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Thread: Windows activation work-around

  1. #1
    Old Fart
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Windows activation work-around

    I got this in a newsletter from TechRepublic and no, this isn't a way to pirate windows...it's a painless method to activate XP if you have to REINSTALL.


    Have you ever wanted to reinstall Windows XP on a particular computer but chose not to because you weren't sure what you'd encounter when it came to Windows Product Activation (WPA)?

    Well, there's no need to be concerned because information about the current activation is stored in an encrypted database file named Wpa.dbl, which you can back up and then restore once you've reinstalled XP. Keep in mind that this technique allows you only to reinstall XP on the same computer--it isn't a hack to pirate the OS.

    Here's how to back up the Wpa.dbl file:

    1. Insert a blank, formatted disk into the floppy disk drive.

    2. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

    3. Right-click the Wpa.dbl file and select Send To | 3-1/2 Floppy.

    You can then reformat the hard disk and reinstall XP. Once the installation procedure is complete, follow these steps to restore the Wpa.dbl

    1. Restart the computer.

    2. Press [F8] when you see the message Please Select The Operating System To Start.

    3. From the Windows Advanced Options Menu, select Safe Mode.

    4. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

    5. Rename the new Wpa.dbl to Wpa.new.

    6. Insert the disk that contains the backup into the floppy disk drive.

    7. Copy the Wpa.dbl file from the floppy disk to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

    8. Restart the computer.

    Since you're using the exact copy of XP that was previously installed, the original Wpa.dbl file will be accepted, and you won't have to go through all the hassle of reactivation.
    Just thought there might be a few admins around who might find it handy....
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Thanks for that! Heheh, personally I just use the corporate version of it that doesn't make you register. That seems like too much to deal with, but yeah it is a good idea. Though my only question is from something I heard. I was told that you are only able to reacitivate certain versions (like educational) of XP a few times, then it won't let you. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? But if that is true, then if you do the above would that be against the EULA?

    The only reason I ask is because my old school (South Hills school of business and Technology in State College PA) was selling copies of Windows XP that they had gotten from Miscrosoft. They were legit copies, but the thing was a few people found out after activating them 3 times (after formatting/reloading) that they were not able to use their copies anymore. They only bought them for $20. So, I thought maybe because they got them so cheap that maybe that was the reason.
    [shadow]There is no right and wrong, only fun and boring...
    Formatting my server because someone hacked into it sounds pretty boring to me...
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  3. #3
    Computer Forensics
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    excellent post allen. I think I'll go try that now.
    Antionline in a nutshell
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Very good post indeed.

  5. #5
    Yes, excellent post. AcidDriveHB - I have the educational version (Actually an upgrade from Win 2k, educational version) and I've reformatted and installed 3 times so far, so....... hmmmm..... wonder what'll happen next time.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Right on Allenb..... I had an occasion recently when I reformatted the first reformat by the way when I had to contact M$ in order to activate. Thanks for the post....

  7. #7
    Now, RFC Compliant! Noia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    I'v got a Nice utill that is designed to remove all irritating XP functions....very easy to use, GUI and every thing.....If u want to have a look, it's called XPAntiSpy3, Don't know where I got it from.....If you can't find it, PM me, and I can send it or sumthing.....

    With this utill you can remove alot of built-in spy-ware kinda functions, and Activation can also be turned of....

    - Noia
    With all the subtlety of an artillery barrage / Follow blindly, for the true path is sketchy at best. .:Bring OS X to x86!:.
    Og ingen kan minnast dei linne drag i dronningas andlet den fagre dag Då landet her kvilte i heilag fred og alle hadde kjærleik å elske med.

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