How To Change the Windows XP Product Key

Written by Tech84 on March 7, 2008

If for some reason you might wanna change your current Windows XP CD Key or after you discover that your current key is pirated or illegal but you don’t want to reinstall Windows XP from scratch and activate your new legal key, here are a few simple steps in order to change your Windows XP product Key without reinstalling windows.

Here’s how to change the Windows XP Product Key:

1. Click on Start and then Run.

2. In the text box in the Run window, type regedit and click OK. This will open the Registry Editor program.

3. Locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder under My Computer and click on the (+) sign next the folder name to expand the folder.

4.Continue to expand folders until you reach the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrent VersionWPAEvents registry key.

5.Click on the WPAEvents folder.

6.In the results that appear in the window on the right, locate OOBETimer.

7.Right-click on the OOBETimer entry and choose Modify from the resulting menu.

8. Change at least one digit in the Value data text box and click OK. This will deactivate Windows XP.

9. Click on Start and then Run.

10. In the text box in the Run window, type the following command and click OK.
%systemroot%system32oobemsoobe.exe /a

12. When the Windows Product Activation window appears, choose Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows and then click Next.

13.Click Change Product Key.

14.Type your new, valid Windows XP product key in the New key text boxes and then click Update.

15. If you’re taken back to the previous screen and prompted, choose Remind me later.

16. Restart your PC.

There you have it, and remember to always obtain your software legally to avoid problems like these in the future. =)




 Posted in How to's, Tech, Tips,

34 Responses to “How To Change the Windows XP Product Key”

  1. kenny says:

    Hi! I can see you have some knowledge, are you able to post a printout of a registry file setup for this,

    ex: if I don’t wantto go in the registry and just run a -reg file for this? ..or do you know how to migrate/edit a valie of a registry key that exsists?

    mabee this will just solve by running

    .reg that contains the whole key without the value?
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrent VersionWPAEvents]

    /registry n00b

  2. tech84 says:

    you still have to manually go to ->

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrent VersionWPAEvents]

    i dont know any other way to change a value in a registry key other than manually going there.

  3. Nahmias says:

    I managed to get to this location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrent VersionWPAEvents

    The problem is the WPAEvents folder contains no ‘OOBETimer’ at all!!!!

    Is there a cause for this? Is rhere anything i can do??

  4. Ted says:

    i suggest you just create a new Reg_binary file in your wpaevents:

    Edit -> New -> Binary Value then name it “OOBETimer ” then just put any random value in the data box then proceed to step 9.

  5. Toji says:

    1.Open your regedit RUN > REGEDIT

    2.Find key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWPAEvents
    3.see the string OOBETimer

    4.Double click.change all content with this one:

    FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F D5 33 93 FD

    5.Right Click on WPAEvents(Regedit)and choose Permissions

    6.Window will show up,click to System and check all of Deny
    Listbox

    7.Restart Your PC

  6. Nahmias says:

    Managed to get it to work. Thanks a lot really appreciate it :)

  7. Tech84 says:

    @Ted & Toji

    Thanks for helping! =)

  8. LILSCRAPPY says:

    what about the fact that you can’t continue after

    12. When the Windows Product Activation window appears, choose Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows and then click Next.

    without the supposed confirmation code the telephone person is supposed to give you?

  9. tech84 says:

    @ LILSCRAPPY

    Try toji’s suggestion:

    1.Open your regedit RUN > REGEDIT

    2.Find key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWPAEvents
    3.see the string OOBETimer

    4.Double click.change all content with this one:

    FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F D5 33 93 FD

    5.Right Click on WPAEvents(Regedit)and choose Permissions

    6.Window will show up,click to System and check all of Deny
    Listbox

    7.Restart Your PC

  10. jeff says:

    i used XP KEY CHANGER from http://www.moonvalleyosft.com

    works fine, easy to use

  11. shafiq says:

    hey just say me how tochange boot screen without using any software dude

  12. DUDE!! says:

    When I changed the product key it ultimately changed the number of day(s) I have to activate my windows to literally 3 million years…I don’t know if this was a fluke or not. If it isn’t that’s sweet, but if it is then I’ll be back to do this again.

    Thanks again.

