After you're satisfied that everything is running properly, it's time to activate your copy of Windows. Double-click the set of keys in the lower-right corner of the screen. A dialog box entitled Let's Activate Windows appears (see Figure 9.30). You can choose to activate over the Internet or over the phone. Choose the Internet option and click Next.
Figure 9.30. The Windows activation process needs to be complete within 30 days or Windows XP stops working.
If you've already activated your copy of Windows many times, you might be prompted to call Microsoft to activate your copy over the phone. Generally Microsoft is pretty good about giving you a code to activate your copy of Windows, unless your Windows key has been abused mercilessly. For this reason, you should never give your key to anyone . It might work okay for your friend in an emergency, but it could lead to you not being able to re-install your operating system later.