How to avoid Windows XP reactivation after fresh install?

If you’ve pre-activated Windows XP, and due to some technical reasons, you do a fresh installation and didn’t use the original OEM CD, you may have to re-activate your Windows XP. Here’re the steps to avoid reactivation process: Note: This trick will only work if you use the WPA.DBL file on the same computer that it was originally […]

If you’ve pre-activated Windows XP, and due to some technical reasons, you do a fresh installation and didn’t use the original OEM CD, you may have to re-activate your Windows XP. Here’re the steps to avoid reactivation process:

Note: This trick will only work if you use the WPA.DBL file on the same computer that it was originally activated on. If you install XP on a different machine and try to copy the WPA.DBL file there, it won’t activate. Basically, XP looks at the hardware of the computer to create a unique profile for just that one computer.

  1. You can avoid reactivation by simply copying a file from your Windows directory and saving it on a USB stick, floppy drive, or CD. When you first activate, Windows XP creates a file called “WPA.DBL”  in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory. All you’ve to do is, just copy this file to external storage device and keep it in a safe place.
  2. When you reinstall Windows XP, and come to the point where you’re asked for activation, just decline the activation process and complete your Windows installation.
  3. Now you’ll need to restart your computer in Safe Mode by pressing F8 on startup to get into the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  4. Go to C:\Windows\System32 and you should see a file called WPA.DBL. Simply rename it to something like WPA.BACKUP and then copy your backup version of WPA.DBL to the current location.
  5. Restart your computer and Windows should now be activated and working fine.