Backup Your Windows XP Activation Files
By Stephen Bucaro
After paying for a product, you should be able to use it without being subjected
to an annoying "product activation" scheme. In a competitive, free enterprise
environment this would be the case. This should be part of a software buyers
bill of rights. Unfortunately in this country we are subject to a government
After you pay for the Windows XP operating system, it will work for only 30 days
before you’re required to get permission to use it. If you have an Internet
connection, you can activate Windows XP through the Activation Wizard.
Unfortunately, Windows degrades over time and eventually you’ll be required to
reinstall Windows XP.
When you try to reactivate Windows XP, you’ll receive the message "Our records
show that this product has already been activated". You will be required to call
a telephone number provided by the Activation Wizard, where a customer service
representative will ask for the installation ID number, also provided by the
Activation Wizard. You can avoid this aggravation by backing up your activation files.
To backup your activation files you'll need to make a copies of and two files in
your \%systemroot%\system32 folder (usually C:Windows\system32). Copy the files
wpa.dbl and wpa.bak to a floppy disk or other removable storage device.
• In order to make the files visible you may need to select Folder
Options... in Windows Explorer's Tools menu, and in the Folder
Options dialog box, View Tab, set the "Show hidden files and folders"
To restore your activation files after reinstalling Windows XP, you'll need to
boot your computer in Safe Mode. To boot your computer in Safe Mode
press the F8 key immediately after starting your computer. The Startup
screen will display options for starting Windows XP. Select Safe Mode.
Once your computer is in safe mode, copy your backed up activation files to the
\%systemroot%\system32 folder. Then restart your computer in normal mode.
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• Backup Your Windows XP Activation Files