How to Activate Windows XP Pro SP2 OEM

Written by c.d. crowder Google
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How to Activate Windows XP Pro SP2 OEM
(Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Windows XP Professional SP2 OEM software must be activated within 30 days after installation. Windows XP Professional SP2 will stop working unless activated. The OEM version is only installed on one computer, which is usually the computer it was originally purchased with. To activate the OEM version of Windows XP Professional SP2, install it on the computer you purchased the operating system with. Activation takes only minutes and allows you to download and install all available updates from Microsoft.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start your computer.

  2. 2

    Wait for the activation notification window to appear in the notification tray on the bottom right corner of your screen. If it doesn’t appear, click “Start,” “All Programs,” “Accessories,” “System Tools” and “Activate Windows.”

    Some OEM versions of Windows XP Pro SP2 are automatically activated during installation. You can check your activation status by using the above process.

  3. 3

    Choose your activation method. Methods include Internet, modem and telephone. Internet is the fastest, but requires an active Internet connection. Modem activations use your modem and phone line to activate, even without an active Internet connection. Telephone activations require you to call Microsoft and activate through a series of prompts.

  4. 4

    Follow the prompts in the activation wizard to finish activating Windows XP Professional SP2 OEM.

Tips and warnings

  • When activating by phone, keep the activation window open so you can enter the code provided on the screen when prompted. You may also need to use telephone activation if Internet activation results in an error. Error messages most commonly occur after a hardware upgrade, such as adding RAM or replacing a hard drive.
  • You cannot activate OEM software on other computers. OEM software is meant for one computer only. If your software did not come pre-installed on your computer, you will still only be able to install the separately purchased OEM copy of Windows XP Professional SP2 on a single computer.
  • If you change your motherboard or CPU, you may not be able to activate your software.

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