How to avoid Product Activation again on reinstallation of Windows XP

on Saturday, October 23, 2010

Once you have installed Windows OS, you will have to activate it within 30 days.  After having activated your product, if you need to re-install the OS, you will again have to go through the process of product activation which involves passing on and receiving keys which are really very long.

If you are re-installing the OS in the same system (with the same hardware), you can avoid the process of product activation.  The process of backing up the activation information to be used for avoiding further product activation is described in the following steps:-

1.   Double-click "My Computer".

2.   Open the drive which has the Operating System installed.  In most of the cases, it is the C drive.  Go to C:\Windows\System32.

3.   Find the "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.  Copy both of them and store them somewhere in a USB drive or write them on a CD/DVD.

4.   After re-installation of Operating System, click 'NO' when you are asked to activate the product.

5.   Re-boot your computer in Safe Mode by pressing F8 key while the Computer is starting up.

6.   Open "My Computer" and go to C:\Windows\System32.  If you find "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" there, rename them.  You can use your own names for renaming. 

7.   Copy the "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" which you had backed up in the USB/CD/DVD to the C:\Windows\System32 directory.

8.   Restart your Computer.  Your OS is now activated.

This may not be possible if you have changed your hardware.  This will work only on the same computer in which the product activation was once done.

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