How to change the Windows XP Product Activation Key Code Since the release of Windows XP Professional, Microsoft has discovered that the vast majority of illegitimate copies in use are using a small handful of leaked "corporate" keys. In an effort to thwart these illegitimate users, Windows XP Service Pack 1 (and possibly all future updates) will not install on systems using these keys, and it is unclear what additional steps Microsoft may take in the future. Microsoft claims that legitimate licensed users of XP Professional should be unaffected, however there are a number of different ways one of these leaked keys can find it's way into an otherwise legal environment and cause serious deployment issues. (When a legitimate corporate key is not at hand during an installation process, it's a common practice for some administrators to simple search the web for a valid key.) Here's how to check if your systems are using a leaked key, and how to change the product activation key if they are. DISCLAIMER This article is intended for IT Professionals and systems administrators with legitimate corporate licenses for Windows XP Professional. It is not intended for home users, hackers, or computer thieves attempting to crack the product ID on a pirated version of the Operating System. Please do not attempt any of these procedures if you are unfamiliar with modifying the Windows XP registry, and please use this information responsibly. ^cYcLo^ is not responsible for the use or misuse of this material, including loss of data, damage to hardware, or personal injury. INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND FREEDOM FROM INFRINGEMENT. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. How to find your your Product Key During the installation of Windows XP Professional, you are prompted to enter a 25 digit Windows XP Product Key, which Windows XP promptly converts it into the system's product ID. Because of security concerns about piracy, Microsoft does not provide a tool that allows you to view the Product Key (or CD Key) that was used to install the operating system. Luckily, a clever guy named Serge Kandakov has created a simple little tool called ViewKeyXP that gets around this problem and actually displays the Product Key used in the installation. The file is a standalone .exe and is 32kb in size. http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/tools/ViewKeyXP.exe List of leaked Product Keys Once you've discovered your Product Key, you need to check it against a list of known leaked keys. Since Microsoft has not yet released a list of keys blocked by Service Pack 1, we've compiled a list of keys that are commonly available on the web and are most likely to cause issues with SP1 The primary code used in the majority of pirated XP copies is: FCKGW RHQQ2 YXRKT 8TG6W 2B7Q8 This code has been commonly referred to as "DevilsOwn" code, by the hacker who distributed it (along with an ISO CD image of Windows XP) on Usenet warez groups. This is the primary key code that is expected to be blocked by Service Pack 1 Other codes that have been leaked on the web and may not work with SP1 are: BX6HT MDJKW H2J4X BX67W TVVFG CDWVP GBJRG PDJRG YGCMB HCGG3 RK7J8 2PGYQ P47VV V6PMB F6XPQ RBDC9 VTRC8 D7972 J97JY PRVMG RJPBQ 76B6V HDFJY 3BRR3 9DBXW E7G7A XEM0Q SD1FW E15S7 BELMN TFCKG MY9T6 9DWY2 9WB3B G8Q7D JJWKH 7M9R8 26VM4 FX8CC GDPD8 KR2X8 M8MGV FQBRR 322YQ QPM2Y BXCTM R899Y QH8H8 26PXH BMC7B BQJG2 2MJT7 H7F6K XW98B 4HQRQ CMGRR XCBMG 4P8TB DR9FW 62PFB HMTWJ VPPWP 9BXP8 WD73Y GGT6M KWQ2C 4GPMH FTRMR 7JQGD 688TT DMGW7 3XBTD 3VV7C 83RQD KHX66 M9W3X RJD63 2WFRH 72X6G HXD36 4QF63-CQ234-JMFXK-3CDDG-Q66JG 8FK2M-383CY-MWD7F-G2K8Y-R6HTK MJTT4-XFP6F-WGRWQ-XV2CR-34G9J XXPBP-7WD34-TTJH8-KGDRD-DFJR7 3V3QM-C6GQG-QK2FC-JTBP8-M6KDM WH23V-T24RF-C8GH8-GHDFJ-BXJYF 6PKKK-BPVHM-722FT-M82TW-GR7XC 8Y6DR-PK3XY-FHVJ2-HKQ8T-MDBM6 PX6QC-4KCKF-BC2QT-HHVJ6-YVCDR HQMHY-FX63M-KGTGH-HP8PW-DJX34 YPW48-RWTBQ-4JR62-WRPG2-GD6GM HB8BG-R6KCG-YYJFP-KTJ7D-B9GJY YMC8V-BFX4W-WGTPJ-8H8VR-YPRTC 2VF2C-W4Y8R-YBTDX-JJVKR-GM2XQ YQVDH-TD3QY-YVBXC-MW7T6-HTHPT QRPBC-D8W8P-P2WDC-KD8FG-D2DBQ 3VV32-X2YTF-Y4X3D-FYFY8-QXCD7 74R6B-RDYXV-837FG-W7W3Y-KX3V3 44CWJ-8Q6KC-WMFY7-VRCK4-TH3Q3 G2JW3-QC6VR-8Y3K3-XCPWY-9CDP8 3MTCD-D4FJB-G6423-XT8K8-R7VQP WGCQ7-G3W3M-YBQHK-GV6WQ-6VG6Q 2TR3W-CJPMF-TP27J-7MT8F-96TD8 