Circumventing Product Activation Problems after hardware changes in Windows XP

Here is an invaluable tip to have around just in case you happen to perform a system upgrade and are ever unable to get into Windows XP. This tip is not a crack or hack. It is just useful to know if you ever are unable to connect to the internet and you are, for whatever reason, unable to call in for a new activation key. It comes courtesy of Jim Eshelman's EList. For other great information just click on the link and read more of Jim's useful tips. Now to the tip itself.

1. Back out of the hardware change that you just made, which triggered the need to reactivate. (Or, as Gerald Mateo put it, “Restore the hardware configuration to the way it was when you activated (or close enough to that).”)
2. Boot Windows XP into non-networked Safe Mode. This requires pressing and holding the F8 key right after the POST is finished, and selecting the correct option from a menu.
3. At the command prompt, navigate to the System32 folder: cd \windows\system32
4. Backup the file WPA.DBL (rename it something like OLDWPA.DBL; do not name it WPA.BAK).
5. Copy the file WPA.BAK to WPA.DBL. (I say copy, rather than merely rename, because you may want that handy WPA.BAK file another time, as well.)
6. Reboot the computer. It should load Windows XP in normal mode, and you’re back in business.

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Copyright © 2008 Art Beckman. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: March 9, 2008