usually you need the key to install the OS not activate it. If it has gone past the activation date use the "activate by telephone" and you will get the phone number on the screen for your country. Ring them, they may be able to help but also note support for the Beta has probably been withdrawn and the RC is no longer officially available so its roll on October 22nd when you can buy the ne Win 7
You can install the os without a key although it will need 'activating at a later stage but you already know this..
Even though the RC is not available any more the keys still are...
As for the beta... See my instructions above for the extended activation..
My issue was a dead mobo. Upon installing the new board I've been hit with activation errors (code 0XC004C020) stating it has been activated too many times, which was odd becasue it's only been installed on my PC...Trying the telephone route got me nowhere-there isn't a telephone number to call when you select the "activate by phone" option. Anyway-the reset described above should hold me over until 10/7 when my full version arrives. Thanks!