How to Avoid the XP Product Activation After a Reinstall

xplogo Have you ever had to reinstall Windows XP? If so, have you ever had to reactivate it? I recall hearing one of the guys at work talking about the problems he’d had during a reinstall. He had to jump through hoops in order to convince Microsoft to allow him to reactivate.

If you plan to reinstall WinXP on a machine that already has XP on it, you can back up the current activation keys and restore them after you reinstall. You won’t have to contact Microsoft for a reactivation.

Before you Reinstall:

1. Make sure that you back up all of your personal files, data, programs, license keys and product keys.

2. Gather copies of the service packs and security software that you’ll need.

3. Go to the following folder: C:\Windows\System32

4. Find the files named wpa.dbl and wpa.bak, and copy them to a floppy disk or CD.


During and After You Reinstall:

I’ll recommend that you take your PC offline (no internet connection) during installation. This allows you to install the service packs and security software before you reconnect to the internet. An unprotected PC can get infected in less than a minute online.

At the end of the installation, if you get a prompt to activate Windows, follow the steps below:

1. Just say no. Microsoft will allow you a grace period to activate.
2. Reboot the PC.
3. Hit the F8 key during boot to get the advanced boot screen.
3. Choose “Safe Mode”.
4. Once in Safe Mode, open up that same folder at C:\Windows\System32.
5. Locate the two wpa files wpa.dbl and wpa.bak. If you don’t find the bak file, don’t worry.
6. Rename the files to something else, like maybe and
7. Now copy the two files, Wpa.dbl and Wpa.bak, from the floppy or CD, into the system32 folder.
8. Reboot as you would normally.


Now you don’t have to contact Microsoft and you haven’t broken any rules, as far as I know. You’re good to go.

Do You Have XP Activation Problems?

If you have problems with your activation, I found this forum thread that may help.

You can also find out more about XP activation at this Microsoft page.

Here’s what MS says about why it needs you to activate.
Product activation makes sure that each Windows XP license is installed in accordance with the EULA and is not installed on more than the number of computers that the license permits. Windows creates a unique installation identification (ID) that is based on information from the product ID and a hardware identifier that are created when you install Windows XP.

This article was inspired by a visit to my friend Gary’s website. His site, InternetFixes, offers thousands of tips, tricks and fixes for all Windows PCs.

Do you have any questions about Windows XP or reinstalling it? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

How to Create Customized Popup Jokes to Prank Your Friends

Have you ever seen this message on your PC?


I’ll put it this way, you’ll only see that message if I’ve had a little time to sabotage your PC while you had your back turned. Believe me, I love PC pranks and jokes. I’ve been doing them for years – just ask my friends at work. Read on and I’ll tell you how to create one of the easiest, but most flexible pranks.

The VB Script Prank
First, open up your Windows Notepad or your favorite plain text editor. Now paste in the following text.

MsgBox “Windows has determined that you may not be smart enough to surf the internet. Click OK if you are stupid!”, 0, “Error”

Now save the file as joke.vbs

Finally, double click the file to test it. You should see the same message box I displayed above.

How does it work?
The VBS in joke.vbs, stands for Visual Basic Script. As far as I know, every copy of Windows can interpret Microsoft Visual Basic scripts. Visual Basic scripting is a powerful programming language that can work miracles or destroy your hard work. In this prank, all it does is pop up a harmless message window. VBS by itself isn’t evil. It depends on who the programmer is. So when you use it, be very very careful.

Can you change the message?
Yes, it’s easy to tweak this prank. Here’s a template you can use.

MsgBox “***YourMessage***”, 0, “***MessageBoxTitle***”

You can replace the text ***YourMessage*** with your message. If you want to change the title that displays in the window’s title bar, you can change the text ***MessageBoxTitle***.

Be sure that you keep the quotes.

How can you make people click on it?
Let’s say someone you know uses a shortcut on their desktop to run Internet Explorer. We’ll replace their shortcut with our own prank short cut.

