Called Microsoft Genuine Advantage line because had to recover Scott King's Sony Vaio and even though I purchased the Recovery DVD for this model it Blue Screens on the video driver after the recovery. After fighting with Sony telling them their DVD has the wrong video driver and they not listening to me. I call the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Line at 1-866-530-6599 after the Dell XP Home recovery DVD actually does restore to this machine and runs fine. But of course it does need activation.
A very nice lady answers and I think, oh wow, an English speaking person. This might actually be a nice call the Microsoft. I'm not a theif....I have a Sony Vaio with an valid XP Home Edition OEM sticker on the bottom of the laptop for which the OEM should provide support and they are not resolving the problem. So I go up the chain to Microsoft, should be no problem. I'm a legit user.
After clicking on the phone option and reading off the pile of numbers for her she waits for a bit and then it states she cannot give me an activation code and will have to hand me over to support.....so I wait and then get transfered over to somebody in India that can barely speak English. I explain the problem and he says that I have 2 options. 1. Go to support.microsoft.com and search for help using the Genuine Advantage software or 2. Purchase technical support at 50 some-odd dollars an hour. To which I say I will pass on that and then he hangs up the phone. What rhymes with Chicken Bone? Dial-tone.
So now I'm pissed. I am an honest person trying to fix an obvious problem. Microsoft gives the software to OEM's at a deeply discounted rate so they can get people hooked on Microsoft products, but the OEM refuses to support it! And so does Microsoft in this case! This is the kind of stuff that gives Microsoft a bad name.
So what do I do now? I'm not about to pay for Windows. I already have via the OEM.
So what I did was this: Fire up the Sony restore DVD and they had the WPA file on there as well as the serial number in the Unattended.txt file, so I fired up the Sony in safe mode and dumped the file into System32 and then restarted the machine. It said I needed to register so then I punched in the serial number and it worked. The only thing I have to do now is track down a video driver that actually works with that mobo-video. All the ATI drivers cause it to bomb.