winxp We’ve all had to do it at least once, I routinely do it every 6 months. What am I talking about. Reformatting and reinstalling Windows XP. Whether you’re having problems with crashes, errors, spyware or viruses or just need to clean out the junk that accumulates over time. After you reinstall you will need to reactivate your copy of XP, but you can skip that step by following the instructions below. You will need to backup 2 files to a floppy disk, CD or external drive.

  1. Open My Computer or an Explorer window.
  2. Navigate to your “C” drive > windows > system32.
  3. Scroll down to you get to WPA.DBL and WPA.BAK
  4. Right click WPA.DBL and choose “send to” then pick where you want to copy it to.
  5. Do the same for WPA.BAK

Now you can perform your format and reinstall of XP. When you get to the Activation screen, decline to activate it and let the install finish. ( don’t forget to backup your data before reformatting)

Now restart Windows in “Safe Mode” (keep hitting F8 at start-up then when the Advanced Boot Options menu appears choose Safe Mode) your computer will boot into safe mode and it will look very different from what your used to.

Now you will need to navigate back to where you stored the WPA.DBL and WPA.BAK

  1. In My Computer or an Explorer window navigate to where you stored the WPA.DBL and WPA.BAK.
  2. Right click WPA.DBL and drag it to your “C” drive > windows > system32 folder and choose copy here. You will replace the existing file.
  3. Do the same for WPA.BAK and restart your computer.
  4. Now all you need to do is reinstall all your programs and backed up files.