i had a similar error
use the activate by telephone option
it gives you a series of keys LOTS of numbers actually
When I called MS I gave tehm JUST the first squenxce and it must have given
something away beacuse he gave me teh other 9 banks of numbers w/o a problem
activated and now is A-OK
WAS legal to begin with and was too for a DELL.
Hope this helps
> I'm getting a validation error on my system. I tried calling Microsoft
> support looking for help who then referred me back to Dell. The problem
> they think is I had unknowingly set it to automatically download and install
> updates. Overnight it had downloaded and attempted to install an update and
> rebooted. When I tried to log on I got an validation error. I tried to
> key-in the validation code on the computer which it does not accept. Dell's
> solution is to re-install the OS. Is there any other way?