An 80Gb HDD has been added to my mate's PC. Is there a way to reformat the 10Gb System HDD, then install the OS (Win XP) on the 80GB HDD without losing a 'Yes' vote in WPA?

Posted on 2006-03-22
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Well, I think the Question Title pretty much asks the question. I could also add that I know to keep the original HDD as a Slave drive. And isn't there something to do with the wpa.dbl file in the System32 folder?

I know that I could probably reinstall XP after formatting the 10Gb HDD, and then use a disk imaging program to copy the new C drive onto the 80Gb one. However, I would rather not do that if at all possible. Such a bother!

BTW, the 80Gb has been partitioned into two 40 Gb volumes. Will that confuse the issue?

Cheers for the help in advance!

Question by:PapaDoz
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    You'll loose all 'yes' votes if you install without copying the wpa file. IF you  imaged the drive, you will still lose one yes because the master drive is accounted for, it's size and volume number, which will vary from the original. Losing one yes will not trigger reactivation, provided that's the only change in the last 120 days (wpa zeros out any changes @120 days) and your nic is the same(3 votes for the nic).
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    Here's an article that may help. You may find different articles with slightly different interpretations of how the vote works, and what will trigger reactivation. According to this article, you wouldn't loose a vote at all if you imaged the drive, and recommends that you don't copy the wpa files for a clean install.
    Anyway, reactivation usually only requires a simple phone call, so it really isn't that much of a hassle.
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    I've always used Ghost when moving to a newer drive. You just plug both drives in and do a Disk to Disk copy. It handles everything else. When it's done, you wind up with an exact copy of the first drive, just bigger. I've done this literally dozens of times, and it has never broken activation.

    If you don't have Ghost, other similar drive imaging utilities should work the same way.


    Author Comment

    Ah right, ok. The only problem is that the current system drive is acting up really badly with all the junk on it e.t.c. That's the main reason I really want to reformat. Any ideas? (System Restore won't help and GoBack became useless after XP was installed).
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    A fresh install is your best bet. You will have to reactivate.
    If you'd rather not do a fresh install, start by cleaning up any bugs, etc.

    Uninstall any unnecessary programs. (Control Panel/Add Remove Programs)

    Clean the system from bugs:
    AVG is a free (for home use)  anti-virus program. Run it:
    Ewido is a free malware program. Run it:
    Spybot Search and Destroy (Free as well):

    Repair the OS: First back up your data to cd or dvd or a spare drive.
    Use install/repair option:
    This will keep your applications intact, but you'll have to reinstall windows service packs and updates.

    Use a registry cleaner. (Careful with this..make sure you create a restore point before changing the registry.)
    Several here:
    Reg Cleaner:

    Update all drivers. Start with your mainboard drivers from manufacturer's site. Use the most recent driver updates. Update all components..sound, video, peripherals.

    Use Run/Msconfig to remove start-up processes that are unnecessary.

    Author Comment

    Wow, thanx for all that maramom! And your tip about the Norton Ghost program will come in very useful for me thoffman. Enjoy your points both of you! I hope the allotment is fair.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Best of luck! :)

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