Sorry, Brendon, I didn't get to this earlier. Thanks for the link, but the activation did not work.
I posted also a reply on the "Missing Mpeg-2 codec" thread from last year in reply to "zubb99". Here the post again:
"I have the exact same problem like "zubb99" describes on March 10, 2014 - except that I installed the Roxio CD & DVD creator program Version 9.0.554 from a retail box (bought at Office Depot) last year on a brand new PC with Windows XP pro (yes, I still like that one better). I didn't have any crashes, bugs, viruses or other interfering programs to blame.
The CD creator and all audio related functions work perfectly.
But when I first tried to make a DVD, it requested an activation! The manual offline activation for the "MyDVDexpress", as suggested, yields the same error message: There was a problem activating your product. This could be due to: ERR_ACTIVATION_GENERAL
Sorry, all the reasons that Brendon lists for the malfunction do not apply. Any other way to get this program working? I won't buy another newer version for the very few times I would need the DVD writer."
Any help still available?