Officially, Windows XP support is over on April 8, 2014. This means, if you still have Windows XP, you will not receive any updates or security patches from Microsoft. Although, in some exceptional situations, Microsoft may release an update (as seen when Microsoft released IE patch for Windows XP. But these exceptions are very rare. Without updates and security patches Windows XP is vulnerable to attacks. Microsoft has pushed users to upgrade their operating system to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Microsoft issued many warnings to Windows XP users who aren’t upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8 or higher operating system. Well, many users did listened to the Redmond software giant and upgraded their operating system. But there are still many Windows XP users who are not upgrading. For these die-hard Windows XP fans, here comes something which is surely going to make you happy. It seems there’s a trick that can revive Windows XP to live for a few more months or years. This trick will let users download Windows XP updates despite official end of support. (Please read the WARNING message)
Brief overview of the trick used to get Windows XP updates after end of support
The trick is first published on a forum (see the source link at the end of the article). It claims that if a user fools Windows Update service by faking the identity of Windows XP and show itself as Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, Windows Update service allows the operating system to download updates and security patches.
Difference between Windows XP and Windows Embedded POSReady 2009
According to the official Microsoft Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 FAQ, the difference between Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and Windows XP is as follows:
- Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 contains the following Embedded Enabling Features:
- File-Based Write Filter (FBWF), which redirects writes to disk to RAM and helps protect the underlying OS image.
- USB Boot, which allows installation from a USB key.
- Office productivity applications are not licensed to be run on POSReady.
- POS for .NET is included with POSReady.
- POSReady does not contain Help files, which reduces its footprint.
- Both products use the same management software.
The screenshot below will clear your doubts about the differences between the two operating systems. You can download the PDF version from this link.
Digging deeper, you can see, the difference between the two operating systems is very little. Which means the updates released for POSReady 2009 can be applied to Windows XP too. But, before unveiling the trick, we want to share a small fact about Windows Embedded POSReady 2009. POSReady 2009 will continue getting updates until April 9, 2019. That alone is going to put a smile on many Windows XP users who don’t want to upgrade yet. Thus by faking the identity of Windows XP, you can download updates for 5 more years or until Microsoft blocks the trick.
How To Fake Windows XP as Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 And Receive Updates?
Follow the instructions below to change the identity of Windows XP and receive updates:
- Open Notepad in Windows XP (Press Windows + R and type notepad, press Enter).
- Copy and paste the following in Notepad. In place of POSReady, you can also use WEPOS or WES.
- Press Ctrl + S to save the file.
- While saving, change the Save as type to All files. Give it a relevant name but change the extension to
- Double-click on the file to import and apply the registry entries.
- Reboot your computer. After reboot, log in to your account and check of updates. You may find many new updates, available for download.
We still recommend all Windows XP users to upgrade their Windows operating system to the latest or use an alternative operating system like Linux.
Microsoft has issued a statement to ZDNet, warning users against using this trick to get Windows XP updates.
“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.”
We recommend Windows XP users to upgrade to the latest Windows operating system. The best way to be secure is to upgrade to a latest operating system Windows 8.1. If you are not willing to upgrade to Windows 8.1, the best option is to upgrade to Windows 7.