General discussion

How many times can you reinstall XP

on the same computer,before you have to contact Microsoft and ask permission and where do you contact Microsoft? I'm talking OEM here. Thanks.

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Every time.

Everytime you wipe the drive, you get to reactivate. Since it's your license, such activations are unlimited.


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In the 4-5 years I've been using a home PC I've never had to reinstall. I've had problems of course but have always found an answer or a workaround until I found an answer. I thought I read somewhere when XP was introduced that in order to help control piracy that the system would not install after 2 or 3 installations and that you would have to contact Microsoft and explain why you required additional installations,I guess it was just a rumor that implanted itself in the back of my mind.

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Myths of Product Activation.

There "is" a check on hardware changes, in an attempt to halt piracy by copying XP to new hard disks. Scroll down to the section about: "Product Activation keeps users from changing or upgrading their hardware"


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NT...thank you for the link.....


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Actually, this might happen ?

? after a number of previous activations. The dialog box shows the following info:

Product Key

According to our records, the number of times you can activate windows with this product key has been exeeded. Please enter a different product key and click Retry. The 25 digit product key can be found on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label attached to your computer or Windows documentation. It should look similar to the following example:

(Here's a picture that shows how COA label looks like)

New Key (5 characters in five chunks for 25 keys, all blank)

Please contact your computer manufacturer if you are unable to locate your COA label.

If you believe you have recieved this message in error, please contact a Customer Service Representative or visit the Microsoft Activation Assitence Web Site for information of how to get additional product keys. For a contact number in your area, click Telephone.

At the bottom of the dialog box you have three buttons. "Telephone" "Remind Me later" "Retry". The Retry is dimmed, so you have only the two other options. In this case, you'll have to call and explain the situation. Shouldn't be any problem if you have the COA label because the operator might have additional checks in order to verify that you are telling the truth.

Good Luck,


Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,

T. S. Eliot

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How many times can you reinstall XP

Thanks,the info has been noted and bookmarked.

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How to backup, restore "activation".
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as many timesa as you want

you can install as many times as you want.

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