Reinstall Windows XP without product activation
You can reinstall Windows XP without bothering with reactivation, if you have activated the product before.
A topic of frequent discussion and concern in many online forums is Microsoft's Product Activation, which is not limited to Windows XP, it is now required for many Microsoft products (on a personal level, MS Office for instance).
Isn't it galling that we need to contact Microsoft for "permission" if we choose to reinstall a product that we already legally own and use, and have "stamped" so before?! This method of copyright protection has not exactly rollicked among customers. Well, no worries, there is a trick for getting around product activation for Windows XP when reinstalling.
If you have successfully activated the OS already, and if you are reinstalling it on the existing hardware, this trick should do just fine. Here it is:
- Copy the file
c:windowssystem32wpa.dblto a floppy.
- Reinstall Windows XP.
- Boot to a DOS disk if you are using FAT, or to the Recovery Console if using NTFS.
- Copy the file from the first step above back to
- That's it — because all of your hardware is the same as before, your copy of WinXP is still valid according to the previous activation.
That's it. That should do it! For some really cool instructions while reinstall Windows XP, read Mark's dandy but must-read instructions "Install Windows XP in 5 hours or less."