Activate XP fails (Out of Box Experience) - catch 22



tcarp said:
You want to be helpful? Tell me a way to do a full system restore
from my full system backup that allows me to boot up and things
are right back where they were including all the apps.

How about the following:

1. Perform a clean install (I know, I know, but this could/should be the
last time).

2. Install your drivers and apply all the necessary updates and patches.

3. Install whatever software you regularly use.

4. Customize your system to your needs/style.

5. Use a program like Acronis to image the hard drive.

This way, whenever you would normally need to perform a clean install,
instead you can restore from the image you had made.

It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing...
Feb 11, 2010
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I had this's what fixed it

I stumbled upon this thread because I was having the same issue. Mine was a simple fix and may or may not be applicable here. I realize this is an old post, but I am posting this here in case someone else may have this problem in the future.

I was banging my head on this one; however, it finally dawned on me to check my connectivity (as this was when OOBE failing).

Turns out this was the issue - I was attempting to activate Windows XP on our work domain on a non-domain laptop. The thing is - we use a proxy (Trend Micro) and I had not attempted to connect to the internet before I tried activating.

I opened up IE, input my credentials one time - then I tried to activate and it went smoothly.

Hope that can help at least one person.

My point is not that this IS because of a proxy; rather, more generally it could be related to an overall connectivity issue - NIC driver, DHCP issue, etc.

Aug 14, 2015
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One of the problems I'm having post-XP pro upgrade is that I can't get the
activate program to run. The Out of Box Experience crashes.

The version of pro has been validated as legit (got it from CDW).

The catch 22 is that to activate it via phone I need a phone number which is
provided when the activate program is run. But since that program fails.....

UPDATE INTERNET EXPLORER TO 8 reboot and activate.

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