how activate xp if it says it's already activated?

Boot up XP home sp2, I see the welcome screen with 'owner' user show.  I click on owner, it says it needs to be activated. i say yes, it goes to desktop, then says it's already activated. I hit ok, it goes back to original welcome screen.

the user says windows was reinstalled by a young tech guy a month ago.

I can get into safe mode, without networking. But as i understand you must activate from normal mode.

I tried doing a sfc /scannow in safe mode to make sure the windows files are validk but i got a 'rpc server not found' msg.

i tried restting the clock in bios to last month, and then to last year, no difference.

What do tell the user to do?

If she needs to buy a windows cd, and reinstall - I can do an in-place install, right, and not affect her current progs/data?
Who is Participating?
caddladyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi dgrrr,
Check out this link to PeteLong's advice:

You can also do a search of E-E for the expression: "xp already activated"

You will see that this has been asked (and answered) a lot here.

i think your system was hacked, so you are using pirate version , try to go to windows update and try to install anything to validate your pc (try to download the IE7) this will tell you if you have pirate version.
or Call Microsoft on the phone
Get expert help—faster!

Need expert help—fast? Use the Help Bell for personalized assistance getting answers to your important questions.

I would try caddlady's suggestion first and make the Registry change (if you're comfortable with that process).
If that doesn't work, my links give you a toll-free number to MS.

dgrrrAuthor Commented:
Hoping to try - haven't been back to site...
dgrrrAuthor Commented:
Cannot return to site yet - so I"m going to awaard to cadladdy, as this woudl be the easiest solution, as I understand it (or at least the next ting  I would try)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.