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I have no evidence to verify this, but I am 90% sure because I remember encountering this my self.think Windows changed it's CD key algorithom between RTM and the SP's.

I don't know when it happened or if it happened more than once, however I think the act of slipstreaming SP3 on to the CD may be changing the key check algorithm and that is why it is failing.

The only reference I could find to back this up was was from from herethis guide for slipstreaming SP3 on to a SP2 CD:

Step 6: Test, install it properly, add updates

...

Do not enter your product key during Setup: I've heard from readers and have read separately online that there is a problem in some cases where Setup will not accept a valid Windows XP Product Key on an integrated XP with SP3 install. For this reason, you should choose not to enter the Product Key until after XP is installed. Obviously, I can't test every possible permutation, but I have successful activated XP integrated with SP3 on my own systems repeatedly in this fashion.

I have no evidence to verify this, but I am 90% sure because I remember encountering this my self. Windows changed it's CD key algorithom between RTM and the SP's.

I don't know when it happened or if it happened more than once, however I think the act of slipstreaming SP3 on to the CD may be changing the key check algorithm and that is why it is failing.

The only reference I could find was from here:

Step 6: Test, install it properly, add updates

...

Do not enter your product key during Setup: I've heard from readers and have read separately online that there is a problem in some cases where Setup will not accept a valid Windows XP Product Key on an integrated XP with SP3 install. For this reason, you should choose not to enter the Product Key until after XP is installed. Obviously, I can't test every possible permutation, but I have successful activated XP integrated with SP3 on my own systems repeatedly in this fashion.

I think Windows changed it's CD key algorithom between RTM and the SP's.

I don't know when it happened or if it happened more than once, however I think the act of slipstreaming SP3 on to the CD may be changing the key check algorithm and that is why it is failing.

The only reference I could find to back this up was was from this guide for slipstreaming SP3 on to a SP2 CD:

Step 6: Test, install it properly, add updates

...

Do not enter your product key during Setup: I've heard from readers and have read separately online that there is a problem in some cases where Setup will not accept a valid Windows XP Product Key on an integrated XP with SP3 install. For this reason, you should choose not to enter the Product Key until after XP is installed. Obviously, I can't test every possible permutation, but I have successful activated XP integrated with SP3 on my own systems repeatedly in this fashion.

1
source | link

I have no evidence to verify this, but I am 90% sure because I remember encountering this my self. Windows changed it's CD key algorithom between RTM and the SP's.

I don't know when it happened or if it happened more than once, however I think the act of slipstreaming SP3 on to the CD may be changing the key check algorithm and that is why it is failing.

The only reference I could find was from here:

Step 6: Test, install it properly, add updates

...

Do not enter your product key during Setup: I've heard from readers and have read separately online that there is a problem in some cases where Setup will not accept a valid Windows XP Product Key on an integrated XP with SP3 install. For this reason, you should choose not to enter the Product Key until after XP is installed. Obviously, I can't test every possible permutation, but I have successful activated XP integrated with SP3 on my own systems repeatedly in this fashion.