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How to Activate Windows XP Using an Unattend.txt File

Published: November 06, 2001

This article describes how system administrators can activate the Windows XP operating system using an unattended installation procedure. To automatically activate Windows XP, you must first establish an Internet connection.

Using an Answer File

Administrators can activate Windows XP using an answer file, which is a text file used in conjunction with Setup to bypass normal Setup prompts. The answer file can be modified with any text editor or by using Setup Manager, included in the Windows NT® and Windows 2000 Resource Kits.

To activate Windows XP using an unattended installation procedure, add the following information to the Unattend.txt file or the Winnt.sif answer file:

  • In the Unattended section, type AutoActivate = Yes.

  • Under the UserData section, type ProductID = yourProductID (your ProductID is located on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker).

    Note  Every Windows XP retail installation must have a unique Product ID for activation.

If the Internet connection is through a proxy server, specify the proxy settings in the Unattend.txt file or the Winnt.sif answer file:

  • In the Unattended section, type ActivateProxy=Proxy.

  • Type your computer's proxy settings in the Proxy section.

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