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Product Validation for WinXP Home


Universal Translator
Okay, I put my stupid cap on the other day and reformatted a Dell desktop with a Dell reinstallation CD (XP Home SP1) from a Dell laptop. The desktop is at least five years old, and was upgraded to XP, whereas the laptop is only two years old and was shipped with XP originally. I still have the damn box from that upgrade (for the desktop) with the product key printed on it, but I've moved several times and can't locate the actual CD.

What's the best (read: most inexpensive) way to get another product key so I can activate this reformatted copy of WinXP? :rolleyes:


I'm sorry Hal...
Political User
So is XP installed? did you use the product key from upgrade?

The only way to get another key is to buy XP again


Universal Translator
Khayman said:
So is XP installed? did you use the product key from upgrade?

The only way to get another key is to buy XP again
Well, the reinstallation CD from Dell that came with the laptop successfully installed XP on the desktop. The product key that came with the upgrade I had originally bought for the desktop top did not work.

I'm asking are there any good resellers out there that I could get a discount on it, instead of paying the full price for a new copy? Or is there some way of hassling it out with Microsoft customer service to get the product key from the upgrade to work?
For next time:

To activate XP manually, you can use the Start menu shortcut in the System Tools Accessories folder. At the command prompt, type: oobe/msoobe /a or Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Activate Windows.

Tip: msoobe stands for "Microsoft Out of Box Experience."
Tip: Windows Product Activation by MS-MVP Alex Nichol

Activation - Workaround

If you are doing a repair reinstall of XP on the same hardware, you can back up the activation status and then restore it after you run the repair install of the OS. To save the activation status, back up the wpa.dbl file from the %systemroot%\system32 folder to a floppy disk.

After the repair install of the OS is complete, start in Minimal Safe mode. Open the \%systemroot%\system32 folder. Rename wpa.dbl to wpa.noact. Copy the backed up wpa.dbl file to the system32 folder. Reboot your system.

This isn't a hack to avoid activating installations and will work only on the same hardware for an XP installation that you've already activated.

and, read this FAQ - may give you some alternative advice: http://labmice.techtarget.com/FAQ/winxpfaq.htm
Last edited:


There is no answer!
Political User
I know that if you actually call ms (i've done this countless times), to activate your machine and they ask why you are reinstalling just tell them its because your computer crashed. I have never been turned down not once, they give you some long assed key to put into the activation screen and voila all is done.


google addict
Political User


google addict
Political User
exactly :)

bassically its like buyin only the cd itself, no support like manuals, etc, but since you have the manuals already... pfft, bet you've yet to read em, lol :)

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