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Windows XP Evaluation Expiration Behavior and Error Messages

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q307993
This article describes the behavior of the Windows XP evaluation copy and the errors messages that you may receive when the 180-day evaluation period has expired.
When the 180-day period has expired on a computer that is running a copy of Windows XP (the non-released version of Windows XP), the following message is displayed when you start your computer:
The evaluation period for this copy of Windows has ended.
Windows cannot continue loading.
When you click OK, your computer shuts down.

How to Identify an Evaluation Version of Windows XP

The Windows XP Evaluation versions display information that is similar to the following information on your desktop:
Windows XP Professional
Evaluation Copy. Build 2462
When you install an evaluation copy of Windows XP, Text-mode Setup displays the following warning message:
Setup Notification:

Setup Program has detected that you are about to install an Evaluationversion of Microsoft Windows XP operating system which contains a timelimited expiration for evaluation purposes only.

How to Upgrade a Windows XP Evaluation Version

If you run the Winver utility (Winver.exe) you can determine which version of Windows XP is running on your computer, as well as the expiration date for the evaluation. To remove the 180-day evaluation from the Windows XP or other evaluation versions, purchase the retail version of Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition, and upgrade the computer before the expiration time.

If the evaluation period has already expired, use one of the following workarounds after you purchase a retail copy of the operating system:

  • Perform a clean installation.


  • Perform an in-place upgrade in Safe mode. To upgrade in Safe mode:
  1. Restart the computer, and then boot into Safe mode.
  2. Log on to the computer by using the administrator account.
  3. Upgrade the operating system to the full retail version.
NOTE: to upgrade to the released version Windows XP, you must have the full version of the operating system and not the Windows XP upgrade-only version. The Windows XP upgrade-only versions look for qualifying products to upgrade. The beta or evaluation versions are not considered qualifying products.

How to change the Local Administrator Password Remotely

If you change the local administrator password, you can logon locally in safe mode as the local administrator to upgrade the computer or make changes to allow you to activate Windows Product Activation (WPA).

These are the conditions under which you may be able to change the local administrator password if you have forgotten your local administrator password. If you remember the local administrator account password you do not need to do this.
  • The computer is a member of the domain.
  • You have another account with administrative rights on that computer, for which you remember the password.
  • You have another computer available that you can logon to.
  • You cannot access the computer because a Windows Product Activation grace period has expired, and you need to logon in Safe Mode with the local administrator account.
  • Your evaluation time period for the computer has expired.
To change the local administrator password, logon to a second computer with the credentials on an account that has administrative privileges on the first computer. To manage another computer remotely to be able to reset the administrator password:
  1. To bring up the Computer Management console, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage. Or if you prefer, you can click Start, click Control Panel, click Administrative Tools, and then click Computer Management.
  2. Right-click Computer Management (Local).
  3. Click Connect to another computer.
  4. In the Another Computer box, type the computername, and then click OK.

    If you are connected, the top line contains the name of the computer that is using Computer Management. If the computer name in this line changes to the name of the computer you are trying to access, you are now using computer management on the other computer.
  5. Open System Tools.
  6. Click Local Users and Groups.
  7. Click Users.
  8. Right-Click Administrator, and then click Set Password.
  9. Read the warning and click Proceed if this is the only way to access the computer.
  10. Type the password, and then confirm it by typing it again.
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Article ID: 307993 - Last Review: 04/23/2002 12:44:00 - Revision: 1.1

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbinfo kbupgrade KB307993