May 242014
 

XP Hex hackingJust when things went crazy enough with my backporting of Server 2003 updates to Windows XP Pro x64 Edition, here comes the next “bomb”! User [MasterOf486er] on the [Voodooalert forums]German flag posted a link to the well known German website Winfuture, which focuses primarily on all things Windows. And they describe a way of hacking up Windows XP 32-Bit to act like a Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 system, [see here]German flag! Those so-called “POS” or “Point of Service” systems are typically airport terminals, train/subway ticket vending machines or ATMs and other systems running in Kiosk modes.

And Windows XP based POSReady 2009 systems are supported until [2019-04-09]!

The hack is rather simple, all you need to do to make your 32-Bit Windows XP act as an Embedded POSReady 2009 machine is to add the following to your systems registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]
 "Installed"=dword:00000001

I have prepared a .reg file for your enjoyment, that you can just download and double click as Administrator after unpacking:

After entering the data to your registry, re-check Windows Updates, and you should be getting the goods! As always, you’ll have to do this at your own risk, no guarantees for anything from my side. But for now it seems to be working for people on XP 32-Bit!

Please note, that you might be violating Microsofts Windows XP EULA by applying this hack, so you’ve been warned!

Edit: We now have an official statement by a Microsoft spokesperson regarding the POSReady hack. As always, take with a grain of salt. [Source];

“We recently became aware of a hack that purportedly aims to provide security updates to Windows XP customers. 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 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.”

They do have a point there though. While we got an IE8 and .Net update, even the lightweight shell library update, there is no guarantee that every hole will be plugged, as POSReady 2009 systems are reduced feature set XPs after all. Also, the updates are naturally untested on regular XP machines, so there is risk. Still, I consider running XP in “POSReady 2009” mode being a better option still, when compared to just run it in “08th of April, 2014” state.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Windows XP 32-Bit support until 2019? by The GAT at XIN.at is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  2 Responses to “Windows XP 32-Bit support until 2019?”

  1. Just a heads-up that I applied this hack to my dual boot XP system (two separate and legit XP systems housed in one box with multiple drives) and the boot partition information was erased on reboot. I’m guessing the mbr was damaged and I’m working towards repairing it – luckily I can still boot from the second system – and to complicate matters I don’t have the original XP CD with me (it’s inaccessible for now – long story) so it’ll be a little while before I can see what damage might have occurred.

    Not your fault, obviously – but just be aware that the hack can fail spectacularly.

    • Hi Peter,

      Whoa, now that’s some pretty nasty shit. I have so far tried this on just one XP machine (my subnotebook), without any issues. I would’ve expected some trouble in the future, but nothing that severe. Maybe you can analyze the affected drive from your secondary XP installation? Would be really interesting to know what could’ve gone so horribly wrong.

      I hope you can get your OS back soon, I didn’t mean to cause you any trouble. I need to check whether other people on the web have had similar experiences.

      Edit: I just re-tested my subnotebook, still working. Nonetheless, I’m now doing a full backup of the machines’ SSD, one can never be too careful.

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