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Requested lookup key was not found


the requested lookup key was not found in any active activation context

If you receive this error after “Repairing” a Windows XP installation, then it’s likely that the reason this happened is because you had a more recent version of Internet Explorer installed before attempting the Repair process and the repair process improperly restored you to Internet Explorer 6 or possibly another version depending on the CD used.

To get rid of this error, most techs advise reinstalling Internet Explorer.  You’ll have to reinstall the version you had on the computer previously.  If you download the wrong one that’s not a problem because the install program will let you know.  Here is my recommended method for getting back up quickly:

  1. Install Firefox browser so you can work without getting that error everytime:
    Open up the Control Panel and click on Internet Options.
    Click on the default webpage and set it to Google.com.
    Save and close and open IE.
    Type in Firefox in the search bar and hit enter. It should search for Firefox and allow you to click on the link that says “free download” or the like.  That page will have a link to download the browser.  Click on it and expect to get the error message “the requested lookup key…” again.  Just click OK and then right-click the link to manually download that says “CLICK HERE”.  Use Save Target As to save the file somewhere and then RUN it to install Firefox.
  2. Once Firefox is up and running you will want to install the latest Service Pack for Windows XP (in this case SP3) from this website: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=24
  3. Then Fix any issues prior to IE install.
    Go here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318378 and click on FIX IT to have MS automatically fix your IE install.
  4. Reinstall your Internet Explorer using this link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/downloads/ie (in my case it was Version 8 for 32-bit Windows XP)
    When it runs, uncheck the box for installing IE updates, that way it only updates the core components.
  5. After IE installs and you reboot, run Microsoft Update and install all of the latest updates.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to list this blow-by-blow method of fixing this fault. I did try using the Microsoft method but gave up as it was just too confusing. This one of yours works perfectly, thank you.

  2. Thank’s for this fix….
    It’s nice to finally find someone who dealt with the problem and didn’t waste time with useless and unnecessary comments.
    Thanks again..

  3. I struggled with this for hours and then happened across your site. Fixed the issue in 5 minutes. Thank you.

  4. This didn’t work for me Mitch. It would not let me use the Save Target as feature. It would have worked otherwise I think. Any suggestions? Jim

  5. Sure! Download FireFox executable file on another computer and transfer it to the affected PC via disc or thumbdrive. Install it and continue on with the instructions..

  6. I already have firefox on my laptop and tried to download the executable file. Anyway I think I did it right and sent it to a flash drive and tried to load it on my old computer. Didn’t seem like I had the right file or something. The file doesn’t show up anywhere. I must be doing something wrong. Would you run me through the process? I do appreciate your help. Thank you Jim


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