Just got the following Private Message: ------ Hi EP, I have purchased XP Home Edition from a chap who had problems with the hardware on his PC. I am now the owner of the product, but cannot get it activated, as MS tell me. (that it has not been DEactivated) The former owner has got rid of XP on his PC. Please can you throw some light on this, as I have only 25 days left to activate it. ------ Felt I should post the reply here, as I feel this is an important issue. Firstly, you should be very careful when buying a second hand copy of WindowsXP - because of the activation. Did you try phoning Microsoft, they have to be leanient with the product activation, or so the press release claimed, so you may have better luck phoning them, rahter than attempting to register online. There are several things you can try, you cna get your friend (the chap) to reinstall XP, get him to phone Microsoft and have his version deactivated, tho I do not know if this is possible! Tho it must be, as it would mean that you would have to repurchase XP everytime you made over 5 hardware changes! If he deactivates his version, then you should be able to activate as normal... ...there could be serious issues if you purchase a second hand copy over an online auction etc. Another way that you could activate your copy of XP is by using the various tools that have appeared, you will have to search for these yourself, but if you feel you must, I suggest using the various search engine. This could be used illegally, so I am not going to help anymore there. But I cannot stress enough, how careful you must be when purchasing a second hand copy.