How To: Windows XP Updates Until 2019

Microsoft’s “best ever” operating system was recently discontinued for security updates.  Windows XP is supposedly left in the dust, much like Windows 2000, Me, 98, 95, et al.  In the case of Windows 2k NT, the source code was leaked years ago making it virtually impossible to keep secure.  Windows XP is still being used by several PC users around the world, but Microsoft would rather make a buck by you upgrading.  That’s not something I take personal, or even think much about since I rely on Linux distributions for most of my computing needs. Fortunately, for all of you who either aren’t bothered to learn about Linux (FREE STUFF) or cannot afford to upgrade to a new system or a Mac, there’s hope.  This is a working means of extending the life of your Windows XP operating system for five more years, thanks to the dedication of Microsoft to it’s Windows Embedded Industry (formerly known as Windows Embedded POSReady).  It’s likely that your original XP compatible PC hardware will not even last another five years, but enough of the bad news.  What you want to know is, “How do I do it?  How can I keep my XP computer secure?  I need to save money!”  We at BoroCast have the answer for you.

You can’t simply install the updates.  That would be too easy, and you’ll receive a version mismatch error if you try. But a simple registry tweak is enough to fix that.

Create a text document, and call it XP.reg. You’ll need to make sure .reg is the proper extension — so not “XP.reg.txt”. If it’s not showing up as a registry file, open any folder, go to Tools > Folder Options, select View and uncheck both ‘Show hidden files and folders’ and ‘Hide extensions for known file types’. That should fix the problem.  Just remember to revert these changes back when you are done.  No need to leave system files accessible in a file browser as the chance of wrecking your system by accidentally editing or deleting one of those files is high.

Right-click the file, and select Edit. Paste in the following:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady] “Installed”=dword:00000001

Save it, and then double-click the file. That will make that change to the registry. That’s all you need to do. Windows will now automatically fetch updates designed for POSReady 2009, ensuring XP remains protected for the foreseeable future.

This trick only works for 32-bit editions of XP, but there’s a workaround for 64-bit versions here.

Naturally, there’s no way of knowing how long this trick will work because Microsoft could put a stop to it at any moment. Also, because you’re installing updates for a system other than Windows XP, there’s the possibility that not all updates will work as intended. But it’s still worth a shot.  As long as you have System Restore enabled, you should be able to easily roll back to a pre-registry-tweak snapshot if necessary.  Needless to say, BoroCast does not assume responsibility or liability for any undesired results or consequences of using this guide.  As always, you have local help with your technology needs waiting at PC Depot, where they will advise that you simply install or have them install a Linux distribution of your choice.


Stacy George

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