Solved

Windows Activation on logon screen

Posted on 2010-09-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello Everyone

Ok, here is a little background.
Customers computer kept restarting and would not go all the way into windows.  Looked like some corrupt files because the hardware checked out just fine.  So instead of trying to go in and delete or redownload a bunch of stuff I decided to do an install/repair.  It performed beautifully and when I went to login (the normal Ctrl/Alt/Del way) the user name was there along with the Domain. AWESOME!! Now I put in the required information to login and a pop up came and said that Windows needs to be reactivated before I could login.  I hit the OK button and the pop up went away.  Nothing else then happened.  The background image didnt change, nothing.  The mouse just sat there in the middle of the screen (it would move no problem, so it wasnt locked up) and the background was just the default HP PC background.  Nothing happened.  Left it overnight and still nothing happened.
Any ideas would be much appreciated at this time :-)
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Question by:jonmenefee
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:JohnThePro
ID: 33755811
Can you boot into safe mode?
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Assisted Solution

by:johnb6767
johnb6767 earned 150 total points
ID: 33755838
Can you get to the run command if you run a hard shut down on it?

msoobe.exe /a

Also, you can reset the WPA timer.....

In the registry....

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents

Modify the value OobeTimer, any value will do.

Then retry the msoobe /a, and see if it pulls up. If you get the option for a Telephone Activation, call MS and let them help..... Only takes 5 minutes, but usually worth it.....
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33755856
Tried that and WIndows says that it must be activated before you can logon and activation cannot occur in safe mode.

I can boot up with BartPE CD and I can rename the WPA.DBL file and I still get the same results when it says I must activate.  If I click cancel, it logs me off, if I hit ok, the pop up goes away and it just sits there.  Doesnt logon, doesnt give me any different background.  I even booted into VGA mode thinking that a popup was showing some place else on the screen and I needed to reset the video driver.  nothing, no difference.
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33755869
I can login through a BartPE CD and try what John says to try.  I am doing another repair in the meantime and will if it doesnt work again I will do just that.

keeping the fingers crossed :-)
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33755879
run command.  You mean use F8 and go that way to a dos prompt?
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Expert Comment

by:JohnThePro
ID: 33755987
Also, you might want to try getting to the F8 menu, and booting using the "Last Known Good Configuration" option.

Worth a shot.
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33756083
I actually havent tried that since I did the rebuild.  didnt think of that one.

Ok, I just did the reinstall and after it did the whole 5 step thing (copying files, expanding, installing etc) it rebooted and it went to a screen that normally goes away pretty fast.  It is a black screen with WindowsXP logo in the middle and the words... please wait.. right below it.  It has been like that for the past 10 minutes.  I will give it some more time.  I see no activity on the hard drive light though and am about to hit the power button and restart it that way.
Any ideas before I hit the power button?  
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33756279
Ok, well, I tried the msoobe.exe thing and Windows said that it is an unrecognized application.  I then had to boot from an Ultimate BootCD and one of the tools is a regedit too.  Guess what.  No WPAEvents Key.  Now, I dont know if thats because I am booting from an Ultimate BootCD or not, but missing that key completely makes me think that Windows is really screwed up now and I should just do a fresh install.  Nothing that I really want to do because they have specialized software.  ugghh.  I can always install it as a fresh install into a separate directory.  That would keep the data, but would lose alll the settings and would still be a mess to clean up.

Any more suggestions?
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Expert Comment

by:optoma
ID: 33756307
Power down machine as it will hang there.

Download IE8 on a removable device
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/worldwide-sites.aspx

Boot into safe mode with command prompt and install IE8

Type "explorer" at command prompt to get desktop
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33756355
So you think Explorer got hosed?  I didnt even think of that possibility.  wouldnt surprise me though.

Thanks.  I will give it a try.  That does sound reasonable though because the background is missing everything, and in the past when I had to stop a service, and explorer was the service, the background would be just like it is now.

FIngers crossed.

Thanks!!

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Expert Comment

by:JohnThePro
ID: 33756476
It also, to me, kinda sounds like the hard drive might be starting to go out.

You're having intermittent issues, at different times, on a brand new installation.

Either your install media is messed up, or perhaps your hard drive.
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Expert Comment

by:optoma
ID: 33756508
It maybe so with explorer messed up as well but in Safe w cmd prompt, you will always start with only cmd prompt.
Typing explorer will give you a gui to navigate to your removable device :)
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33756662
unfortunately I was unable to install IE8.  it would say that I need to update the PC and it couldnt get to the Internet to get the updates.

Thanks for all the help guys, I did learn a few more things, but at the direction of the client I am just going to install into a different directory and just reinstall Windows.  Sux, but after spending 5 hours yesterday and 3 hours today, the client doesnt want to incur more hours on site (and I dont blame him either).  I did tell them that if I took the PC to my office it was a flat rate, but they wanted me onsite to do the job so I have to charge full hourly rates.

Have a good one!!!
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Accepted Solution

by:
optoma earned 350 total points
ID: 33756708
Pity. Must be well messed up.
When you get it off site try this if you want before starting fresh. It usually takes less than ten mins to test.

Follow accepted solution only
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_24543911.html
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33756727
Here is what the girl told me happened just before this crash

She said she was surfing on Ebay (or some other well known site) and it started to get really slow.  I mean, dog slow, so she thought she should reboot the machine.  Well, as soon as she rebooted, it started its cycling.  It would get up to where the blue screen was (right before you get a prompt to login) and then it would restart.  Using F8 and telling it to NOT restart after a crash, it would stop at the BSOD.  The error pointed to Winlogon problems.  I did the normal stuff like getting the same file from another PC that was running XP (same SP level) and using that one and still did no good.  So I did an install/repair and this started happening.
I should have done this in the beginning but I didnt know if the client had the software that was on the PC.  Turns out they did and they know how to install their specialized accouting software (not quickbooks.. lol) and so we are now rebuilding their machine and they will reinstall the software.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:optoma
ID: 33756760
Np :)
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33756805
Dang, Well, I didnt see Optoma's comments before I started the reinstallation.

Oh well, I guess I will just finish the install and keep on going.

Thanks all!!!
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:pmerjo
ID: 33760747
Can you see the date and time of this machine?
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Author Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33765638
I have already started the installation, sorry.  Its going through now and should be alright come Monday.  I can see the date and time in the bios, but otherwise, no, I couldnt get far enough into Windows to even see the day and time
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Author Closing Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 33765652
Great comments and suggestions by all.  Thak you very much
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