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Microsoft Says Don't Use Windows XP Registry Hack

By - Source: BetaNews | B 21 comments

Microsoft warns against using a workaround to receive Windows XP updates.

On Tuesday, Microsoft warned Windows XP customers not to use a registry fix discovered on Monday, reporting that the best defense is to upgrade to Windows 7 or newer, not enable security fixes on an outdated operating system.

"We recently became aware of a hack that purportedly aims to provide security updates to Windows XP customers," Microsoft tells Tom's Hardware. "The security updates that could be installed are intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers."

"Windows XP customers also run a significant risk of functionality issues with their machines if they install these updates, as they are not tested against Windows XP," the company adds. "The best way for Windows XP customers to protect their systems is to upgrade to a more modern operating system, like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1."

On Monday, BetaNews posted instructions on how to receive security updates for Windows XP Service Pack 3 for the next five years. According to the site, the workaround makes the aging platform look like Windows Embedded Industry, which will receive updates until April 2019. These updates would have also been applied to Windows XP as well had Microsoft not cut the lifeline. Applying these updates without the hack would cause a version mismatch error.

The registry hack is actually rather simple. Create a text document and name it as "XP.reg," copy and paste three lines of code inside the file, save it, and then double-click on it to modify the registry. After that, Windows XP should automatically retrieve updates that are designed for Windows Embedded Industry. How long this will last is unknown at this point.

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP back in April. Since then, the company has released one additional patch beyond that date. Now Microsoft only provides Windows XP updates to companies that made arrangements with Microsoft prior to the platform's official retirement.

BetaNews reports that this workaround only works on the 32-bit version of Windows XP Service Pack 3. A version for the 64-bit version can be accessed here.

Add your comment Display 21 Comments.
  • -8 Hide
    StarBound , May 28, 2014 12:15 PM
    Seriously why does MS still care? They said its over or did they 180 more than just the xbone?
  • 3 Hide
    jimmysmitty , May 28, 2014 12:24 PM
    Quote:
    Seriously why does MS still care? They said its over or did they 180 more than just the xbone?


    They are trying to stop people from doing something that could cause major issues to their system. I like that they are willing to warn people even though XPs support is now dead.
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , May 28, 2014 12:34 PM
    Wow this is awesome! Time to spread the word.

    I'd guess windows update would search and allow you to easily install updates (instead of having to download manually) and I'm curious if all the updates ever done for embedded XP will try to install, which may be largely duplicates of regular XP updates.


    My advice is to try it on a crap machine to see if the updates have any harmful affects before installing on your beloved computer.
  • 1 Hide
    Shin-san , May 28, 2014 1:14 PM
    Quote:
    Seriously why does MS still care? They said its over or did they 180 more than just the xbone?
    It's old software, and the Windows codebase is huge. They probably want to work on their newer products
  • 6 Hide
    cryptz , May 28, 2014 1:15 PM
    ... and development on a XP bricking update begins. If you can justify keeping xp at this point not needing updates should be part of your justification process and this shouldnt really concern you.
  • 0 Hide
    knowom , May 28, 2014 2:35 PM
    Microsoft says don't try these updates go buy "our" newer OS. Microsoft says 7 is outdated go buy our newer OS Windows 8. Windows 9 is released Microsoft says Windows 8 is outdated and less secure go buy Windows 9.

    Windows XP users say if and when we move away from XP we'll be moving on to Linux because it's clear where you drew the line in the sand and clear how you left unfixed known security risk back doors.
  • -1 Hide
    ahnilated , May 28, 2014 2:35 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Seriously why does MS still care? They said its over or did they 180 more than just the xbone?


    They are trying to stop people from doing something that could cause major issues to their system. I like that they are willing to warn people even though XPs support is now dead.

    You mean they are trying to keep their money train rolling down the tracks to their bank.
  • 6 Hide
    back_by_demand , May 28, 2014 3:25 PM
    Quote:
    Microsoft says don't try these updates go buy "our" newer OS. Microsoft says 7 is outdated go buy our newer OS Windows 8. Windows 9 is released Microsoft says Windows 8 is outdated and less secure go buy Windows 9.

    Windows XP users say if and when we move away from XP we'll be moving on to Linux because it's clear where you drew the line in the sand and clear how you left unfixed known security risk back doors.

    People have been threatening to go Linux after the next version of Windows for nearly 20 years. If it was going happen they would have done it by now, not still be floundering at less than 1% on the desktop.
  • 3 Hide
    NightLight , May 28, 2014 4:42 PM
    good, and i hope all internet explorer versions below 7-8 get dropped too. Nightmare to code for all of those.
  • -1 Hide
    JD88 , May 28, 2014 9:47 PM
    "The best way for Windows XP customers to protect their systems is to upgrade to a more modern operating system, like Linux or Chrome."

