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Never Re-activate After Clean Installation Of Windows Xp


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#1 david28

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:17 PM

Hi guys, this tip is for all of those people planning to do a clean install of Windows XP Home Edition or Pro Edition.

As you know, doing a clean install of Windows XP has many positives and a few negatives. One of the biggest negatives is Re-activating your Windows XP installation after a clean install, but, there is a way around this problem. Before you do a clean install of XP, go to the following directory on your main hard disk. C:\WINDOWS\system32 (This will directory may vary on some comuters) and look for a file called wpa.dbl and copy it onto a USB, floppy disk or any other media device. Then do a clean install of XP. Once you have finished installing XP it will ask you to activate Windows, ignore this. Then open up the USB or floppy disk (whatever you copied wpa.dbl onto) and copy wpa.dbl to C:\WINDOWS\system32 (As I mentioned before, this directory may be some on some computers). Thats all! Your clean install of Windows XP has been activated!

This method will only work if the clean install of Windows XP was installed by the same installation CD as the previous Windows XP installation which is the one that the wpa.dbl file was copied from, therefore meaning it isn't a method that is illegal.

Hope this one helps!

Edited by Grinler, 02 June 2010 - 12:01 PM.


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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 05:22 PM

Wow! This is very handy information! Does this only work with xp?
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 david28

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 08:24 PM

I am not sure if it only works with XP, a similar process could be used for Vista maybe? Yeah I agree it is pretty good.

#4 komski

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 02:55 AM

The replace wpa.dbl file has worked for me in the past (a few years ago) and it was also suggested at that time that it be replaced while in Safe Mode. However the last couple of times I have tried this using the same product.key (but possibly not the same physical CD) it hasn't worked. Could the fact that the hardware might no longer have been identical have been the reason maybe?

Nowadays what I do is to make an image file immediately after an activated clean install and save it to CD or an external drive. It is then very straightforward and very quick to do a new "clean install" by simply restoring the image file.

PS This of course works for all operating systems and all versions.

Edited by komski, 05 October 2007 - 02:57 AM.


#5 usasma

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 05:40 AM

The wpa file trick may have been "fixed" by Microsoft with Windows Update.

The image is the best method that I've found - and it has the added benefit of being faster than an installation. You can also image after you've installed your favorite apps to decrease the amount of time it takes to get up and running.
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#6 IcedOut3

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 08:36 AM

WHat do you mean create an image? an image of what? anyone help me please :thumbsup:

#7 Budapest

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 08:55 AM

A disk image is an exact, byte-by-byte copy of an entire hard drive, partition or logical disk. You need an imaging application such as Acronis True Image to do this.
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#8 komski

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 11:35 AM

If you know what an ISO file is then you are half way to understanding. ISOs are files that represent everything on a CD and ImageFiles are files that represent everything on a partition or hard drive or indeed any "block device". Some 'I personally would say so-called' image files are actually just collections of files as opposed to being a clone of all the hard drive sectors. Image files can be raw (literal) or compressed. The point about them is that they represent a snapshot of your partition(s) that can be used to restore your system to the exact same state that it was in when the image was made.

There are flashy, bloated and expensive apps such as Ghost and Acronis but there are also cheap and as good or better applications that can do this work for free or for small money. TBU's ImageForDOS is very straightforward to use and highly recommended particularly as it is cheap and effective and a fully functional free trial. It crosses over in functionality with "its cousin" BootIt-NG, which is extremely versatile. I personally would only ever use applicationss such as IforD and BiNG that work completely from outside of Windows for this sort of work when cloning system partitions - regardless of those Windows applications that say you can "hot image" from within Windows.

There are quite a number of other approaches but they get a bit more geeky. You can use dd from any Linux distro including either a Knoppix or Ubuntu or SystemRescue live CDs. This creates a literal copy which you can compress, if you desire, as a second manoeuvre. Another freebie is DriveImage-XML from www.runtime.org.




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