XP installation ID is Blank on activation

I am reinstalling a Windows XP machine.  I've got a legit license key that came with the machine.  The problem is it won't let me activate.  Obviously it won't let me activate over the internet because the driver hasn't been loaded yet.  When I click on activate by phone, it won't give me an installation ID to call in with.  So I'm stuck!  I've read a lot of things on the internet about fixing the issue, but none have worked.  My question is, is there a way to load the driver for the Ethernet port if I am not able to login the machine either in Normal or Safe modes?  I can access the drive through a linix boot cd, so I can add files to the drive remotely.  Can I find the driver for the main board and load that way?

Baub EisAsked:
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Is the error with activation or just entering a valid Product Key?
Is this a fresh installation?
Retail or OEM version of XP?
Are you using the CD that matches the License Key you have?
(See: http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_3218.html)
When you activate by phone there should be a button at the bottom left to change the ID. Did you try that?
Baub EisAuthor Commented:
I am not using the original CD, but it is a valid key that is on the case of the computer.  The original hard drive shot craps so it is a new Hard Drive.  I've done many installs with the CD that have worked no problem.

edbedb: Yes.  Its the fact that it won't generate an installation ID for me to call in to M$.  So I keep thinking I should try to figure out how to get the ethernet working so that then I could just do an online activation.
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I am not able to login the machine either in Normal or Safe modes?

If you couldn't to login on this PC, how then you try to activate Window?
I don't understand it.

Baub EisAuthor Commented:
nrisimha: windows starts up, and then there is the icon to select the user administrator, and you select that and it should take you into windows, but it pops up and says you need to activate this computer.  So it won't let me past that point.  Usually you have 30 days to activate, and I would just go in and install the ethernet drivers manually, and then just activate over the internet.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
>>My question is, is there a way to load the driver for the Ethernet port if I am not able to login the machine either in Normal or Safe modes?
No, but normally you wouldn't need to as XP would give you enough of a grace activation period to install drivers if the default XP drivers don't connect.

This is a separate activation issue. For once the combination of install CD and Activation Code you have entered don't work.

Who's the manufacturer on the CoA label and which CD do you have? (Product# if Microsoft, manufacturer if OEM or Disk label (seen in Windows Explorer) if you have none of the above - see the LunarSoft link in the article above)
web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
download the driver for your network card with another pc, save it onto usb memory stick, then install it from the memory stick. Is the sticker and the disc the same version of the operating system, ie you can not use the product key from a windows pro, when you are using a windows home edition cd. Is the cd a retail or oem disc, does the disc include service pack 2, if these do not match up with the version of sticker than you will not be able to activate anyway. When installing windows did it ask for the product key as part of the install? If it did not then it will not generate a install id. The install id is a hash of the information of hardware items in the pc in combination with the product key. If a product key was not entered during the install it will not generate an install id.
web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
I would try to do a full operating system reinstall, as the activation process should give you the 30 days in order to activate windows, so something must have a been wrong. Have you changed the date settings on your computer, since you installed the operating system? Unusal dates may prompt you to activate windows imediately before you can continue to log on. Is your bios keeping the correct time and date? If not you need to replace the cmos battery.
Baub EisAuthor Commented:
date and time is correct.

It did ask for product code during install.

Maybe a bios update on the mainboard?  Trying to find a different copy of xp now....
Baub EisAuthor Commented:
What I'm really looking for, can I somehow install the driver for the ethernet card without getting into windows all the way?  ie I can boot with Trinity Rescue Kit (linux boot) and able to access the drive.  Can I move the files for the ethernet card over that way, and then it might recognize the imbedded ethernet card on the mainboard?
web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
unfortunately to install the driver correctly for the network card you will have to make entries in the registry, to do that would be too complicated to know what enteries you need to make in the regsitry to make it work. I would just try reinstalling the operating system, something must have happened during the install to cause the system to think that the 30 days to activate the operating system are up. Doing a system operating system reinstall should clear this up, and who knows maybe windows may find a generic driver that works for your network card.
Baub EisAuthor Commented:
Have already tried the re-install.... :-(
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
What I'm really looking for, can I somehow install the driver for the ethernet card without getting into windows all the way?  >> No you can't. Windows needs to be running to install the drivers - adding them to the registry will only work if you can launch Windows in Safe or Normal mode.  It's quite possible that XP's generic drivers will run the network card anyway.

All you need is to correct the installation, that is match the installation CD with the CoA.

Reinstalling without changing the media won't help as you'll end up with the same error.

So we're still back to which CD and which manufacturer on the CoA?

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Yes, but here is a one question - if he has a new PC with NEW network card made one year ago, then I don't believe that Windows XP has such a driver. And EVEN generic driver!

You know what are the problems with network cards and their drivers for last 20 years.

When I worked at my job one of great solution was to have a Windows XP driver and DOS Configuration utility.

So, when I turn on PC, I pressed a F8 and choose to work from command prompt.
And of course I start Network Card Utility to configure and install a drivers from DOS.

It would be good to know a name of a card manufacturer and a full name of a network card.
So, go to Device manager and search a network card and then we can search on the Internet if there are a drivers for this card.

Or you baub_eis have a CD with software for motherboard that include a software for network card?
And finally - if you have a User Guide that came with a motherboard you can found there a type and manufacturer and a name of a network card?


☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
The machine was supplied with an XP CoA
Baub EisAuthor Commented:
Ok, here is the current status... ugh.  I finally found a network card that windows would recognize.  Was able to get the activation to work.  But now each time I try to login it says I need to activate.  And then if I go in it says that I am already activated.  I'm stuck in a loop.  weird.  I tried updating the bios on the main board, and then reinstall again.  Always the same thing.  I am thinking the mainboard is f'd.
Baub EisAuthor Commented:
Ok, now totally flumoxed.  I have replaced ALL of the hardware and still doing the same thing.  The License key on the side says its an OEM version.  So does that take a different version of XP Pro?
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Yes, sorry but did you read the article in the first link I posted?


You need the installation media for that manufacturer.  Which manufacturer appears on the CoA sticker on the case?
Baub EisAuthor Commented:
Yep, I found another license that wasn't oem and the machine flew with no problems.  Thanks again.
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