This copy of Windows must be activated before you can log on

If you ever wanted to virtualize your Microsoft Windows computer or you get this error, you will often have problems with Windows Activation. If you can’t log on due to the following error, do the steps below:

This copy of Windows must be activated before you can log on.

You can actually get in by doing the steps below. NOTE: You are not in any way violating any Microsoft policy’s by doing this.
1. Boot into “Safe Mode“. To do this, press F8 as it is booting up. Go into “Safe Mode” by choosing the “Safe Mode” option.
2. Once you are at the desktop in “Safe Mode”, Click “Start” then click “Run“.
3. At the run command prompt type the following EXACTLY:
rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk
(NOTE: The “Oo”‘s in Oobe are “o’s” – not “zero’s” There is one space after rundll32.exe. It is case sensitive.)
4. Click OK – wait a few seconds – This just reset Windows Activation for 30 days.
5. Reboot the PC into normal mode – log in – re-activate Windows.

  • kobert

    there is no start in the safe mode the login area comes back which when i log in windows product activation comes up. no option to say yes to activate. i have a xp pro reinstallation cd sp2 any suggestions

  • kobert: You have to start XP in safe-mode by pressing F8 before Windows loads. Are you sure you are doing it correctly?

  • Ya

    What if my windows (2003 server) is on an Oracle Virtual Server that I cannot remote, which means that I cannot put it in Safe Mode ?

  • Carl

    This worked perfectly. Thank you very much for posting it.

  • Vrenzz .

    is it work for windows server 2003 enterprise ???

    if yes can u mail me at … thx for ur help sir …

  • Vrenzz .

    and if you have related info that goes to windows server 2003 enterprise .. can u mail me too … Thx again

    Best Regards : Vrenzz

  • Ahmed Saylani

    does it work on windows server 2003 ??

  • IT

    Works great with windows server 2003!! thanks! You’ve save my ass! 🙂

  • Masalu

    Thanks, it works on win Xp professional!!!

  • 3e

    Hi – This has worked perfectly everytime we tried this – until today… is there an updated crack that could have possibly been initiated?

  • asd

    thanks a lot, great tip!

  • Abdul Rahman

    i have try the above step then my window server 2003 work properly but after few days my window server give the same problem. I repeat the step but this time above command does not work. please help me.