More than 21 years after its release, Microsoft’s operating system that won’t die is enjoying a new life. It is possible to activate new installations of Windows XP, safely, without cracks, offline.
A blog post on tinyapps has revealed the hot news that no one was expecting: the algorithm and methods Microsoft uses to validate Windows XP product keys have not only been defeated, but it can even be done using Linux.
In all, it is possible to generate valid activation codes for Windows XP, without an Internet connection, which is useful because the operating system as it is can no longer talk to Microsoft’s servers to activate.
From what we can tell, the product activation algorithm was cracked some time ago, and in 2019 an open source key generator was released that promised it could produce “Windows keys Endless XP”. This program required external activation services to complete the installation of the operating system, which is tricky if these are no longer usable.
Then last year, someone shared a Windows executable that could calculate and generate the confirmation ID codes needed to complete the installation process, all offline. So you take product key generator and ID output .exe file, use them together and you can activate Windows XP without internet or help from Microsoft.
This month, this open source key generator was forked and patched to work on Linux. It still seems to need the ID generator .exe, but hey, at least it works and the hack protection has been thwarted.
The mysterious executable is also being reverse engineered to find out how it works.
It is not A recommendation
A word of caution and restraint. Please do not consider this article as a recommendation for running Windows XP. It wasn’t the most secure operating system in 2001, and you Really shouldn’t run it in 2023 — especially not on anything connected to the internet.
However, in saying this, the problem is that sometimes people need For. There is, for example, hardware that only works with Windows XP and won’t work with anything newer…and some of that might be very expensive hardware that’s still fully functional, but needs an outdated version Windows for a long time. to make it work.
If you’re cluttered with such a device, or if you have specific, very particular software that you need to run that doesn’t work properly on a newer version of Windows, you may be forced to use XP. If so, one of the issues is that Microsoft has disabled the activation servers, so even if you install a new, clean copy, you can no longer activate it over the internet.
As FYI, we are told that the Phone Activation service for Win XP is still working, so this may be an option for you. Some people also offer other ways to perform Windows XP online activation that still works.
We tested the XP keygen tools in question on a new XP Mode VM in VirtualBox – the handy add-on for Windows 7 that we wrote almost a decade ago. (Obviously that was a while ago now, and Microsoft has removed the downloads from their website – but there is a copy on the Internet Archive, as of course there is the install CD itself. )
If you’re absolutely determined to go online with XP in the 2020s, you won’t get far with Internet Explorer 6.0. Even installing IE 8, the latest version for XP, won’t help much – it can’t open Microsoft.com anymore, for example. Seamonkey version 2.49.5 is the latest open source browser we know of that still works on XP, but you can also try Opera version 36, which you can find further down the company’s download page. .
Avast also offers a version of its free antivirus program that will still work on XP. We hope we don’t need to point this out, but we don’t recommend going to random download sites you find on Google to get older versions. If it’s legit, you can probably always get it directly from the vendor – unless that vendor is Microsoft, in which case you’re on your own. For once, we can’t quite blame him.
The same tinyapps.org site itself is a treasure trove of minimalist apps for this long-obsolete operating system. We’re told there’s an active community of XP fans on the internet helping each other with tips for keeping this geriatric code running today, but really, seriously, don’t unless you have absolutely no alternative. If this is an option, run it in a virtual machine and keep it isolated from the internet. ®
Editor’s note: This article has been revised to include more information about the modifications and development of the open-source keygen program.