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Saturday, February 19, 2005


Reinstall XP without activation

Posted by Bharat Suneja at 4:24 PM
Ever needed to reinstall the OS on the same system and wondered if it'll still activate?

This lets you reinstall Windows XP without having to activate it again:

  1. Copy the file %systemroot%\system32\wpa.dbl (to removable media like floppy/CD if you plan to reformat the drive and do not have
  2. Reinstall Windows XP
  3. Copy the file back to %systemroot%\system32

This only works if you are reinstalling XP on the same hardware - it's not a mechanism to use the same copy of XP on another system and bypass activation.

Alternatively, (if setting up from a network source or creating a bootable CD) copy WPA.DBL to $$\OME$\$$\system32.

Activating during unattended installation
To activate Windows XP during an unattended installation, insert the following line in the [Unattend] section of your answer file (unattend.txt or winnt.sif):
AutoActivate = YES

Note: %systemroot% is a system variable that points to your Windows installation directory, usually C:\Windows.



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