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  1. #1
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    Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Hello, I have bought a new motherboard, processor and ram. I want to switch my existing XP installation to the new system. Having bought a full retail copy of XP Pro I believe I am within my rights to do this but will need to reactivate XP. My question is whether I will be required to install WGA in order to reactivate XP?

    Currently I'm still debating whether to completely reinstall Windows XP or purchase and try to use Acronis 9.1 Workstation and Universal Restore and try and migrate my system which is heavily customised. I guess either way I will need to reactivate windows?

    Thanks,

    Chris (Hunt)

  2. #2
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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    "... whether I will be required to install WGA in order to reactivate XP?"

    No, you will not need to install WGA to activate.

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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Aren't you using the same hard drive as you were? I've never done what you did, so I don't know for sure, but I would think you could use that drive, but be required to call MS for the new key. I wouldn't think you would need to reinstall the OS.

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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Thanks Argus, that's good news.

    Chris

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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Hi Big Al, my old motherboard used IDE drives and the new one uses sata drives. I'm ending up replacing virtually everything except the case. But from the reading I've done, unless I'm lucky or use Universal Restore then changing a motherboard results in a BSOD and the reinstalling the operating system is required. I'm not even sure that Universal Restore will work. My XP system is currently drive C: on a 164.70 GB hard drive with several other partitions. I want to put the system on a 36 GB sata drive.

    Incidentally does anyone have any advice about calling Microsoft? My XP Pro is western but I live in Japan. I wish it could be done via email.

    Chris

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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Chris,
    Since I bought my XP machine (OEM, but not "royalty OEM", i.e.DELL et al), I have installed and activated Windows some times. Out of these 3-4 times online activation did not work one time, maybe because shorter than 120 days since last activation, do not remember, and I had to call MS and activate. No problem at all, but a little pain to read and type the key numbers.

    I think there should be local telephone numbers if you indeed need to call, but I would first try to activate online.

    As I wrote <!post=in my reply to your other thread,652454>in my reply to your other thread<!/post>, I later on did a complete rebuild of my machine, only kept HDD/DVD/CD-RW, and did a clean install of Windows, still my activation worked perfectly (since in this case not a "royalty OEM", or using special BIOS).

    Incidentally, when I first booted the machine after assembly (old Windows installation on HDD), I did not press Del (or F8 whatever) at the right time (startup process with new BIOS was a little different), so the PC proceeded to boot Windows and along came a BSOD, I expected it would not work.

    I don't know how heavily customised you PC is, but sometimes one maybe can export some keys in the registry that holds some tweaks, so it can be easier to get them back (importing them). But generally, the more customised the more gets lost when clean installed.

    Changeing virtually all HW is going to affect the Windows installation, and I think it can be hard to get it working without a clean install.

    Is that 36 GB SATA or a 360 GB SATA? 36<164.

    BTW, did you look at the Firefox WGA plug-in I mentioned in <post:=652,448>post 652,448</post:>.

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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Thanks Argus, I did have a brief look at the Firefox WGA plug-in page but didn't try pursuing it. Is the plug-in un-installable? I'm still investigating what course of action to take. The other day I found an interesting thread . But I don't find the issue easy to get my head around. Incidentally, the SATA drive is 36GB, 10,000 RPM.

    Chris

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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Chirs,
    "Is the plug-in un-installable?"
    As I described in my post, I did not use the plug-in installer, instead I extracted the files, and placed the two needed where they should be. However, I am pretty sure the installer will place an uninstall entry in Windows Add and Remove Programs list, but do not know. For me? If I would like to uninstall, then I just delete the files.

    As to how move a Windows installation (HDD) to a completely new HW; yes I have read about this "change to Standard Dual IDE controller" thing before, but in my case I did not have a working old MB (the main reason for the move).

