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XP Prompts for windows to be activated after repair but nothing happens

I was having a problem with XP Home after repairing windows. I was unable to enter safe mode or normal mode without the Activation popup, and then after clicking yes to activate, it would show my wallpaper and do nothing else.

Installing SP2 or SP3 over SP3 with IE6 or IE7 will not allow the activation windows to appear, Apparently the activation Window is dependant upon IE8 if that was install previous to the repair.


Download Internet Explorer 8 and Hotfix KB946501, burn them to disc

Hotfix KB946501 (not needed if you have repaired with a SP3 disc)
Internet Explorer 8

Start your PC and repeatedly hit F8 to get the safe mode menu.

Choose safe mode with command prompt only (if you are unable to enter safe mode otherwise)

When the command prompt appears type “explorer”

Should load the Windows GUI behind the cmd window

Install the KB946501 hotfix from your disc (may not need if you’re not multicore)

Install IE8

Reboot normally in to Windows, you should be able to activate as usual.