How to Change Product Key on OEM WinXP machine

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I have been reading alot about changin WinXP product key but have had
problems with OEM machines. The best way to do it is as followed.

Make a search in Windows/System32 folder for WPA. You should come up
with a few files. Now you want to cut/paste the next two files to a new
folder:

- wpa.dbl
- wpabaln.exe

Once these files have been removed from the system32 folder you want to
activate your copy by doing the following. Click on Start then Run and
enter the following line:

%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

Then click on Activate by phone and hit the Change Product Key. You
should now be able to change an OEM Product Key to another one.
4 answers Last reply
More about change product winxp machine
  1. Once these files have been removed, the wpabaln.exe automatically reinstalles itself to the same location. If you refresh the screen you will see that it is there, and therefore still disallows the change.
    Still have not come up with a solution to that
  2. Actually; after an -exhaustive- search myself, this process does in fact work; but as you noted the wpabaln.exe repopulates itself.

    However, combining this procedure with the standard one ("change one character in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents\OOBETimer" ) did the trick. Change one character, THEN remove those two files, now reactivate with the good 'ole "%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a"

    I use a ghost image to copy machines I build for customers, but post-SP2 I was having to run a quick repair/install to change the #$%#@$ key; this procedure have saved me oodles of time.

    Thanks.
  3. Actually; after an -exhaustive- search myself, this process does in fact work; but as you noted the wpabaln.exe repopulates itself.

    However, combining this procedure with the standard one ("change one character in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents\OOBETimer" ) did the trick. Change one character, THEN remove those two files, now reactivate with the good 'ole "%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a"

    <snip>

    quotemsg]

    Hi, I attempted this (combined) procedure (twice) and at logon following the reboot I get the msg -

    "A problem has prevented Windows from accurately checking the status of the license for this computer. To proceed your copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft. Do you want to activate Windows now?".

    I selected "Yes" and " ..activate over the Internet now" - I got a 'successful activation' msg and all looked OK until I checked the License - The IE Key has changed to the 'new' key but the Win XP Key is still the 'old' (bad) key.

    Any ideas??
  4. I dunno; just did it again to verify it works properly:

    1. Change HKLM\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents\OOBETimer by one character
    2. Search C:\Windows for WPA*.* and delete the wpa.dbl & wpabaln.exe files
    3. Execute START=>RUN; "%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a" then press OK
    4. Select ACTIVATE BY PHONE
    5. Select CHANGE PRODUCT KEY
    6. Enter in new valid key and press OK
    7. Go BACK to the first menu
    8. Select ACTIVATE OVER INTERNET
    9. Register if you want to
    10. Success!

    Verified using MagicJellybean Keyfinder. Looked before (old origional key) and after [+after restart] and there is the new proper key.

    BTW: Updating a Windows XP Professional SP2/3 Image with an origional valid license to a ghost/cloned Windows XP Professional SP3 PC with a new valid license. I can't speak to whether this works on a cracked version, SP1, volume license, or XP home...
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