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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Clean Reinstall of Windows XP (XP Professional)

    Hello,

    This should be a simple question. I've had a store bought copy of Windows XP Professional for about a week now. It installed with no problem. I've deliberately been experimenting with dual boots and other things, and have now decided how I'll be setting up my computer for the long term. So, I want to reformat the hard drives and do a clean install.

    I had no problem with the XP activation the first time around. Now I'll be reinstalling it a second time within a week. Will I be able to do the same simple quick activation? Or will I have to call Microsoft to explain why I'm installing it again inside of a week? Since there are no changes in my computer's hardware, can I just save that file that has the activation number (I think it's called sysrep) and copy it back to the same location it was in after I've reinstalled XP?

    Thanks in advance for any answers!

    John

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Clean Reinstall of Windows XP (XP Professional)

    I've got an answer for you that I bet you're going to like. You can back up your activation status, and avoid the whole worry about whether you will have problems.

    If you plan to reinstall XP on the same hardware, you can back up the activation status and restore it after you reinstall Windows XP. To save the activation status, back up the wpa.dbl file from the %systemroot%system32 folder to a disk or other location.

    After you reinstall the Windows, follow these steps to restore your product's activation status;

    1. <LI>Start XP in Minimal Safe mode.
      <LI>Change to the %systemroot%system32 folder. (Usually WINDOWS on a clean install, WINNT on an upgrade from NT/2000)
      <LI>Rename wpa.dbl to wpa.old.
      <LI>Copy your backed up wpa.dbl file to the system32 folder.
      <LI>Reboot your system as usual.
    This procedure isn't a hack to avoid activating; it will only work on the same hardware for an XP installation that you've already activated. If you plan to dual boot, make sure that you install Windows 9x first, and select a different folder for XP when you install it after the first installation is complete. If you're not dual booting, then this shouldn't be an issue.

    HTH,
    -Mark

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Clean Reinstall of Windows XP (XP Professional)

    Will this same procedure work with WinXP Home SP-1, and should you follow the procedure after both XP Home (original) and SP-1 have been installed?

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Clean Reinstall of Windows XP (XP Professional)

    This procedure should work with both Home and Pro, although I've only tested it on the latter. Once installed, if you already have the WPA.DBL file saved, you shouldn't need to do it again. Installing SP1 won't change your activation status.
    -Mark

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