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Reinstalling Windows XP Without Having to Reactivate

Microsoft makes you activate your copy of Windows to assure that you are the registered owner and that you are not installing your copy of Windows onto multiple computers since you are only allowed to install it on one machine per copy in most cases. But what do you do if you have to reinstall Windows and have already activated it?

If for any reason you need to reformat your hard drive and reinstall your operating system you will find that you will have to reactivate the Windows once you are finished. But as long as the new installation is on the same computer and there isn't any hardware changes it is possible to transfer the existing product activation so you wont have to go through the product activation process again. Here is how you do it.

  1. Double click My Computer.
  2. Double click on the C drive.
  3. Browse to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
  4. Find the files called wpa.dbl and wpa.bak and copy them to a safe location like a floppy or CD.
  5. After you have reinstalled Windows XP on your reformatted hard drive, click No when asked if you want to go through the activation process.
  6. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode.
  7. Double click My Computer.
  8. Double click on the C drive.
  9. Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder again.
  10. Find the file wpa.dbl and wpa.bak (if it exists) and rename them to wpadbl.new and wpabak.new.
  11. Copy your original wpa.dbl and wpa.bak files from your floppy disk or CD into the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
  12. Restart your computer.

Now Windows XP is reinstalled on your computer and it is activated without having to actually go through the product activation process.

Keep in mind that this won't work for transferring activation information from one computer to another or if you change the hardware because the information contained in your "wpa.dbl" file will not match the configuration of the computer.


 

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