Windows XP Home Activation window fail to appear after running a repair!

Somthing caused the system to have a stop 7b error, one of the solutions on the knowledge base was to do a repair on XP Home.  The repair went well but after I click on the user name, windows tells me I MUST ACTAVATE NOW.  Fine go ahead and activate, I wait and wait but now activation window appears so I can activate.  Any clues as to how I might finish rescueing this system?

Thanks  GPCCNH

Question Info

Last updated December 20, 2018 Views 95,600 Applies to:

Thanks for posting. Can you log into your system at all? If you cannot log in boot into safemode and try the steps below. If you can log in please try the steps below.


The following instructions involve editing your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that require the reinstallation of your operating system and possible loss of data. TechRepublic does not support problems that arise from editing your registry. Use the Registry Editor and the following directions at your own risk.

Editing the registry
Begin by opening the Registry Editor and navigating to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents

In the right pane, right-click the ODBETimer binary value and select Modify. Change at least one character of this value to either a number from 0 to 9 or to a letter from A to F, then click OK and close the Registry Editor. This renders the current product key invalid and deactivates Windows.

Now, it’s time to reactivate Windows using your new product key. Click Start | Run and enter the command:
%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe /a

where %systemroot% is your Windows directory. In many cases, this command will look like:
C:\windows\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

At this point, Windows will launch the Product Activation Wizard.

Follow the activation wizard and select phone activation.

Hope this helps!

Shawn - Support Engineer - MCP, MCDST
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think

You know, this would help alot if activation worked in safe mode. I appreciate the help, but activation will not work in safe mode, and it does not start in regular mode, I have seen this problem so many times, after a cleanup of spyware, some spyware programs can jack up the registry causing a bluescreen or there is a rootkit with a driver removed causes a bluescreen. so then a repair install is attempted. 8 times out of 10, the repair install does not work, it may or may not complete, sometimes claiming files are missing during the repair install. other times it goes through flawlessly, then when windows starts it says Windows must be activated. Here the user accepts the activation, yet it never comes up, all you see is a desktop background. ctrl+alt+del, alt-f4, etc do not work. because the system is locked out of those options until windows is activated. Usually the first sign of this outcome is the last part of the windows install where it says please wait, and the hard drive loops activity at a steady rate, yet nothing ever happens. You can alt-f4 this part, then you only have an arrow. the only way to get around this is rebooting. then you are left were we left off, windows needs activation yet activation will not start. again, you can access the system in non-networking safe mode. but nothing else. The last time this has happened to me the spyware was brought on a clients computer in the form of something called "Wind Optimizer" among other things like a rogue "safety center" disguised like a Microsoft program. it looks really close to microsoft security center.

anything else we can try? I have heard of moving a file from an activated copy on the same machine with the same key.
I would rather find the root of the problem which I believe has to do with the out of box experience software that never starts after a repair install "oobe"

After some searching, I found what I was looking for, in safe mode try this:

In this example: Your activation period has expired, (past 30 days) and you need to get to Normal mode again.

1. Turn On your PC

2. Press F8 repeatedly and go to Safe Mode

3. Logon as per normal
(note: Administrator password is usually blank, but hopefully you know your password)

4. Allow the Desktop to fully load (answering "Yes" to continue into Safe Mode)
(note: This is just a long way of saying go to Safe Mode)

5. Click on Start - Run

6. Type in exactly: rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk (and click OK)
(note: one space, after "rundll32.exe " also the Oo are two letter o's in "oobe"; capitals and comma are important)

7. Wait a couple of seconds (although you will Not see any change)

8. Restart your PC normally (Start - Shutdown - Restart - Ok)

9. You are now able to go to Normal Mode again (For another 30 days !!!)

10. Install IE8, do not pass go do not install ie7, install ie8. that should solve not being able to browse and not being able to activate somehow it's tied to the broken ie. Let me know if this works. Now do whatever you like, you're back to Normal.

This fixed it for me but took me a long time to find this and get it going, hopefully it works for you to. 

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