Step-by-step guide to changing Windows XP product key
The main reason you may want to change your Windows XP product key is because your key is copied or incorrect, but you do not want to reinstall Windows XP to activate your new legal product key.
Note: We've created this step-by-step guide together with our original tutorial on how to change our Windows XP Product Code Wizard. There are some very specific steps in the process, many of which involve editing the Windows Registry, so this visual guide will help to clear up any confusion.
Changing your Windows XP product key will take you less than 15 minutes.
1 Open the start menu
The first thing you need to do is click Start and then Run to open the Windows XP Start Menu.
2 Open the Registry Editor
Now that the Run application is open, type regedit and then click the OK button.
3 Navigate to the WPAEvents registry subkey
Important: Please note that changes to the Windows Registry are made in the upcoming steps. Be careful to only make the changes described. We recommend that you back up the registry keys that you are modifying in these steps for additional prevention.
First, locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder in My Computer and click the plus sign (+) next to the folder name to expand the folder.
Continue to expand the directory until you reach the following registry key: Click the WPAEvents folder once.
4 Click to modify the OOBETimer registry value
In the results appear in the right pane, locate OOBETimer.
Right-click or press and hold on the OOBETimer entry and then click Modify from the drop-down menu.
5 Select a part of the OOBETimer value
The screen you will now see is the Edit Binary Value window with OOBETimer in the "Value name:" field.
As part of the process of changing your Windows product key, you need to deactivate Windows XP. Deactivating Windows XP is done by changing the value of OOBETimer, something you are about to do.
Select any part of the OOBETimer value by double-clicking it (or double-clicking).