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Replacing Hardware

Sooner or later, everyone has to replace some hardware on his or her computer. It might be the replacement of a malfunctioning network card, a disk drive that is starting to fail, or just installing a faster video card. If your version of Windows XP is not part of an Open License or Enterprise purchase, then you may find that when you have replaced a new piece of hardware, your installation will require that you reactivate Windows XP to continue to use it.

Windows Activation

Windows Product Activation (WPA) was created by Microsoft to discourage casual copying of Microsoft products. Due to security reasons, Microsoft is not providing information on exactly what type of hardware is used to create the hardware key contained in your Windows XP product ID. Nor is Microsoft providing information on exactly how many changes are allowed before the product will be required to be reactivated. What is important to know is that if you change your hardware sufficiently, you may be required to reactivate it.


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