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....