[guispeak] Changing Windows Product Key

  • From: "Tom Lange" <trlange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 06:33:14 -0700

Hey there,
Got a good one for ya.  A friend of mine gave his machine to a friend so
that he could upgrade it to Windows XP. The drive was reformatted, XP was
installed and the system's working fine. There's just one problem; the copy
of XP belongs to his friend. My friend got a legitimate version of XP but
instead of reformatting again and reinstalling, what we want to do is change
the existing product key to the one on his new XP package and reactivate
So, we tried the procedure for changing the product key in the Registry
where you change one of the hex digits at
hkey_localmachine\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\wpaevents
and in the right pane, change the OobeTimer value. Then you run
c:\windows\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a to rerun the activation wizard.
You're supposed to be prompted to reactivate Windows but the wizard says
that Windows is already activated and you can't see a button which lets you
change the product key and reactivate.
Alternatively, Microsoft has a wmi script that you can run which does
essentially the same thing but the script fails with a generic failure

Got any ideas? Can we put the legit version of Windows right over the top of
what's already in there, and will it reflect the new product key?
Please reply asap, as I want to get this machine out of here this morning if
I can.
Thanks lots.

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