Select the product you need help with
- Internet Explorer
- Windows Phone
- More products
Error message when you install Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Service Pack 2 (SP2): "The product key used to install Windows is invalid"
Article ID: 326904 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q326904
If you try to install Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), you may receive the following error message:
The Product Key used to install Windows is invalid. Please contact your system administrator or retailer immediately to obtain a valid Product Key. You may also contact Microsoft Corporation's Anti-Piracy Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you have purchased pirated Microsoft software. Please be assured that any personal information you send to the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Team will be kept in strict confidence.
This issue may occur if the product key that you are using to install Windows XP matches a product key that Microsoft has determined to be invalid. These two product keys create a product ID that matches one of the following product IDs (where x is any numeric value):
To resolve this problem, first determine the Windows product ID on your computer. To do this, follow these steps:
If the product ID is listed in the "Cause" sectionIf the product ID is listed in the "Cause" section, you may be a victim of software piracy. To report software piracy, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
If the product ID is not listed in the "Cause" sectionIf the product ID is not listed in the "Cause" section, there are other steps that you can take to resolve this error message. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310637/ )You receive an error message after you enter the product key when you try to install Windows XP
If you are a Microsoft volume license customer and you have licenses for Windows XP ProfessionalIf you are a Microsoft volume license customer and you have licenses for Windows XP Professional, perform a clean install of Windows XP on the computer that received the error message. Use the Windows XP Professional media and the Volume License product key that is provided with your agreement. If you cannot perform a clean install, you must change the product ID.
If you have a valid volume license key but you set up the computer by using an invalid key, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328874/ )How to change the Volume Licensing product key on a computer that is running Windows XP S328874 and later versions of Windows XP
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918342/ )How to change the Volume Licensing product key on a Windows XP-based or a Windows Server 2003-based computer
To determine whether the product key is valid, download the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Diagnostic Tool. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=56062For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/faq.aspxTo purchase a valid retail Windows XP product, visit your local retailer. Or, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/products/info/default.aspx?View=22If you are outside the United States, contact the Microsoft subsidiary for your area. To locate your subsidiary, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/worldwideIf you still have problems with this error message, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactusIf the information in this article does not help you resolve the problem, or if you experience symptoms that differ from those that this article describes, please search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.comThen, type the text of the error message that you receive, or type a description of the problem in the Search Support (KB) field.