Owners of computers still powered by Windows XP are likely not too happy that Microsoft has ended official unpaid support for the operating system, leaving them vulnerable to exploits that were previously patched out by Microsoft’s regular OS updates.

But never fear, the internet is here to tell you how to get an extra five years of support for the operating system through a relatively simple hack that makes your PC think it’s running Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, the version of XP that Microsoft specifically developed to run on point-of-sale PCs.

That operating system is based on Windows XP, but unlike XP it will get official support from Microsoft by way of security patches and bugfixes until April 9, 2019.

To enable those updates to install on your machine, you must make sure which version of XP you’re running – 32-bit or 64-bit – and then do the following:

For 32-bit machines, create a text document called epicwindowshack.reg (or anything you like, really, so long as the extension is .reg).

Then type the following in there:

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

Now save and close it and double click the file. The .reg extension ensures its content is added to your registry, and once you’ve rebooted your PC will think it’s not Windows XP anymore. It will therefore see updates and bugfixes for Windows Embedded POSready 2009 when you open Windows Update; these updates must be manually selected and downloaded, though – they won’t install automatically.

The solution for hooking up 64-bit machines with updates is quite a bit more complex. For that, go here – it’s where the 32-bit hack originated. The 64-bit solution is a lot harder than a simple registry hack, so come prepared.

A word of warning – while the updates may install, you may be in for some unpredictable behaviour once the hack is working since you’re essentially using updates not specifically intended for your exact operating system. Even so, it beats shelling out two grand or so for a new OS, right?

Lastly, it must be said that Microsoft’s response to the ZDNet article detailing the process was that people should instead upgrade to a newer operating system as Windows Embedded POSready 2009 updates “do not fully protect Windows XP customers”.

[Source – ZDNet]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.