WPA...or not,in my case

  Chegs ® 19:57 24 Jul 2004

I have spent most of this week reinstalling XP Home onto my PC.Win Updates kept wrecking my install,and finally culminated in the death of one of my hdd's(not caused by updates tho')

I replaced the hdd and reinstalled XP,went to activate it and was greeted with "Type new product key,this key has been used too many times,etc" Not a problem for most,but I have no telephone to dial out on(but ADSL still works OK,or will until BT decide to deactivate the line as their records will show its not in use)I can appreciate that M$ want to protect their products,but this part of WPA is absolutely ridiculous.I have 30 days to activate this installation,but it's looking like I will have to wait until the due date,then format and reinstall and activate it then(hopefully)The CD IS DEFINATELY genuine,its got the shiny hologram finish with Microsoft Genuine all over,purchased from Dixons as my XP Pro CD was badly damaged.

I read somewhere recently that XP is actually THE most pirated version of windows ever.If this is true,what was the point in the WPA? I could return to 98se,only my latest PC has to much RAM/files larger than FAT32 can handle,etc.I could switch to linux,but then my (expensive) games wont run.Frustrated doesn't describe my feelings anywhere near accurately enough.

  zootmo 14:00 25 Jul 2004

to re-install XP without tears

1. Copy the file c:\windows\system32\wpa.dbl to a floppy.
2. Reinstall Windows XP.
3. Boot to a DOS disk if you are using FAT, or to the Recovery Console if using NTFS.
4. Copy the file from the first step above back to c:\windows\system32.
5. That's it - because all of your hardware is the same as before, your copy of WinXP is still valid according to the previous activation.

So Chegs when you have finally re-activated XP do the above and it's easy to re-install anytime!

  Valvegrid 14:22 25 Jul 2004

I feel for you, all this nonsense of activation keys etc.

But, like you, I like to play with my Flight Simulator 2002. So I've kept my Windows 98lite on one partition and put Xandros Linux on the other. Situation is now, I never use Windows, unless I want to fly around a bit, Xandros does everything I need to do.

Xandros does have a crossover application that will allow one to use windows applications by creating a fake C drive, it works great with Office 2000 and a few other Windows applications I've tried, but I don't know if it would work on the likes of FS 2002 or your games. It may, because I notice that any of the MS Flightsim programs don't write to the registry.

Its quite comical, Codeweavers, the makers of the crossover application, make up a windows folder in the fake C drive with everything in it, its even got IE which works! I don't think I'd like to use it for too long on the Internet though, I find Opera on Linux is much better than IE anyway.

Have I convinced you? Good luck whatever you decide.



  Chegs ® 14:50 25 Jul 2004

zootmo,I couldn't use this method as I was running a pair of SATA hdd's and have had to install an IDE drive in place of the dead SATA.

Valvegrid,I could return to 98se(lite/SPEEDOS versions too)but I have 1.5Gb's RAM and it wont run with that much(I tried)As I use my PC for video edits,FAT32 isn't a viable option either as it cannot handle filesizes greater than 4Gb's.

I HAVE managed to create a slipstreamed XP Pro install CD from the damaged XP Pro disc(just now)and will upgrade XP Home to Pro.When I can afford another SATA hdd to replace the dead one,I will return to XP Home as XP Pro is installed already on my daughters PC,and I dont want M$ giving me hell for installing it twice.

I have a couple of "Virtual PC" apps,these are more fun than linux as my games run in them,I can even install various OS's on them,as they allow me to specify available RAM/filesystems,etc.One is a "demo" from M$ that works for a limited time,the other is "Bochs" or something,freeware.

None of this is anything to do with WPA tho'....lol.

  zootmo 17:57 25 Jul 2004

much use right now, what about considering using something like Norton Ghost or a similar hard drive imaging software in the future? It's more expense sure,but what price missing the pain of a re-install?

  Chegs ® 21:41 25 Jul 2004

I have TrueImage,it doesn't recognise SATA hdd's when I tried to reinstall the image it created.I have DriveImage 5 and 7,version 7 needs .Net framework,which screwed my PC.Version 5,I run from floppy,as (I think) DI5 in NTFS causes errors.The images I had were on partitions in my now defunct SATA hdd,only one I had saved elsewhere was on a RW-DVD,which isn't "seen" in Caldera DOS.That was XP Pro anyway.I'm my own worst enemy,as I have the software/hardware to sort my PC,just a lousy housekeeper. :-)

I just think its a little OTT of M$ to insist on using a system to protect their products,that is widely defeated by numerous methods,and creates the scenario I now find myself with,eg.I cannot activate my XP Home although its a genuine product.No doubt Longhorn will implement a similar system of protection,and it will be available as a pirated version long before its available in the shops(just as XP was before it)

I have a pair of SATA hard drives, and Norton Ghost works fine with them.
With regard to WPA, I've lost count of the number of times I have come across an illegally installed copy.The biggest problem I think is the existence of XP's that don't require activation, as supplied to companies.It is like Xmas to staff who have access to these.What I would like to see is no updates or service packs able to be added to non-registered copies.

  Chegs ® 01:10 02 Aug 2004

Someone else who thinks Windows Product Activation sucks!

click here

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