  13. Mr. B says:

    I went through the process three times and still didn’t change my cd keys. Do I need to ghange keys before SP1 and SP2 is installed. Something was mentioned about installing SP1 as soon as you finish editing the registery. What if SP1 and SP2 is already installed. Will it still work. Help me if you can!!!… Thanks

  14. iestyn halborg says:

    i got as far as ‘change product key’ but then it would’nt accept my genuine xp professional product key. ??? it was definately part of the windows genuine activation package i purchased when windows detected it was an illegal copy (just don’t have the time/energy to crack it when it is 95 quid to buy an orig copy). Can someone please help? email> sleepingstaff@gmail.com if you know whats possibly the problem with activation. Many Thanks.

  15. Strife says:

    I did exact same thing as Toji…

    “1.Open your regedit RUN > REGEDIT

    2.Find key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWPAEvents
    3.see the string OOBETimer

    4.Double click.change all content with this one:

    FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F D5 33 93 FD

    5.Right Click on WPAEvents(Regedit)and choose Permissions

    6.Window will show up,click to System and check all of Deny
    Listbox

    7.Restart Your PC”

    After I restarted, the windows activation warning hasn’t shown up yet, but I can still see “Activate Windows” when I go to “start” and “all programs”. Does this mean that it’s still not activated? (I haven’t activated windows yet and my product key has been used too many times lol).

    I’d appreciate it if anyone can help. ^.^

  16. Zymenth says:

    For some reason i dont u all understand whats this post are for……what tech4 mean by changing ur windows key is…..changing ur pirated CD keys to Origional legal CD key….coz u dont need to trouble urself to format up PC again just to use the Origional legal key…..u can just change it…………this method will not allow u to use pirated keys without activation….just a method to change ur Pirated keys to legal one…..Put ur effort to understand the post before posting stupid reply…TQ

    Tech4 thx for the info

    it help me alot

  17. dinosaur says:

    I did everything you showed, but couldn’t change the key. My computer kept freezing so we started all over. However, we didn’t know that I had a product code for the XP that came installed on the computer with no disc, so we used his XP to get me going, but of course, the product key was for his XP not mine. Now I keep getting the activate message and it’s not for my XP. What should I do? Please don’t tell me to start all over again!

  18. kostix says:

    it help me alot :)

  19. kostix says:

    I put legal key,now I hive legal Windows XP :) ;)

  20. ElfMajic says:

    Thanks.it worked the first time around…

  21. neural_jam says:

    Hi, thanks for that, I cloned my hard drive and put it in another machine, and obviously it didn’t like it because it looked like I was doing something dodgy, which was annoying because I have a legal key on the case lol

    Hopefully this should sort it out, thanks!

  22. Mainet says:

    I tried several times, also playing with the permission as suggested by Toji.
    To no avail: when I run %systemroot%system32oobemsoobe /a (even after rebooting) I always get “windows is already activated” and the only option is to click “ok”. I don’t trust the softwares suggested because I suspect they are going to have the same problem I am encountering manually. Any other ways? BTW, mine went though the windows validation tool (and always complaints that it may not be a valid copy) I do have a valid key, if I only were able to change it!
    Now I am trying to uninstall SP3, let’s see if that helps somehow.

    • jim says:

      just saw ur comment… on SP3 you can use ONLY SP3 keys. so ur key could be as good as you like but if it’s not SP3 and/or OEM, not even god can help you

  23. nick says:

    so my 30 days went by, i edited the registry key and changed the permission so when i try to log on it says i need to activate, yes/no, i say yes. it says its already activated, when i click ok it logs me back off.

  24. NATrider says:

    Schweet!!!!

    The instructions from Toji worked like a champ on a WindowsXP SP3 (VOL) install.

    Thanks for the info!!

  25. fil74 says:

    try xp key changer , from moonvalleysoft
    http://www.moonvalleysoft.com/xp-key-changer-p-32.html

  26. DUDE ROCKS says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH

  27. chris says:

    i did all steps and when i go to start/run and type %systemroot%system32oobemsoobe.exe/a it says cannot find plz help

  28. harry says:

    Cannot edit OOBETimer: Error writing the values new contents.

  29. Immanuel says:

    Thanks, fellas so far, so good. no stupid reminder!!

  30. Immanuel says:

    Thanks, fellas so far, so good!!

  31. Tech84 says:

    Glad to be of help!

  32. Hey guys i know this tweak might sound to be an old school to some but this really do work. Been handling different types of computers laptop and desktop and some of my clients have the same problem about the Windows Genuine Registration and even changing product keys and a solution that I could suggest is to download Windows Product Key Modifier this dude can easily change the product key as well as the system registries without giving you a headache like getting conflicts with some other registries. http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/Windows-XP-Product-Key-Modifier.shtml

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