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Windows XP Solutions

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3.15 How can I determine which product key I used to activate Windows XP?

You can't because XP converts the product key to the system's product ID. Exposing this product ID opens security concerns around the product ID generation process and the security of the product key.Therefore, make sure you keep track of all product keys you use.

3.16 When must I activate the final version of Windows XP?

The final version of XP requires that you activate the product within 30 days of installation. Because the product activation doesn't grant an extra 30 days for users who previously installed the evaluation version, those users must activate the OS immediately after they complete the upgrade.

3.17 What ports does Windows XP use during product activation?

XP uses the standard Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) port (port 80) and HTTP over Secure Socket Layer (HTTPS) port (port 443) for product activation. To confirm that these ports are available, try connecting to both ports by entering the following addresses in your Web browser:

If you receive an error, check with your administrator to determine whether your organization has blocked either port and whether you need to change your firewall client configuration.

3.18 How do I correct a Windows XP installation that has become deactivated?

XP contains a new feature, System Restore, that restores the system to a previous con-figuration point. Should you restore your system to a point before you activated XP on your computer, the OS will forget that you activated it, and you'll need to reactivate XP. If the system restore point is past the 30-day grace period that Microsoft allows for activation, you'll have to activate XP immediately.

The only work around to reactivating your system is to perform the following steps:

  1. Start your Windows installation in Minimal Safe mode.

  2. Move to the \%systemroot%\system32 folder.

  3. Rename WPA.DBL to WPA.NOACT.

  4. Rename WPA.BAK to WPA.DBL.

  5. Reboot your system as normal.

The preceding procedure will work only if you've made no significant hardware changes.

3.19 Does Windows XP contain any Easter eggs?

To supply certain government agencies with software, Microsoft can't include undocumented features, including Easter eggs, in its software. As a result, no Easter eggs exist in XP.

3.20 Where can I get Microsoft's extra Windows XP screensaver?

To highlight XP's and DirectX 8.0's features, Microsoft developed an extra screen-saver for XP that consists of a 3D flag. You can download the screensaver for free from Microsoft's Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/downloads/ xpscreensaver.asp.

3.21 Where can I find Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP?

As with previous versions of Windows, Microsoft has released a set of great utilities to enhance the Windows experience. You can download Microsoft PowerToys for XP from Microsoft's Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/downloads/ powertoys.asp.

PowerToys for XP consists of the following:

  • Open Command Window Here: Open a command window that points to a particular folder just by right-clicking that folder.

  • TweakUI: Make many modifications to internal XP settings that aren't accessible in the default UI.

  • Power Calculator: Graph and evaluate functions as well as perform unit conversions.

  • Image Resizer: Easily resize multiple images into a target size with a right-click.

  • CD Slide Show Generator: View images as a slide show.

  • Virtual Desktop Manager: Have up to four virtual desktops.

  • Taskbar Magnifier: Magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.

  • HTML Slide Show Wizard: Create HTML slide shows of your digital pictures, ready to place on a Web site.

  • Webcam Timershot: Take pictures at specified time intervals from a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a location that you designate.

3.22 What upgrade paths does Windows XP support?

XP Home Edition and XP Professional are available in full and upgrade versions. If you're upgrading from a qualifying OS, you can purchase the less-expensive upgrade version; otherwise, you need to purchase the full version. However, even if you purchase the full version, XP doesn't support all upgrade paths. Review the following table to determine whether XP supports your upgrade path:

Current Version

Windows XP Home

Windows XP Pro

Windows 3.1 or Windows 95



Any server version of Windows



Windows 98/98 SE



Windows Me



Windows NT 3.51


No (you need to upgrade to NT 4.0 orWin2K first)

Windows NT 4.0



Windows 2000 Professional



Windows XP Home Edition



Windows XP Professional



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