oem xp won't activate

I have dual booted vista and xp with dual h/d's
i am missing some drivers for the hp pavilion dv7t-1000 cto esp. the idt audio codec as others
my biggest problem windows is not activated, time running out
the version i used was old laptop's (gateway) oem xp sp1a slipstreamed with sp3 and ich9 sata driver.
Now what it will not activate on internet, and i think i will have no luck with telephone either, as it is alaready registered with gateway laptop.
What are my options
can i buy an oem verison, will it work?? a lot of oem's don't even send a cd and most all of them state that you can't register on;ine or do automatic updates?
(other people fixed some missing driver issue's with the auto update feature of windows)
do i have to buy retail ouch 249-299+
does oem work with updates (don't want to purchase if i can't get the drivers right)
pleas don't tell me i have to reformat again???
What are my options?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
The OEM Windows disk, is exactly the same software as a full retail or upgrade version. It's just the key on the box which tells Setup which version (Basic to Pro) and what conditions apply (upgrade must have pre-existing OS etc)
Your OEM key, as you know, will not allow the OS to be validated on different hardware, but I assume that if you phone the MS number, they'll sell you a new key.
With Vista you could enter this key after installing the OS, but I think XP can only install with the key being quoted during setup, so you'd probably have to install again.
Though it should not be beyond their capabilities to give you a validation code for your old key that avoids the reinstall. (As long as you've paid of course)
Last edited:

Mak 2.0

Staff member
the version i used was old laptop's (gateway) oem xp sp1a slipstreamed with sp3 and ich9 sata driver.
The reason it wont activate is because XP only allows for activation via the internet for a limited number of times with OEM. Taht number is 3. Which tell me that since it wont activate via the internet that you have used this XP Serial to activate on more than 3 machines. Which violates the EULA and TOS of Windows.

Since this is for a different laptop and different system you have to buy a new OS. You could have bought a OEM copy but sadly Microsoft discontined OEM selling of XP on July 1, 2008. So sadly you will either have to buy a retail copy or see if they can get you a serial thru the phone activation.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Doesn't Vista block the installation of XP from within it?

The tool you used to slipstream the new cd must have not worked properly then. Have you tried to see if you can burn a unattended install where the product key is saved and referenced automatically during installation? If that doesn't work, you'll need to either get your hands on a new key/activation code or use your older XP cd (if it can even detect the hard drive in your system).

Mak 2.0

Staff member

Even using nlite which you can do unattended installs with you still have to go thru the activation process. Only when you use a OEM disc on the same type of machine will it not prompt you for activation.

I have used several different Dell install CD's on my system and not once was i prompted for a serial or activation. But if i use any other method, like a disc i created or one for a different OEM i am prompted.

So even if he uses the old XP CD he will still be prompted for activation since it was for a gateway and he is not using it on a gateway now.


Super Moderator
Staff member
I was referring to the issue with setup not accepting the product key. A new disc with it provided during build if not done already might get setup to work.

But anyway, activation problems mean you'll need to get in touch with MS :frowning:
Quick update phone activation no good i told (automated answering m/c) i used it twiced (should have lied lol), actually only installed once on gateway, this was my second time trying to install. so maybe it mis-understood. anyhow it says it was transfering me and it hung up:rage:. mutiple forums articles talk about oem only works on 1 pc not ransferable, m/c dies license dies, damm u bill, money sucking person.
even read this on microsoft articles. all those oem cd sites actual state the same in the fine print too (1 pc, not auto updates etc - what good is it)
i give in went back to ms update site and purchased a new license key online. spuppose to be getting cd in mail. what if i want to reformat??? hope not, hope i don't screw os trying to get drivers working and dual booting??

i read multiple articles of people reformating and reformating to get xp to work correctly with drivers, how are they activating xp???

activation does NOT appear to be a issue with a lot of the thousands of people dual booting or putting xp back on m/c, they all didn't go and buy xp for each one!!!

i think i got all drivers working except a couple (some i will never need eg hdmi but working)

not working -
no finger scanner s/ware - device installed ok
audio only works if i disable microsoft uaa audio bus and then re-enable it, but no volume control (not sure if all speakers are working corretly)
have no idt audio control applet - this might help control speakers?
same for modem - microsoft uaa dis/enable issue as above
no infrared (again it is hidden from xp device manager somewhere)

everything else good
NOTE alot of hidden devices in xp eg bluetooth - but got it working thou
as above infrared is hidden
hi def audio and modem did not show up until dis/enabled the microsoft uaa bus

its been a struggle about a week of surfing and testing endless drivers, when some of the vista ones work, you just have to dig a bit deeper and not run the vista exe's, keep trying them all.
others getting surfing, they have to be older versions as vista one not compatible

please let us know if anybody has a solution to multiple activatations, you all do it!! so let us know the secret, or if anyone finds the missing drivers - thanks :smile:
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
Activation with MS is one of those if-ees... either you get real lucky or you experience the uggly side of MS software. Just hope a new license was worth the trouble.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Andy, you can install any Windows OS, over and over again, as many times as you like. It's a recognized practice by MS (recommended even) to reinstall the OS periodically to get a clean start.
If you have a full licence, this applies even to new hardware (provided there is only one working copy at any time). i.e you can carry your original license to new upgraded hardware, as long as it's not still in use on the old hardware.
Windows update is used as a sort of policing mechanism. If you move your OS to new hardware and validate the key there, then WUD will recognize the key on your new system and allow you to update.
If however, you are still running an illicit copy on your old PC, the fact that you've validated the key on your new PC will invalidate it on the old one. The old one will continue to work, but any attempt to use WUD will immediately flag that you're using two copies in breach of the End User agreement, and windows will switch itself into reduced functionality mode (if it's a version with such a feature).
The difference with an OEM copy of the software, is that the key is not yours. It's the PC's. It's associated with that particular hardware and cannot be ported to an upgraded system.
In all other respects it's identical, and Windows Update works perfectly normally, as does multiple reinstallation. You can reinstall it as often as you like, on the same hardware, and WUD will continue to keep it up-to-date with all the latest patches and features
My Vista is an OEM copy I bought when I built my latest PC last year.
Why buy an OEM copy if you can't carry it to a new system ?
It cost me about 30% of the full retail version, and I've never yet carried an OS between 3 successive hardware upgrades. (new hardware tends to have features the old OS doesn't support), so I figure when I build my next system I'll buy an OEM copy of whatever OS is current then.
Thanks for feedback Terry, Justin and everybody else. Really good info.