk. Can I somehow transfer it to my new computer? Any suggestions? I really don't know about computers. Help me please!


My computer keeps telling me that this copy of windows is not activated?

How do I activate it then?

Update 2:

Okay, problem solved! I activated my windows by phone! So it is a validated windows and not counterfit! I'm so glad!

Now I have an updated internet explorer as well. Thanks to everyone!

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Download a key finder and see if this info matches whats on the side of the box.

    Sometime companies install XP using the OEM key, and this cant be validate, and you need to key in the one thats on the sticker, with the above keyfinder, use the option to 'chnage product key' and type in the key thats on the sticker, if it accepts it, that meant you have the correct version of Windows installed, try validate again.

  • 1 decade ago

    There are several options available to you. The first and most obvious is simply use a different browser, such as Opera or Firefox. However, while simple, you have an ethical responsibility if you suspect a possible counterfeit copy of the operating system to find out.

    If you need to know if your copy of WinXP is indeed legitimate, here is a solution. Download Belarc Advisor, a PC auditing program. You simply install it, run it, and it will tell you everything you will need to know about your PC. You can get it here:

    After you run it, look towards the bottom under 'software licenses' and it will have the software key that is actually installed next to it. It may be different than what is on the sticker on the tower. If it is, enter it instead of the one on the tower and see what happens.

    If you do that and still get the message stating that Microsoft is unable to validate your copy of WinXP, you have three more options.

    At this point, you can contact Microsoft and see if you can find out what the situation is. You'll have a better shot at getting help if you word your request along the lines of "I'm having problems validating my copy of WinXP on a used PC I bought, and I'm concerned it may have come with a counterfeit copy. Can you tell me if (your software key here) is a valid copy? If it is not, what should I do?

    They will tell you if your copy is legitimate or not. Your other option is to do nothing, but as mentioned earlier, that leaves something to be desired in the way of ethics. Ask yourself if it is worth ignoring the problem to open yourself up to litigation and financial ruin over a piece of software...

    The last option is probably the smartest. Get you a copy of one of the various Linux operating system distros and install a new operating system. If you want out of the box compatibility and a Windows-like feel, try XandrOS Home Edition. It only costs $39. There is even a free 30 day trial available.

    You can find XandrOS here:

    There's also a book out for new XandrOS users called Linux Made Easy: The Official Guide to Xandros 3 for Everyday Users. Note, however, that currently XandrOS 4 is out, but the book will still help.

    Or, you can try PCLinuxOS which is free. I have a triple boot computer running Windows XP, Debian linux, and PCLinuxOS, and love it. It too will make most Windows users feel comfortable. You can download it for free here:

    It is also available on a CD for $5.99 that will be shipped to you. It's also available in a lite version called PCLinuxOS MiniMe that is under 300 megs in size (Big Daddy and Junior versions are available as well). You can download it here:

    or here...

    All you need do is download the .iso images, then burn them onto a CD-R. Pop it in your CD drive, and boot your computer with it in. You may need to configure your computer to boot from your CD drive if it doesn't do it, by going into your BIOS settings (usually punching F8 or some other function key at startup). Then, you can wipe out Windows and leave your troubles behind.

    With PCLinuxOS, you can partition your drive during install. You could, if you are familiar with partitioning, resize your Windows partition, shrinking it, and create a second partition for PCLinuxOS, and a third smaller one for a Linux swap partition. PCLinuxOS readily recognizes FAT32 and NTFS (WinXP uses this) partitions as a side note.

    By far the easiest solution is simply letting the install format your entire hard drive and get you up and running with a fresh install.

    As always, make sure you back up any data you need first.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you are no longer using your old computer with XP on it, you might try validating it by phone with that key code, and explaining the situation. The other thing is that it may not actually be a counterfeit version on your new machine, just one that has been reinstalled a time or two. You could try the phone option for that one as well. It ought to provide you with the number to call when the validation screen comes up. If all else fails and you have to buy it, here is the PriceGrabber Windows OS family page:

  • 1 decade ago

    you bought it used from a busoiness or a person?

    If a person, well if you can get them to take back the laptop great. If from a business, then it wil be easier to demand a refund.

