Windows Re-activation Issue


OSNN Newbie
13 Mar 2007
Hello Everyone - I am new to a forum, but my son said that this is the place to get answers to questions so here it goes. I recently had to make a backup copy of a DVD I have that has been scratched up because it started to have read issues. After making my backup copy I rebooted my PC and after rebooting, Windows XP indicated that since it has been installed, there have been several changes and Windows needs to be re-activated. It is a valid copy of XP, so no problem there, but this issue may also occur when I update drivers. Does anyone have suggestions or ideas as to why this is happening? I am at a point that even if I needed to update a driver to resolve an issue, I will try to work around it so that I do not have to re-activate Windows again.
Phone the free-phone number for your country and reactivate.

No biggy, works fine.
Updating drivers doesn't normally kick-in reactivation -- new hardware and firmware updates are a more common reason. Like Lee said, you'll need to call Microsoft to take care of this. I had to do it once before and it was no big deal and took just a few minutes.
Re-activating is not the problem. I am more interested in why this happens. It did not happen in the past. I know that adding new hardware like a hard drive or upgrading a CPU will trigger a re-activation, but I am not convinced that upgrading a driver or copying a CD or DVD should cause this as well. I know that you can use a Win XP key 2 times without calling Microsoft, but when you do call them, they get a little upset that you upgraded "Your Computer" and give you another chance. I know because I have been down that path. The rep basically told me that he would do it just that one time and if it occurrs again, to go buy another key. He further indicated that I should not upgrade my PC. I could go on, but back to the problem at hand... any further suggestions are greatly appreciated.
One of the PC's I use for testing hardware I have had to call and re-activate XP about 150 times so far.

You just gotta know how to answer the questions they ask you. :)
dont blame MS, i upgraded my MB 3 times within a few months and MS never gave me crap for honost unless you have soemthing to hide......i beleave there was new update that was put out about the wga....maybe its triggered you have a dell?
Thanks for the feedback. To answer the question if I have a Dell, I do not. As for my experience with MS - maybe I got a rep that was having a bad day. Don't know. When it did happen again, I did purchase another copy of Win XP. I thought that maybe one of the many MS patches might have caused this issue and I thought that someone else may have been having the same issue.
I assume the problem is on a XP not Vista since you posted in the plain windows forum.

Two things will cause re-activation of Windows XP.

1) You made several changes to the hardware (or some of your hardware failed) all within 120 days that adds up to more "points" than activation allows. The worst offender is LAN MAC address but even changing your amount of ram causes loss of points. The point system weight different hardware at different levels.

2) Either the Volume ID in the HD boot sector got changed or the wpa.dbl file in \windows\system32 directory got changed.

The solution to both issues is trivial. Back up the volume ID and the wpa.dbl file periodically or before any changes to hardware. If windows whines then restore the hardware and just copy the old files back in.

The volume ID can done with the following:
-Run VOL from the DOS prompt to get a current VolumeID and write it down.
-Reset the volume ID by using volumeID.exe program which is a free download.

WPA.dbl is just like any other file cand can be copied and renamed. I have about 7 copies right now with names like 512kRam, 1MB RAM, MADDOG DVD, 120GB HD, etc. SO I knwo which went with which config.

Whole story is detailed nicely here:

WIndows Vista appears more finicky with one OSNN contributor having to re-activate because he changed his RAID drivers. The appropriate items to back up for Vista have not been disclosed yet.
Thanks LeeJend. I will be backing up the WPA file as you suggested and follow the other suggestions. When and if I get the re-activation request again, I will restore it and hope for the best.

Thanks again.

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Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
Any of the SP crew still out there?
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Impressed you have kept this alive this long EP! So many sites have come and gone. :(

Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
hello peeps... is been some time since i last came here.
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