Thanks Boba_Fett, appreciate the help. I was just typing out some updated information when I read your reply. Read on.
Somebody shoot me...
I just got off the phone with Microsoft and thought I had the solution all worked out. It took about an hour and three calls but eventually I learned how to change the license key. When you are prompted to reactive the software, select activate by telephone
, then select change product key
, enter the new key then reactivate XP. I mention this just in case anyone else has the same problem one day. I've only activated XP on-line so I wasn't aware of this method.
So the rest of the story goes as follows.
I call Tony and ask him to start his computer.
Tony starts the computer, gets the post beep ( I can hear it over the phone ) and then a long pause.
So I ask- Tony, what's going on?
Tony says- Nothing.
I ask- What do you mean, nothing?
Tony says- Nothing, I have a black screen.
I ask- Is this the first time its happened?
Tony says- No, its been intermittent.
I ask- Why didn't you tell me?
Tony says- I didn't think about it.
I asked- Tony, are you off your meds?
To make a long story short, Tony didnt explain everything very well during our first conversation.
Maybe XP thought he was changing hardware and it prompted for re-activation, who knows. His computer is six years old so I told him to think about buying a new one.