Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What is Activation?A: Windows Product Activation (WPA) has been designed to reduce casual copying of the operating system. Casual copying is the sharing of a single license for a product across multiple, unlicensed installations. For example, a customer purchases a copy of Windows® XP and installs it on a computer. The media is then loaned to a neighbor, who installs it on another computer. This second installation is not legitimate. WPA is designed to prevent that unlicensed use.
Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition provided by Gateway do not require WPA or a Product Identification (PID) number for customers, because Gateway has implemented System Locked Pre-installation (SLP) on the Windows XP CDs. SLP automatically activates by checking the BIOS for specific information, thus giving the appearance that activation is not required. Each time a user logs on to a computer, the computer goes through SLP and verifies that the computer has the proper BIOS information. If this check succeeds, the process is completely transparent to the user.
Note: SLP applies only to Windows XP and not to Office XP. Additionally, Windows XP upgrades do not implement SLP, and thus, require activation.
If SLP fails, Windows XP falls back to WPA. Some situations that could cause SLP to fail include:
Note: If you have a Windows XP upgrade, or have added third party components; and are prompted to active, you must contact Microsoft for any questions regarding Activation.