    Then this "sometimes it works and other times it doesn

  9. #9
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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Hi again,

    Thanks for the clarification. So by extracting and using the two files you are effectively circumventing WGA? If I remember correctly the reason you were suggesting using the WGA plugin files was to be able download a copy of SYSPREP? From the limited reading I have done using SYSPREP is also something of an uncertainty. I bought True Image several years ago because I didn't want to install Windows XP from scratch any more. Somewhere along the way my True Image became True Image home and I discovered that it wouldn't work if the motherboard was changed. I was not happy when I discovered this since I feel Acronis never made the limitation clear at the time I purchased True Image. This is not to say that I haven't found True Image useful. I've reinstalled my system numerous times and thus avoided reinstalling XP which is something I loathe. I was reluctantly set to upgrade to True Image Workstation and Universal Restore when I discovered that unless I image my entire hard drive Universal Restore might not wok. This just seems peculiar to me. My C: partition is 20 GB of a 160 GB drive. If I make an image of the entire drive that will be around 60-70 GB. I'm supposed to make a 60-70 GB image to be able to restore a 20 GB partition of which around 14 GB is used!? Where am I supposed to store the 60-70 GB image and how do I get the C: partition back onto a brand new drive? I'd like to get some answers from Acronis on this. I posted in their support forum but haven't had any satisfactory answer. I guess all the time I'm spending trying to avoid reinstalling XP I'd be better off just doing it. But I just know there are so many little things htat will come back to niggle me if I do reinstall it. Why have Microsoft made it so difficult? Rhetorical Question!

    Chris

  10. #10
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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    Hi,
    Well, I don't know if I could say that I am "circumventing WGA". Instead you could say I am avoiding the WGA Notifications program. I have a legal copy of Windows. I have earlier, on other installation of this copy (before my last HW rebuild) for some time used the IE ActiveX control WGA. This was before they added this Notification tool, and all the fuss that generated. I stayed away from the early builds of that and thought: since I am browsing the web with Firefox, why not use the Fx plug-in. Then I also do not have to have this Notification thing. So I did, and after my last rebuild I added it again. Today I updated it. Of course one needs a genuine Windows.

    And beside the WGA Notifications program and Fx plug-ins there is also the possibility to run an executable file to validate.

    On the other hand, at least for me, the need for validation and genuine Windows software isn't so big.

    I know nothing about sysprep. I just suggested the Fx WGA plug-in if you wanted to download a copy (or anything else needing validation). The suggestion for deploy.cab came from <!profile=kaplinb>kaplinb<!/profile>.

    I know that there are some tools on the Windows XP CD's, so a check gives this:
    I find a copy of deploy.cab in my Windows XP (Gold) CD in SUPPORTTOOLS.
    I also find a later version of deploy.cab on my SP2 CD in SUPPORTTOOLS. For a Windows XP SP2 installation the latter should be the one to use.

    The WindowsXP-KB838080-SP2-DeployTools-ENU.cab in <!profile=kaplinb>kaplinb<!/profile>'s link is digitally signed 4 August 2004 (Sp2-time) and sized: 1,769,221 bytes (in my Swedish "SVE" copy). The deploy.cab on my SP2 CD is sized: 1,768,473 bytes and from 4 August 2004, but not digitally signed. The content is exactly they same in both files.

    So, it may be that you already have a SP2 copy of this somewhere (but using the Fx-plugin is still OK).

    I guess everyone should be prepared that some day it can happen that they must install from scratch, though an image can be used in most of the time. I also guess that if anyone have done major customising & tweaking (moving system folders, replacing programs etc etc), then it'll be a little hard to start from scratch. Most users don't do that much, still the timing can be essential; a clean install when SP2 was new was easy, now we have quite a number of post SP2 updates.

    Maybe someone else can guide you how to (if possible) use the image program. I know nothing about that, but I do can understand the problems that follow a complete HW change.

  11. #11
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    Re: Reactivating Windows and WGA (XP Pro SP2)

    The BSOD with a new MB is not limited to TrueImage. I've had it happen with Ghost at work. It because of the hardware discovery that Windows does when it is installed. When this has happened to me all I've needed to do is a repair install (not the first opportunity you get when you use your Windows CD but the second). I know some people say this does not work with TrueImage but it should. Rebuilding the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) is what is needed.

    Joe
    Joe

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