    Fixed.
  • 3 Hide
    Darkk , May 28, 2014 10:56 PM
    As a hard core Linux user I am a little disappointed. Here you are promoting the hacks to keep Windows XP alive despite the fact the OS is 12 years old!! Come on. It's time to move on. Either Windows 7 or Linux. Do all of us a favor...dump WinXP!
  • -2 Hide
    rokit , May 28, 2014 11:16 PM
    Quote:
    As a hard core Linux user I am a little disappointed. Here you are promoting the hacks to keep Windows XP alive despite the fact the OS is 12 years old!! Come on. It's time to move on. Either Windows 7 or Linux. Do all of us a favor...dump WinXP!

    Why should you even care? Are you selling notebooks or PCs?

    There are reasons why XP users don't go anywhere:
    1) special software. Proprietary software on proprietary OS makes you stick with it(its simply doesn't wok on the newer ones and programmer is long away or company charges too much for an upgrade), i know alot of people who're slowly moving to dump it and pay for the new open one and move on Linux.
    2) "don't touch it if it works". Usually if people made their system too depandable and it works or/and they have bunch of old PCs there is simply no point for them to move Linux and they don't even think about moving MS OSes.
    3) combination of 1 and 2

    Because of the above reasons movement to Linux is abit slowed. But going by companies i know of more than 30% already moved, around 10% are slowly moving and almost 40% are thinking about moving since they will upgrade hardware anyway and sticking to MS proved to be unrealiable.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , May 28, 2014 11:19 PM
    Quote:
    People have been threatening to go Linux after the next version of Windows for nearly 20 years. If it was going happen they would have done it by now, not still be floundering at less than 1% on the desktop.

    Yeah, but this is now... not then. Things have changed. Microsoft no longer controls the OS market. Just the desktop. More people use Android and iOS as their COMPUTER... NOT Windows.

    Since the consoles get all the games... other than MS-Office and Quickbooks... most people simply do not need Windows.

    Windows 8 sucked so bad, I erased it - installed LinuxMint (which costs $0) and my wife (who isn't a computer expert) had no problems using it. Browsers, OpenOffice, etc... worked fine for her needs.
  • 0 Hide
    DSpider , May 28, 2014 11:27 PM
    Arch Linux as my main OS and MicroXP/TinyXP (slimmed down versions) in VirtualBox for the 1% of software that I cannot find a Linux alternative. Couldn't be any more happier. Microsoft can suck it. Also, Adobe can suck it too. Been Flash-free for about 2 years now. Don't need it, don't want it. Browsing experience is much better without it.
  • -2 Hide
    rickl7069 , May 29, 2014 3:42 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    They are trying to stop people from doing something that could cause major issues to their system. I like that they are willing to warn people even though XPs support is now dead.

    Seriously? Did you really say that Microsoft is saying this because they care?
    Anything ANY company does should always be viewed in the context of how much money they will profit and, obviously, everyone upgrading would be quite profitable. It's not that Microsoft is evil, they are in business and the only reason most people go to work is to earn a living.
  • 1 Hide
    spartanmk2 , May 29, 2014 7:47 AM
    Budgets are tight for everyone. If a company is using XP, its probably for a good reason. Example, at the college I work for, our Life Science dept utilizes a couple laptops running XP for some defunct companies' heart beat monitors and software. If they were to upgrade to windows 7 they would also need new software licenses and probably new monitoring hardware.
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , May 29, 2014 8:13 AM
    the only thing microsoft cares about is your money. someone found an exploit and microsoft is using scare tactics to try to keep people that didn't pay for exclusive windows xp updates away from downloading them.
  • 0 Hide
    Starman80 , May 29, 2014 8:54 AM
    Yes this is a great hack, never thought it would be so easy to apply the POSReady 2009 updates to a regular XP system. The only issue I thought of that might come up is with regards to getting updates for Office 2007 or 2010, as the Embedded versions of Windows don't support MS Office, so MS Update might not continue to download updates for these products once the patch is applied. But we'll have to see, and I'm sure this registry key could be reversed if necessary to get Office updates.
  • 0 Hide
    Starman80 , May 29, 2014 8:56 AM
    Quote:
    the only thing microsoft cares about is your money. someone found an exploit and microsoft is using scare tactics to try to keep people that didn't pay for exclusive windows xp updates away from downloading them.


    I agree, and only caring about money is the hallmark of a corrupt company. They've been getting worse these last several years, but hopefully will see the light that customer service is more important.
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , May 29, 2014 10:27 AM
    Best advice here is simple:

    1. Proceed at your own risk using updates not intended for XP

    2. Don't be surprised when you "break" your OS

    If you are good with this, then good luck. However, it is past time to move on.
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