    Even if it was from a mom and pops computer store, or a computer reseller -- they cannot sell you a computer with a pirated copy of windows operating system.

    You can report them to the better business bureau and the FBI for copyright infringement.

    === thats regarding a refund.

    As far as trying to get it ot work.

    Well thats tough because only way youll get to use your Deskptop license on your laptop is by reinstalling the full version of Windows XP, then using your serial for your desktop onto your laptop.

    technically you should only have 1 computer using your O.S. serial -- but to each their own about that.

    Liek someone said -- you could always try to download mozilla firefox.

    I like it better than Internet explorer -- stops more pop us, and has a better interface with a google search bar integrated that I always use.

    I would say try that, if you dont get the refund I would demand.

    Because you could actually report someone to the authorities for selling you that computer--I hope you know that.

    Heres the sad thing -- if anythign goe wrong and you will need to reinstall the operating system -- you might not be allowed to if youre operating system is invalid, so that should cross your mind.

    Plus--gateway sucks anyway.

    They are low man on the computer reliability totum pole.

    But some people love them--go figure.

    Good luck with it.

    Hope you get your money back.

    You can email me, if you need a new used one -- Ill try to help you find one online if you need to.

    Theres so many places oyu can find them -- plus like I said -- gateway really sucks

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  • 1 decade ago

    The numbers on the side of my tower represent the key for the tower itself, not Windows. Most software like Windows is sealed with a sticker that contains the product key.

    You can use one of these keyfinders to see if you can find it on disk.

    If not, I'm afraid you will have to buy another copy of WinXP. It is not transferable - here's why:

    “When you buy Windows XP in a shrink-wrapped box, you are allowed to install one copy on one PC. When Windows comes pre-installed on a new PC, it stays with the PC. You cannot transfer it from the bundled machine to a different machine. MS uses a technique called “BIOS locking” to make sure the copy stays ties to that specific PC forever.

    Windows installer makes you type the 25-character code that’s printed on the case. The Product Activation program looks at various serial numbers inside your PC – the processor, network card, disk drives, etc. – mixes them together, and produces a second 25 character code that identifies your PC. These 50 characters, together, are called the Installation ID.

    When you activate XP, you give MS the 50-character Installaton ID. If nobody else activated that 25-character code or if it has been activated with that specific Installation ID (which means you activated this particular copy of XP from the same PC twice) MS send back a 42-character Confirmation ID. The Installation ID and the Confirmation ID are stored on our PC.

    If that 25-character code has been already been used on a different PC you will be notified that the number of times you can activate Windows with this product key has been exceeded.”

    Source: paraphrased from p. 18, Windows Gigabook for Dummies, by Peter Weverka et al.

    You can find WinXP here - scroll down the page. Be sure you get a copy with product key.

    or here

  • 1 decade ago

    You really have three options:

    1) Return the computer and demand a refund or a valid Microsoft license.

    2) Purchase a new copy of Microsoft XP

    3) Work with Microsoft to provide information about the person/business who sold you the computer and assist them in shutting down the piracy.

    If you have a Microsoft operating system on your current computer, likely the license with that copy was for that specific system as an OEM license. I don't believe it is technically transferable to another system. I haven't had to do that though so I never researched it. If the license from your existing computer allows transfer to another system, you do have a fourth option which would be to transfer the existing license (meaning uninstall of it on one system and new install on the newer system).

  • rssays
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    hii there!! actually the windows the system having is a pirated copy!! the microsoft cant validate your software b'se of that!! if u think u want to make it legal (eventhough it is pirated) follow the link and do the validation!! this link only for pirated copy user want to make their copy legal and for update their windows!! dont worry u will be fine!! :)

    this for windows validate and for update:

    this for IE7 validation and update:

    good luck!!

  • 1 decade ago

    I would advise you to return that computer to the location purchased. There is no legal way to get arround this unless you purchase the WGA Kit from Microsoft (149.99)

  • 1 decade ago

    your version of windows is probably pirated, now, there are other ways of getting around to getting the new internet explorer, but

    try out : Firefox

    many people use that browser, its nice.

    search for firefox on yahoo

  • 1 decade ago

    buy windows xp again.

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