I've been buying used off lease laptops to refurb and resale. In quantities of 150-300 at a time. For reasons of data security most asset collection companies remove and destroy all HDD's from the laptops. However the laptops still have there XP COA (product key) stuck too them. Too my knowledge, Microsoft's licensing should allows for re installation of these laptops and hence reactivation.
I install the laptops from syspreped ghost images of full version XP SP1 which has been slipstreamed to SP2. The installation accepts the key however, when I go to activate via the net I get a message asking me to recheck my product key. I've rang Microsoft's activation line and they've always activate the laptops for me over the phone. However it takes about 5 minutes per machine. Which works out to be about 25 hours on the phone too activate my 300 notebooks.
I've asked the phone call center opp on numerous occasions why the machine are not activating over the net. Only to be told that machines that don't activate over the net have ether. A) had there hardware changed or B) had there amount of reinstalls expired. I'm not buying it!
My take is that if the installed from an original restore disk from Dell, IBM, blah blah blah. I may have some luck. But chasing down a restore disk for every model of laptop could take as long as phone activation.
If anyone could share some insight, I would be most great full.