How to retain Windows XP activation info for reinstall/repair Print
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Thursday, 30 March 2006

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Information below is pulled from the above mentioned article: 

Activate Windows XP from Floppy Diskette/USB Backup

Circumstances arise where you'll need to reinstall Windows XP on your machine when no hardware changes have been made. Rather than go through the reactivation process, create a floppy disk/USB drive to back up the activation status file. Once XP has been reinstalled the copy can be used to restore the previous activation status.

Create the Activation Status Copy
  • Navigate to %systemroot%\system32 folder.
  • Copy the wpa.dbl and wpa.bak files to the floppy diskette.
Reinstall Windows XP
  • Reinstall XP in the normal manner. After the install is completed and the XP Out Of Box Experience (OOBE) appears where you'd normally activate the product, decline to activate and let the installation complete.
Activate the XP Reinstallation
  1. Restart the computer and use the F8 key to bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  2. Select Minimal Safe Mode using Up and Down Arrow Keys and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to %systemroot%\system32 folder.
  4. Rename the existing wpa.dbl and wpa.bak files.
  5. Using the copy, copy the previously backed up wpa.dbl and wpa.bak files to the %systemroot%\system32 folder.
  6. Reboot the computer.

Note: This only works if you are repairing or reinstalling XP with the same type of media. OEM -> OEM, Retail -> Retail media, etc.



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