This article was previously published under Q310637
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you try to install Microsoft Windows XP, you receive an error message after you enter the product key.
This article contains several step-by-step methods that you can use to resolve this problem and install Windows XP.
This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user. You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.
Symptoms of the problem
When you try to install Microsoft Windows XP, you receive one of the following error messages:
The CD Key which you entered is invalid. Please try again.
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.
Methods to resolve this problem
There are seven methods that you can use to resolve this problem. Try the following seven methods in the provided order. The instructions for each method guide you through each step and describe how to verify that the problem is resolved.
Method 1: Enter the correct product key
Type the correct product key, and then click OK.
If you receive an error message, type the correct product key again by using the number keys on the keyboard instead of using the numeric keypad, and then click OK.
If you still receive an error message, continue to method 2.
Note If you cannot locate the correct product key, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS). For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site: