How to restore Windows XP Activation after re-installation

You might have faced a problem where windows XP asks you to activate your windows XP copy again, after doing a clean re-installation to continue using it. If you don’t it will not allow you to use it after 30 days. So if you don’t want to face the problem do the following things.This is no trick but a standard way through which we will need to backup Windows XP activation file and then replace it after you re-install.

Steps to re-activate Windows XP activation

  • Go to C:\windows\System32 ( Assuming your windows XP is installed on C drive )
  • Look for files wpa.dbl and wpa.bak and copy it to a floppy or your USB drive.
  • Now re-install your windows and when it asks for activating again, just escape it.
  • Now restart your windows again and press F8 while booting. This will bring up lot of options.
  • Select Minimal Safe mode here.
  • Now again move to C:\windows\System32 and rename wpa.dbl and wpa.bak to say wpa.dbl.bak and wpa.bak.bak
  • Copy the files which you copied in floppy in second step and paste it in C:\windows\system32.
  • Reboot Windows XP and Your windows will be activated


But this trick does not work when u format the drive…so for all those who are going to use this trick , At the time of reinstall don’t format the drive…. just install and then after delete the previous windows system folders either they will get overwritten them selfs.

and why this occurs ?
because due to formatting of that drive the volume no. of that logical drive gets changed.


  1. If you’re upgrading the hdd to one of larger capacitiy, can’t you just use something like ati (acronis true image) and clone it?

  2. Hello,
    I formatted my disk and reinstalled XP Hompe first time after 7yrs of use and now it wont activate.I am sure its legal copy, what shold I do? I m quite desperate….

    Thank you for helping me

    Nice day

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