I'm planning on installing new RAM and another CDRW. I'm debating whether or not to re-format the hard drive and re-install XP.

If I don't re-format, am I correct in assuming the XP re-activation will be painless as long as I'm connected to the internet?

What about if I re-format? Will the re-activation get any messier by re-installing XP?

Thanks for any tips/advice.


11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by goldeagle2005

You dont have to re activate everytime if you reinstall the OS on the same computer. Follow these stepa:

1. Double-click My Computer
2. Double-click on the "C" drive
3. Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder
4. Find the files "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" and copy them to a safe location.
5. After you have reinstalled Windows XP on your reformatted hard drive, click "No" when asked if you want to go ahead and go through the activation process
6. Reboot your computer into SafeMode
7. Double-click My Computer
8. Double-click on the "C" drive
9. Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder
10. Find the file "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" (if it exists) and rename them to "wpadbl.new" and "wpabak.new"
11. Copy your original "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" files from your floppy disk, CD or DVD into the C:\Windows\System32 folder
12. Restart your system

Votes + Comments
Well said :)

Oh, you guys are the best. And quick too.

I can't tell ya the types of attitudes I've experienced at numerous newsgroups where simple questions like this are either ignored or replied to with sarcasm and disrespect.

Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest to find answers to at the Knowledge Base. I spent about 2 hrs searching and never found the page DMR provided.

Knowing about those two files: "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" is valuable information goldeagle.

I just wanted to express my appreciation.

Thank you much!


Glad we help, joe_blow; feel free to ask if you have further questions/problems with the upgrades.


You dont have to re activate everytime if you reinstall the OS on the same computer...

Thanks for posting that info, goldeagle2005. You're right- that method does do the trick.

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