Microsoft has taken down their activation servers for WinXP. This is bad news, because without activating, an XP install becomes unusable after 30 days. I hear a lot of people rely on this OS for making reliable analog capture machines (this includes my new build, which is how I just discovered this is a problem). What this would mean is we could only use an install for 30 days, and then get locked out and be forced to create a total reinstall. However, there is a workaround.
If the 30 day period is near or has expired: Start the PC in Safe mode by pressing F8 at bootup and selecting safe mode from the prompt that appears.
Once Windows has started in safe mode, click --> start --> Run.
In the "run" window, type: Rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk and click OK. Wait a minute, and then restart the PC.
This resets the activation period to 30 days. Not a flawless solution because you'll still get the activation pop-up, but the device will be usable, which is more than sufficient if capturing video is all you use the computer for.