Registry hack gives Windows XP five more years of updates

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Not ready to give up on Windows XP just yet? Then here’s some good news. It looks like you can score yourself five more years of Windows updates with about 15 seconds worth of work. All it takes is a simple registry edit.

Fire up regedit and navigate to HKLM\Sytem\WPA and create a new key call PosReady. Click on that new key, add a new DWORD value, and set it to 1. From now on, Windows Update won’t see a Windows XP computer when it checks for new patches from Microsoft.

Instead, your system will report itself as a Windows POSReady device. Why does that matter? Because POSReady systems are slated to receive updates until 2019. It’s a slightly different version of Windows that’s retooled for use mainly on embedded systems. Clearly, however, its codebase is similar enough to XP that you can install the updates‘ on a “disguised” system.

The edit I’ve mentioned will work on a 32-bit XP system. The 64-bit version is slightly different, but this step-by-step tutorial is easy enough to follow.

All told, that’s a whopping 18 years of updates for Windows XP. Not a bad run for Microsoft’s first really solid consumer OS. But does it really make sense to tweak your registry to snag a few more patches?

If there’s really no way you can justify spending the money on a new system or an OS upgrade and you’re not comfortable installing Linux on your system, the answer is yes. You might be running a rickety old OS, but at least recently-discovered holes will get a fresh coat of Bondo applied to them. Or at least duct tape. As a bonus, you should also stop seeing those annoying pop-up alerts.

But remember that XP as a whole isn’t anywhere near as secure as Windows 7 or Windows 8. Heck, even Vista’s infection rates were lower. It’s not built from the ground up to resist modern malware, and if Microsoft figures out a different way to distinguish POSReady machines and neutralizes this particular registry tweak… Well, your luck will have run out again.

If you can scrape together the cash for an update, do it. Commit your XP system to the recycling center and never look back — or if you must, convert it to a virtual machine first and then dump it.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. emoztar says:

    Reblogged this on Information Technology.

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