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Old 2009-07-24, 04:11   Link #1
Shadow Kira01
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XP Infinite Loop

Aside from the fact that safe mode works perfectly, I can't seem to enter the original mode as that the product activation screen loops. It all happened when I reinstalled the Toshiba disc creator as that it is a lot more convenient than Nero 7 but it turned out to major inconveniences as that it is no longer possible to reverse it, not mentioning that the disc creator cannot work without the loop stopping.

Generally, I would like to know how to convert the wpa.db_ into wpa.dbl as that renaming it as such isn't working at all for me.

Update #1: I intend on doing a second parallel install and move the wpa.dbl file over to the current one but only problem.. Considering that I am low on HDD, is it possible to remove a parallel installation after it becomes unnecessary?
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Last edited by Shadow Kira01; 2009-07-24 at 04:28. Reason: updated.
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Old 2009-07-24, 09:15   Link #2
Saleh
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You mean Windows activation loop? You will find this Microsoft Knowlegde base article helpful. Hopefully, someone will answer your post soon.
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Old 2009-07-24, 12:53   Link #3
Renegade334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
Generally, I would like to know how to convert the wpa.db_ into wpa.dbl as that renaming it as such isn't working at all for me.
As stated in the previous post, you need to 'expand' the file before doing the copy-paste, by using the command line
Quote:
expand [DriveLetter]:\i386\wpa.db_ %windir%\system32\wpa.dbl
Quote:
Update #1: I intend on doing a second parallel install and move the wpa.dbl file over to the current one but only problem.. Considering that I am low on HDD, is it possible to remove a parallel installation after it becomes unnecessary?
IIRC you can't do that - the wpa.dbl file also contains the system partition's ID, which means that even if you do a backup of the all-important wpa.dbl file and reinstall XP after reformatting the same partition (OR, as you suggested, if you transfer it to a different partition), you will still be prompted to (re)activate, as a new name has been automatically generated for the cleaned-up main partition and it won't match the ID contained within your wpa backup.

The wpa copy-paste trick only works if you reinstall XP on the SAME partition without reformatting. I haven't tested it myself, but I know that a reformat makes the entire thing useless.

Furthermore, if you've made several changes to your PC's hardware or would like add a few things (such as a virtual disk, for example), I highly suggest you install everything first, both soft- and hardware THEN only start the (re)activation process, after all components have been discovered and registered. Usually, the activation thingy is re-triggered if too many changes are made to the original hardware layout, such as changing your amount of RAM, adding a new CD-DVD drive, swapping the MB or CPU with a different model, etc (not to mention if you have an OEM license that relies on the MB brand, you might be shooting yourself in the foot if the MB brand doesn't match your OEM license's). The OS basically takes note of - if I'm not mistaken - five basic components (CPU, RAM, CD-DVD, HDD, MB) and monitors the changes that are made after activation. If three of four of them no longer match the original outline, XP considers that it's no longer on the same computer it was installed on and there's a license issue - hence the reactivation prompt.
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Last edited by Renegade334; 2009-07-24 at 13:06.
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Old 2009-07-24, 14:39   Link #4
Shadow Kira01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saleh View Post
You mean Windows activation loop? You will find this Microsoft Knowlegde base article helpful. Hopefully, someone will answer your post soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade334 View Post
As stated in the previous post, you need to 'expand' the file before doing the copy-paste, by using the command line

Quote:
expand [DriveLetter]:\i386\wpa.db_ %windir%\system32\wpa.dbl
Thanks for the replies.

I just tried that but it doesn't work because I had attempted to replace the wpabaln and wpa.dbl from my parallel OS several hours ago and now, its more messed up than it were before. Generally, it seems that there is no way to access it the way it is now.

So..

Would this be a better solution??

1) Backup stuff on an external HDD, then do a clean installation including a reformat of the drive.

or

2) Reinstall XP on a parallel basis. However, I already have two versions of the OS on my drive. First installation is the pre-installed one which can't get pass the welcome screen. Second installation is currently stuck on the product activation loop. Will a third installation be okay?

How many gigs is required to do a reinstallation? I have about 9 gigs left and my dvd writer don't work in safe mode. Luckily, I can still utilize memory cards. The biggest memory card is 16GB and the fact that my HDD is only 60GB means it will be an easy job. Or should I use an external HDD instead? I have read lots of reviews on CRC errors with regards to some brands of external HDD, yet there never has been any problems associated with memory cards.
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Old 2009-07-24, 15:36   Link #5
Renegade334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I just tried that but it doesn't work because I had attempted to replace the wpabaln and wpa.dbl from my parallel OS several hours ago and now, its more messed up than it were before. Generally, it seems that there is no way to access it the way it is now.
Not unless you change
Code:
%windir%\system32\wpa.dbl
to
Code:
DriveLetter:\DestinationFolder\wpa.dbl
then either reboot in safe mode (I think - but I'm not certain - that the entire activation check process is completely disabled once you go in safe mode) or use a bootable CD (Linux or your XP CD, then hop on to the command line) to perform the copy-paste without causing too much trouble. I still advise you to consult the link in Saleh's post, though, and read it down to the last line in case more tweaking is warranted.

Quote:
1) Backup stuff on an external HDD, then do a clean installation including a reformat of the drive.
Which is what I usually do but that's because I just love to customize everything and set my entire PC the way I want it to down to the last option, with as few active processes as possible, etc, etc.

