This is my first Instructable!!! I'll show you how to bypass that annoying activation screen that Windows gives you after your 30 days are up. Microsoft requires you to enter a valid Product key within 30 days of installing Windows. It's a little trick to prevent piracy of their software. I'll show you how to get around that and use Windows normally, and access the Desktop and Start Bar just like you normally would, at least until you acquire a valid product key from Microsoft. Note:I Will be using Windows XP Home Edition. Any other XP version should work as well.
Whether you use this information to retrieve files after windows locks up or to access your computer without having to purchase a new CD from Windows, I suggest researching the laws concerning these types of activities before attempting them. I do not support piracy but I do believe users should have access to Windows, i.e. their personal files even in the event of an invalid/used product key.
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Step 1: Step 1 - Login to Your Account and Access Explorer
Turn on your computer and login to your account. You get a message telling you that you need to activate your product, Click Yes and the Activate Windows screen will load. Now press the windows key + U and Microsoft Narrator should pop up. Click OK for the little disclaimer Narrator gives you and behind it will be the Narrator option screen. In the top left of the Narrator option screen, you'll see a little computer icon, click it and a drop-down menu will appear. Click on About Narrator. On the next pop-up, click the link Microsoft Web site. You now have access to Internet Explorer!!! Whether you have an internet connection at the time or not, it doesn't matter, we aren't actually trying to get online.
Now we are going to access your desktop and Start bar. In the address bar, type: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe and press enter.
VOILA! You have access to your entire computer just like you normally would! Don't close Narrator though, because windows tends to realize what you're doing and reset back to the Activation screen. It's not bullet-proof, sometimes my computer will reset back to the activation screen, but you can just do the same thing again as many times as you want!
Step 2: The End!
So that's what's up.
Good Luck and feel free to post any questions.
Step 3: GO GREEN!!!!!
I publish this instructable in hopes that everyone will be able to free OS-deprived, hopeless computers from the junkyard. Microsoft overprices their operating systems, to a point where it's easier to just throw away an old laptop or desktop, than spend money on acquiring the license to the Windows OS. I successfully revived an old '98 that wouldn't startup by Installing a used Windows XP Home Edition OS from an old CD. Microsoft requiring every user to have their own license is ridiculous. It's simply too expensive. I support free information sharing.
GO GREEN! + SAVE OUT-DATED COMPUTERS!