Customer had another technician do a repair install of XP (but he left before it completed, and he didn’t want to return when a problem occurred.
At first, it seemed like a bad repair install, so I did another one, but the result was the same: XP wanted to activate, but couldn’t get to the internet (no server could be found).
I thought: maybe a network issue.
But the ethernet device driver was installed correctly, and plugging the PC directly into the modem (bypassing the router), only gave a slightly different error (a request for IP settings before it failed).
OK, lets try over-the-phone activation
I rang microsloth, and the phone rang for over 1 minute without an answer. I tried 2 more times, with the same result.
I waited 20 minutes while checking IP address settings, and on the forth try, I eventually got a reply (after 70 seconds of ring tone) from the usual automated system (press 1 for xxx, press 2 for yyy, etc)… It’s the first time I’ve been glad to get these auto responders.
Anyway, I follow the prompts, and I’m eventually told that the licence key has exceeded the maximum number of reactivations allowed… (I think to myself: “b*gger!!! this is not looking good”).
I’m given the option to “press 2 if you believe that this is a mistake”. Of course its a mistake: I have the original CD in front of me and the customer isn’t the type to use extra copies of XP!
I’m eventually put through to a bored-sounding gentleman with an indian accent… He just asks for the first 4 digits of the verification code, and then gives me a valid code, which activates XP. WooHoo!