We have a machine that experienced a sever hard disk crash, which we replaced. Our CD is damaged, so we have rebuilt it using a friends CD. Got everything installed (drivers, applications etc) and the system is now ready for activation. We used our key to try to active it. It doesn't work. We don't want to use his key as that would limit his re-activation. Besides we are of the type that don't believe in piracy, hacking or other related garbage. We are intent on using a valid activation key. We only have two days left before it becomes inaccessible - which would be another rebuild, but that's the way it is. We have verified the key (that is on the box with our cd) and it is correct. The same key is also on our invoice, so we know it is correct. We have gone to several vendors for assistance, but of course they suggest4ed that we move up to Vista or Windows 7 as this is our only option! We can't afford to upgrade to a new system that supports Windows 7 (or Vista), so we have to keep this for awhile. And actually, we like the way our system was before the hard disk crash. Why won't our key work with his CD (it's a Generic copy, not OEM). Thanks.