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Partial Workaround for Product Activation
It's not a crack or a way to foil Windows Product Activation (WPA), but rather is a way that legitimate users of XP software can avoid having to reactivate the software after a full install:
The trick is to copy and re-use the c:\windows\system32\wpa.dbl file. It's small--- mine is just 13K long--- so it will easily fit on a floppy. Or, you can copy it to another safe location on your hard drive. Once that's done, go about your reinstallation task normally.
After you've reinstalled XP, either boot to a DOS floppy or start in XP's Safe Mode/Command Prompt (i.e. hit the F8 key when your system "beeps" during the boot process). Then copy your original wpa.dbl from its safe location back into the c:\windows\system32 folder, and then reboot.
Because nothing on your system has changed--- it's the same BIOS, CPU, RAM, etc., and because you're installing the same copy of XP that was previously installed, the "old" WPA key should be accepted as valid, saving you the hassle of re-Activating the software.
Note that this won't work if you try moving the file to a different machine, so it's not a way to pirate software. But if you want to simply reinstall a valid and already-activated copy of XP onto the same hardware on which it was originally installed, this may save you from having to re-Activate the new installation.
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