1. Move their shortcut and your joke.vbs file to somewhere in a folder on the PC.

2. On the desktop, create a shortcut to your joke.vbs file.


3. Right click on the joke.vbs shortcut, select Properties, and choose the “Change Icon” button.


4. Now select the icon which looks like Internet Explorer.


5. Change the name of the shortcut to Internet Explorer.


6. Get ready to laugh at them when they try to go surfing.

If you’d like to learn more about the VB MsgBox function, you can read about it at vbtutor.

Do you have any questions about jokes, pranks or programming? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

How to Fix Rundll32 or Error in Loading DLL?

One of the most infamous and commonly encountered errors, which is faced by an average computer user, is the rundll32 error loadingerrors. This is one of the erroneous message windows, which gets displayed on your computer screens before start up. The message can be highly intimidating as well as patience testing, especially if you are in a dire and urgent need for the computer. The major cause of these error messages is the occurrence of spyware on your system, and can surely cause you much inconvenience in situations where not using your computer may have certain financial repercussions. Apart from spywares, a lot many other reasons have been cited for the occurrence of such an error message.

The registry of a computer is a home to many different dll files, which are appropriately loaded as well as reloaded during the execution of various programs on the computer. These dll files have fixed location in the registries and are loaded from that particular location. However, there might be situations in which, some of the shared dll files can get renamed or relocated by mistake. This may especially happen during installing and uninstalling programs. Thus now when a particular dll file is required to be loaded again, the computer would search for the location of the dll file in the registry. On not finding the dll file there due to its relocation or renaming, the computer would slow down it’s overall activity and would forage for the dll file everywhere else, throughout the directory. In case the dll file has been deleted, or it has been relocated to a position, which is obscure and cannot be reached by the computer system, the result is the occurrence of rundll32 error loading.

The most appropriate choice when it comes to fixing up rundll32 errors is suitable registry repair software. Such software have been specially designed to repair the registry as well as the various effected files in the registry, in a manner, which does not cause any further damage to the registry. Many computer users often try to repair such rundll32 error loading messages on their own. However; this can prove quite costly for your registry, especially in case you do not possess much experience into the job. This is because any damage caused to the registry can prove fatal for your system. This is the reason why it is advisable to choose plausible registry repair software, when it comes to fixing a rundll32 error loading.

There is an innate strategy through which registry repair software functions and helps in preventing the occurrence of a rundll32 error loading. The very first thing, which any registry repair software does, is to scan the registry properly. Once this has been done and the real reason behind the damage caused to the registry has been diagnosed, the registry repair software cleans the registry of all the various pieces of erroneous and incomplete information. This is how the rundll32 error is prevented from occurring again.

This is a guest post by Bob is a freelance writer and software developer for Interested in writing a guest post for us? Check out the rules and guidelines to guest post for us.

How To Open .zipx Files?

.zipx files is a new advanced compression technology used by a popular archiving software called WinZip. Zipx files offer much better compression than the traditional zip compression and compresses files to make them much smaller.

In order to open .zipx files you will need to download and install a trial version of WinZip, PowerArchiver or Stuffit Deluxe.

All of these softwares are paid, however you can install WinZip and continue using it for free for a long time. Please note you will have to download WinZip 12 or higher in order to open .zipx files.

How to Open .nbu Files?

Nokia PC suite and Ovi suite allow you to create backups of your text messages, contacts, calendar entries and bookmarks. You can use the .nbu files to restore the backups to any phone which is supported by Nokia PC or OVI suite.

You can also use Nokia Explorer to browse and view the contents of the .nbu files, and also export the data to be used in or other compatible software, which support the VCS or VCF format.

Read a review of Nokia Backup Explorer and download it to access and browse .nbu files.

Switch Back to Old Facebook News Feed

If you are one of the many people who were surprised to see a new homepage on , here is a quick tip that will allow you to switch back to the old Facebook Feed.