DFR86-3TVBF-FR3PM-R7BCP-RKW6G J72KG-74JCT-PB7G6-3TDPX-6R8WQ DGC6R-4WDVJ-Y7YFH-VJBCK-WCK2R 73TB7-BRJT4-6WDPT-YBJM6-YKVK8 8X6FD-Q8GK2-2KC4T-TXFB7-P6TCC 4TCTC-WGWHT-TC83R-FTMGC-G6MM3 2KTGW-K763X-3PVMB-FJ7KG-9KCYK 4JKJF-TGX7V-WVMDP-Y8YD7-QT4M2 T2DCJ-TPGMR-Y8FC6-QQWWB-2FF6D V4GWJ-WF6MY-B6F34-HBVXY-8VQT3 6R4HF-DBP3H-7TK2D-8F84J-XK4FG VFGDT-XGYJY-BC326-TW7QB-Y2QVC CGQ7Y-33BMG-GMRF8-PMCMC-2TW8D MGF64-PG8XG-XBFTF-W84DT-YDYW7 844J8-VHGH4-T243T-DHWBQ-XP84J BYBTF-64WBR-HKCVJ-KVWRX-T4P4V X6PBC-MM6KV-T7336-V36PC-JX8VF TV487-CTJ7B-KY7BH-CGXPR-X7BG3 JVYJP-6JKFM-R8JTW-X3XCH-FC6KH MFJVF-CTVTJ-JTJ77-7BC83-86VW8 RCVV7-2WKDJ-VFXTX-2HM2J-7R2X8 3FRBP-3QFQD-3VTF6-PM8PY-CDRKX P2H7V-4VK6Y-7B3QW-27FJY-4BCDM P4VYK-JMQ4J-PB2Q8-CJ3YB-MCGCW FH3MW-BP7TR-JRDQF-TCMH2-4YD9F 82VJ3-PB4JR-QPDXV-77VRC-8WRFX DCJM2-4FJQ8-FH46R-WMPDF-4MJ64 YXPGY-FQHT2-7MHPD-FJ3R3-8PPKB GXYXB-M46X6-BCVJ3-3RR7K-F6TTM M8W23-CM7TD-DJWV4-KTTB2-99B7K 8GKGV-B6FKM-2JVM3-KJ842-TP7QY DPQFT-GYD77-X72G7-KFCP6-K9P4T HY2DM-YFFDH-M7P8R-XGG4J-63W3Y WHBV2-GQC8P-3CC4G-GYWPK-G7PRT G6QBR-P3DDJ-7MDJ7-7X8FT-F2CH6 MWB32-G7RB6-4QWH3-GP2V2-BJB83 VJKTC-33Q7W-VMXPR-2JDTK-867CQ 84RQJ-VPYTV-3C3W2-8G23P-F6H2M JJXM8-GCD2F-VGYPB-RTMGB-DMTQ2 BGDJ6-KWFBB-QVD8W-FBBBQ-Y8HYR VKK8Q-Q2BX7-VCJKM-MTDMJ-B3BM7 VKK8Q-Q2BX7-VCJKM-MTDMJ-B3BM7 4M66H-8F4F3-BGMG4-8YVTG-VM6T3 XK2FP-JG3CG-34B6M-J36CM-BK9F4 RJ8JJ-48HCP-2F6VW-RJXQ2-2GD9B PTBMT-KRJGP-6YKCQ-7FX64-GQMVR DCJ3Q-7RFYW-6H2P4-3W8CR-H43P9 TTP6P-QWBFJ-V3PG3-KXH4V-9WC7D In addition, a hacker group named "Blue List" has created a Windows XP Key Generator that is used to create corporate keys, that may have been used on your network. There is no word yet if SP1's product key check will affect systems using a key generated from this tool. How to change your Product ID in Windows XP If the product key used in your workstation installations matches the leaked keys above, you may need to change the key in order to install Windows XP service pack 1, and to make sure your environment is legal. You could completely re-install Windows XP Professional or you can try the method below. (Please backup your system before attempting this.) This workaround is only for the corporate editions of Windows XP Professional using a compromised or illegitimate key. Windows XP Home Edition and retail versions of XP Professional should not be affected by Service Pack 1. Although this procedure may work with other versions of XP, we have only tested it on the corporate edition (volume license version) of Windows XP Professional. >>>>>> WARNING <<<<<< This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. To change the product ID Backup your system state by clicking Start > Run > and typing ntbackup > Click the Advanced Mode button in the Backup Utility Wizard. >Click the Backup tab, then in Click to select the check box for any drive, folder, or file that you want to back up, select the System State Click Start > Run > and type in Regedit Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\wpaevents Double-click OOBETimer Remove the 'ca' part from the value. (Changing or deleting any of the binary values will accomplish the same effect) Click OK and close regedit Click Start > Run and type in: %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a Choose the 2nd option (phone activation) Click Change Product Key (at the bottom) Enter your valid Corporate Product Key Press Update and close the window Restart your computer Verify the change After the workstation restarts, click Start > Run Type in: %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a Make sure the dialog box says 'your copy of windows is already activated' If you performed the above steps incorrectly, or used an invalid key, your system may not be able to boot. Use the F8 key to boot to the last known good configuration and retry with a valid key Additional Thoughts... We are hoping that Microsoft provides a tool for checking machine product ID's on an Enterprise level (either via SMS or another reporting tool) prior to the release of Windows XP SP1. Perhaps they'll see their way to making a tool that can verify and change the Product Keys remotely as well. For now, Microsoft has contacted the corporate customers whose keys have leaked onto the web, but has debunked stories that it is changing volume license keys, or the algorithm used to create them.