Ok note to self... Don't bump the escape key half way through the story. Anyone know how to disable the escape key? (rips it off) Solving the problem. So here's the (shorter) story again... I have a laptop with XP home that had a virus curupt the OS, did a repair, went to activate and?... fail. Re-enter the key on the bottom of the laptop and?...fail. Call MS activation support. After telling them the 54 digit code 4 times, they said the product ID gives them an error but the COA (3 times) is ok. Well that's a relief. I figured this would be done in no time. I'd just have to enter the confirmation ID and be on my way. Well, they couldn't give me one and transfered me to another level of support. After FINALLY getting the second oobla-boobla to get the numbers right (3 times), he tells me the same story as the first guy and transfers me again. On to the 3rd level of support, this guy gets the numbers right after the second try, but again, the product ID is invalid. He wanted to transfer me to anothet (5th) support "team" who would be charging me $99. I told him it's not going to happen and to fix it. After arguing for about 15min, he said he'd email me the steps to try and fix the problem. Keep ya posted. At this point in time I have 5 days left to get the customers crap off the laptop without having to remove the drive and do it that way. Still, the customer is left with a broken OS...I mean, "properly functioning OS" that's disabled due to MS copy protection schemes. The EASY solution is just download a cracked copy of XP and be done with it. I wonder how much money Microsoft looses paying activation support vs. the amount of money lost do to copywtire infringement. Sorry MS. You MADE me do it. You shot your own foot.