Yes, I love being finicky. Bite me.

Quote:
2) Reinstall XP on a parallel basis. However, I already have two versions of the OS on my drive. First installation is the pre-installed one which can't get pass the welcome screen. Second installation is currently stuck on the product activation loop. Will a third installation be okay?
Have you tried using your XP CD to perform a repair on the first partition (the one where you're stuck on the welcome screen) instead of a simple install? Try that first and if it still doesn't want to oblige you, then I suggest backing everything up and reinstalling.

For ME (me being all-important here, since it amounts to nothing else but a third party's point of view, which may as well not fit with your tastes and purposes), having parallel installs is only interesting if you have different purposes for each of them (gaming, work, etc), fallback installs (in case something goes SNAFU) OR different configurations. Before considering MORE parallel installs, try fixing the existing ones first.

Quote:
How many gigs is required to do a reinstallation? I have about 9 gigs left and my dvd writer don't work in safe mode.
I think three to five gigs is the baseline 'weight' of a "completely naked" XP SP2 with no third-party apps slapped on top (Vista SP1 is ten to twelve IIRC). So I guess you DO have some space left, UNLESS you format those nine gigs and use them as a storage area for the files you want to back up. OTHERWISE - and I advise you to make this investment, one never knows when working with OSes on a PMS attack - yeah, consider buying an external HDD to carry your data around and do the transfer in case something goes FUBAR.

For external HDDs, well, I'm no specialist when it comes to those but I've heard good things about the latest Western Digital models, so they might be worth a glance if not an even closer look.
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Last edited by Renegade334; 2009-07-24 at 15:53.
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Old 2009-07-24, 17:09   Link #6
Shadow Kira01
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Thanks Renegade334!

I have came up with my own solution which should work fine unless unexpected things occur in the process. Generally, I have just made a reinstall via parallel installation in order to obtain basic functions, such as utilizing the dvd writer via Nero 7 as that getting a random external HDD may be a little risky as that there are quite a few with issues, while memory cards are rather expensive unless they are on sale. I got the 16GB for 30-40 bucks but currently, the price should range between 80-120 bucks. And the fact that I have a huge bundle of DVD+R just mean that getting expensive memory cards isn't worth it, especially that I had recently got a brand new external dvd writer with light scribe technology.

Once everything is ready, I will be doing a clean installation by removing the previous OS installations via format the drive. The risky part is that there is a chance in which I will be plagued by the activation loop but I do have the genuine license key. Only problem now is to create the disc via the i386 folder. Everything is pretty much completed except I am currently having problems creating the disc through ImgBurn as that I have the latest version and I am reluctant to reinstall the very useful program with an earlier version as that it may cause unpleasant issues. Thus, I will have to install the earlier version on my third OS of the old laptop as opposed to this one. I haven't tried it yet.

Instead, I am experiencing problems with transferring ownership even though this was never an issue on last parallel installation. Not just that a few of my programs (AlltoAvi, VLC Player, Opera) cease to work, I can't even get the sound drivers or the power saver to work either. Generally, it is currently in worse condition than it was a day ago. A day ago, it doesn't have power saver working either but the least to say, I don't get the fatal error message on startup which I do now.

Aside from this, Nero 7 doesn't work either as that I get this error message and since I can't get the sound drivers to work, I get this error message when trying to play a mp3. It seems that nothing works aside from very basic functions.

----
Update: I decided to give it a shot and things seem to look pretty good with few exceptions. I re-entered safe mode as the Administrator as opposed to Kira01 and did an ownership transfer the second time. I restarted my system and now, I have access to all those non-working programs that had directory issues. Aside from that, I did a sound driver installation and it worked. Currently, graphics and sound are back but still... I keep on getting that power saver fatal error message on startup which can't be uninstalled as indicated at the time of attempted installation due to some errors. Generally, it is back to how it was a day ago except for the fatal error message on startup.

As for Nero 7 Essentials, I had to reinstall it with my new disc as that my other one had died along with the old dvd writer as that it froze on the stage of installing the extras. My new disc comes up extra features such as light-scribe and Direct X v9.0c which seems to be rather useful but I am still cautious about installing it onto my Vista 64-bit as that it is really unnecessary. Supposedly, I do have a light-scribe disc but there is no use for it while the fact that Direct X v9.0c will no doubt enable the use of the PCSX2 which is also unnecessary to me as that I have a working PS2 console. Thus, I will just keep things the way they are until I feel like spending quite some time into reformatting the drive and doing a fresh installation which will hopefully turn the old laptop back to factory status.
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Last edited by Shadow Kira01; 2009-07-24 at 17:41. Reason: updated.
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Old 2009-07-24, 18:10   Link #7
chikorita157
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What you should do after reinstalling when it comes time to is after you installed all your programs is to image your whole hard drive... and also have a separate partition or hard drive for your data so your data will still be safe in a event that Windows XP stops working.
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Old 2009-07-25, 02:27   Link #8
Shadow Kira01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
What you should do after reinstalling when it comes time to is after you installed all your programs is to image your whole hard drive... and also have a separate partition or hard drive for your data so your data will still be safe in a event that Windows XP stops working.
I will try that in a few months. Thanks!^^
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