Valid product key, for XP, no longer works from MSDN Universal.

Posted on 2011-10-02
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I purchased a MSDN Universal subscription about 8 years ago. My understanding, from a Microsoft representative, was that it was permanent. (I just cannot get the newest stuff, because I have not paid to keep up with the subscription.) Again, I was told that I would have permanent access to anything from Microsoft  - as long as the product was created within one year of the activation.

A few years ago, I called them and got them to give me a product key for an operating system. (If you're not familiar, the MSDN subscription gives you ALL the current OSs, but you have to go online to get product keys.)

At the MSDN screen for my account, I now see:
Subscription Information: Status:  Active

StartDate: 4/12/2003    ExpirationDate:9/5/2008    Status: Ended

So much for Universal being "lifetime" - evidently now, it is over in 5 years.

Does anyone have experience with this? I feel ripped off. The MSDN Universal subscription was very expensive, and now I need a valid product key for an existing machine that had XP installed on it and crashed (and "Repair" will not work.

Do I have to wait until Monday, when Microsoft is open, get into a telephone queue, have some idiot tell me to try 10 things already tried... and maybe get a new valid product key for an old operating system? I hate to use some hacked, Chinese "valid" product key, but I am certainly not paying for a new copy of XP at this point.

Any ideas?


Question by:dtleahy
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    At the time you had your MSDN subscription, you would have downloaded the XP iso file and probably got an install product key for it. That key should continue to work. Once your subscription expired, you can no longer get the iso or look at the previously assigned key(s), but the products and their keys previously obtained would continue to work.

    You say you called up and requested the XP key and I am a bit surprosed they helped you out.

    If you lost the XP key, you may be out of luck.

    For others that have active MSDN subscriptions, don't forget to download your key list before it expires.

    Gary Davis
    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    by:Jaroslav Mraz
    Hi i have experience with microsoft msdn subscriptions.

    After it ends you cant download anything from it. You can try to log in open your old subscription and try if you have avaiable "My product keys" if yes you can export all of them from page.

    If not you can try call them but i cant garatie soucess.

    As help with KEY you can use some of boot CDs like UBCD and get your old key with it.
    LVL 62

    Assisted Solution

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    All the licenses provided by Microsoft through their subscription services (MSDN, MAPS, TechNet etc) are given on the understanding that the subscriptions are maintained.  One of the reasons the total value of the software provided is less than retail reflects that.  Although the activation keys will still work with the media provided those installations no longer have a valid license.  MSDN is an exception in that if the subscription ends you can no longer access downloads and keys from the site but prior downloads remain valid.

    As long as you have the installation CD from the MSDN site that matches their Product Key you'll be able to repair/reinstall if this machine already has the MSDN version installed.  You may not see a repair option if the versions don't match.

    Author Closing Comment

    Microsoft, oh I hate you. Let me count the ways...

    Thanks to the three people that responded here, and tried to help. The only solution with Microsoft is "get out your wallet, again", and each of these three people basically let me know that I had no chance with Microsoft - and so share the awarded points.


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