Genuine Windows system scan (Windows XP)

This page describes the genuine Windows system scan in detail, outlines the privacy policy associated with the scan, explains what to do if Windows running on your PC can’t complete the scan, and provides additional suggestions for ensuring the health of your PC.

Why is the system scan necessary?

If you requested the electronic license offer, you'll receive an email (upon confirmation of payment), with your new 25-character product key and instructions on how to download the Windows Product Key Update Tool. Timing varies by country and payment type. If you choose to run the conversion tool, it will try to update your product key so that Windows will be activated and genuine. During the conversion process, the tool scans your system.

The system scan is necessary because the Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP converts counterfeit Windows XP to genuine by properly installing a genuine product key. Microsoft wants to take every precaution possible to ensure that the original Windows XP system files are present and intact so you can have confidence in your future experience with genuine Windows.

The scanning process

To complete the scan, the Windows Product Key Update Tool will be downloaded to your PC. The tool will scan the approximately 6,000 files which make up the original Windows XP distribution. If the files are unchanged from the original, then the scan will pass, and the genuine Windows conversion will continue. If you suspect any problems with your system, use the Windows Genuine Advantage for Windows XP Kit CD that you will receive via postal mail to reinstall Windows XP.

Any differences from the original would indicate a potential vulnerability, and will cause the scan to fail. If the scan fails, you can continue the online conversion to genuine Windows at your own risk or wait until your Windows Genuine Advantage for Windows XP Kit CD arrives. You should then use the Windows Genuine Advantage for Windows XP Kit CD, along with your product key, to perform a clean installation of Windows XP.

Microsoft does not collect any information during the system scan that can be used to identify you or contact you. It is an anonymous process. We do not track or record information about the systems that fail the scan; it's up to you to take appropriate action to address that situation should it arise. For more information, read the Genuine Microsoft software program privacy statement.