Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 924166 - Last Review: February 9, 2007 - Revision: 1.4


Consider the following scenario. You request a download from the Microsoft Download Center or from the Windows Update Web site. You are prompted to complete the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation check process to validate your copy of Microsoft Windows XP. You click Yes, please validate Windows and take me to the download, and then you click Continue. In this scenario, you receive the following error message:
Windows Activation Required
Windows must be activated in order to determine if the Windows product key installed on this computer is genuine.
Additionally, when you run the following command to activate Windows, the Activate Windows window does not appear:
%WINDIR%\system32\oobe\msoobe /a


This issue occurs if the Wpa.dbl file is set as read-only. For example, the Wpa.dbl file may be set to read only if it was restored from a CD-ROM.


To resolve this problem, remove the read-only attribute of the Wpa.dbl file. To do this, click Start, click Run, type attrib -r %windir%\system32\wpa.dbl, and then click OK.


For more information about WGA, visit the following Microsoft Web site: (
For more information about WGA, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
892130   ( ) Description of Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)
916247   ( ) Windows Genuine Advantage does not validate a copy of Windows XP
For more information about how to activate Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307890   ( ) How to activate Windows XP

  • Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
kbqfe kberrmsg kbprb kbexpertisebeginner KB924166
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