Step 1: Click on the more link in the sidebar in Facebook Home.

drag_facebook_status_updates status_updates_on_top

Step 2: Drag the Status Updates menu item and add it to the top of the sidebar.

Step 3: Refreshing the page will now display the live feed to you instead of the news feed by default. Enjoy.

You can also make use of Facebook Lite ( to view status updates instead of news feeds as default.

[via Steve Rubel Lifestream]

Get Rid of Explore Feature in Google Reader

Google recently added a new feature to called Explore, which suggests new feeds to users based on their reading habits.

google_reader_explore removed_explore_section

Many users apparently did not like this new feature, and there is no way to opt-out of the Explore feature as of now. If you are one of the disgruntled users, who do not want to have this thrown on your face, you can get rid of Explore in Google Reader by using a script for .

This works on too, however you need to add a new start switch to Chrome. You can find the instructions on how to install Greasemonkey scripts in Chrome. You will need to edit the script, once you have saved it in the User scripts folder for Chrome.


Just change the .tld to whichever Top level domain you use to access Google Reader in Chrome, in my example I changed .tld to .com. You might have to do the same in Firefox too. Thanks Shiva

Download Google Reader Remove Explore

How To Create Forms Using Google Docs

A lot of people know that Google Docs can be used to create spreadsheets, word documents and presentations, but not everybody knows that you can also create forms and surveys using Google Docs.

Here are some simple instructions on how to do that:

1. From your Gmail or Google account, click on Documents. This will take you to Google Docs.

2. In Google Docs, click the create new button on the top-left corner and select forms.

3. If you want to customize the look of your form, click on Theme and choose a theme you like.

4. To add new questions or boxes to the for, click the add item button.

That’s it. You can add questions, paragraphs, check boxes, lists and multiple choice questions to your form. Once your form is saved, you can email it to the recipients or embed it on a website without any hassle. You can also come back to the form to view the responses or make any changes to your   form.

Access Wolfram Alpha Free in iPhone & iPod Touch

Wolfram Alpha just released a new app in the Apple app store for $50, we thought it to be a ridiculous price and asked users to vote on it. If you are looking to access Wolfram Aplha from your iPhone or iPod touch, here is how you can save yourself $50 and do it without having to buy the expensive app.

It is a pretty old trick, but still many of you might not know about it. You might not be able to access all the features available in the application, but what the heck you are saving $50. So here goes.

Adding Wolfram Alpha to the Home Screen as a App link

 wolframalpha_iphone_url wolframalpha_bookmark_app   wolframalpha_save_iphone_home_screen

Step 1: Open Safari and browse to

Step 2: Click on the + symbol in Safari to add the site as a bookmark. In the bookmark options click on the Add to Home Screen button.

Step 3: Give the bookmark a appropriate name and click on the Add button.

Once you follow the above steps, you will see a new icon in the home screen, which will allow you to directly access the Wolfram Alpha site.

Search using Wolfram Alpha for Free on iPhone & iPod Touch

wolframalpha_iphone_app_icon wolframalpha_iphone_search wolfram_alpha_iphone_results

Step 1: Go to your home screen and click on the Wolfram Alpha icon. This will open the webpage in Safari.

Step 2: Click on the search box and enter your query and click on the Go button.

Wait a few seconds for the results to come up, it will be pretty similar to the results that the $50 Wolfram Alpha iPhone app will display to you. There, we saved you 50 bucks. Have fun and enjoy.

How to Find Your iPhone/iPod Touch OS Version?

Want to know which version of iPhone/iPod Touch OS you are using? No problem, all it takes is a few seconds. Follow the steps given below to find the version of OS installed on your iPhone or iPod touch.

iphone_ipod_touch_settings  ipod_touch_settings_screen iphone_ipod_current_os_version

Step 1: Click on the home button on your iPhone and go to settings. In the settings screen, click on General.

Step 2: At the top of the general screen click on About. Scroll down a bit and you will see your current OS version.