Activation is an integer part of the Windows XP operating system. Essentially, XP activation is designed to help reduce software piracy. According to Microsoft, "casual copying" affecting XP is the behavior targeted with activation. But outside of the initial grace period of XP, users will only be able to use the operating system if they will activate their copy. Microsoft offers three alternatives to activating Windows XP, via the Internet, through a modem or by phone. Of course that there also are illegal alternatives to XP activation. Various cracks and workarounds circumvent Microsoft's antipiracy measure. But none of the above is the method to manually activate Windows XP presented in here.
The object of this article is to let you in on a way to easily and effortlessly re-activate you copy of Windows XP after a reinstall. This implies that you already have a genuine and activated copy of Windows XP to begin with. But in case you have to format your hard drive, or just the XP partition, and install XP all over again, you can spare yourself the time and labor to re-activate the operating system, according to the SunbeltBlog. All you have to do is make your way to the C:WindowsSystem32 folder and identify the "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" files. Copy both of them to a USB drive or burn them to a CD.
Format the HDD and reinstall Windows XP, but do not activate the operating system. Instead restart and boot into SAFEBOOT_OPTION=Minimal, press F8 during boot in order to access the SafeMode options. Navigate to System32 where you will be able to find the "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" files. Since you already have the old files on your portable media simply rename these as "wpadbl.new" and "wpabak.new" and copy the old "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" files in System32.
"Product activation makes sure that each Windows XP license is installed in accordance with the EULA and is not installed on more than the number of computers that the license permits. Windows creates a unique installation identification (ID) that is based on information from the product ID and a hardware identifier that are created when you install Window XP. To activate, use the Windows Product Activation wizard to provide the installation ID to Microsoft over the Internet or your phone line. The installation ID records an association of the product ID to your computer and a confirmation ID is sent back to your computer to activate Windows XP. Activation is anonymous, and no personal information is required to activate," Microsoft revealed in relation to XP's activation process.