You receive a "The product key used to install Microsoft Windows may not be valid" error message when you try to install Windows XP Service Pack 2

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Article ID: 883254 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), you may receive the following error message:
The product key used to install Microsoft Windows may not be valid. For more information about why you have received this error message, and steps you can take to resolve this issue visit www.howtotell.com/xpsp2.

CAUSE

This issue may occur if the product key that you are using to install Windows XP matches a product key that Microsoft has determined is not valid.

RESOLUTION

To access update services such as Windows Update or Automatic Updates, you must have genuine Microsoft Windows software installed. If you are a home user or a business user and do not have a volume license agreement with Microsoft, you may be the victim of software piracy. If your computer came with Windows XP pre-installed, contact your reseller or the original equipment manufacturer to verify that you were sold genuine Windows software.

To report suspected software piracy, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/reporting/default.aspx
To acquire 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=22
If 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/worldwide/
If you are a Microsoft volume license customer and you have licenses for Windows XP Professional but you set up the computer by using a key that is not valid, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
328874 How to change the Volume Licensing product key on a Windows XP Service Pack 1-based computer

Properties

Article ID: 883254 - Last Review: March 24, 2006 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2)
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