Microsoft’s operating system that won’t die is getting new life more than 21 years after it was first released. It is possible to activate new installations – safe and secure, no crack, offline.
A blog post from Tinyapps reveals the hot news that no one in their right mind has been waiting for. The algorithm that Microsoft uses to validate Windows XP product keys has been hacked and re-implemented. As a result, it is now possible to generate valid activation codes for Windows XP without an Internet connection, even though Microsoft has disabled all activation servers.
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But first a word of caution and restraint. Please Do not take this article as advice for running Windows XP. It wasn’t the most secure of operating systems in 2001, and you indeed it should not be launched in 2023; especially on anything connected to the internet.
But the problem with saying that is that sometimes people need to. For example, there’s 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anything newer…and some of that might be very expensive hardware that’s still perfectly functional but requires a long-outdated version of Windows. to exploit it.
If you’re dealing with such a device, or have some special and very specific software that you need to run that doesn’t work properly on any newer version of Windows, you may be forced to use XP. If so, one of the problems is that Microsoft has disabled the activation servers, so even if you install a clean fresh copy, you can no longer activate it over the internet. (Supposedly the phone activation service still works if that’s an option for you).
We tested the tool fresh XP mode VM in VirtualBox – a very handy add-on for Windows 7 that we wrote about nearly a decade ago. (Obviously that was a long time ago and Microsoft has removed the downloads from their site, but there is a copy of it on the Internet Archive, as is of course the installation CD itself).
If you’re absolutely determined to get online with XP in the 2020s, you won’t get far with Internet Explorer 6.0. Even installing IE 8, the latest version of XP, won’t help much; it can no longer open Microsoft.com, for example. Seamonkey version 2.49.5 is about the last open source browser we’re aware of that still works on XP, but you can also try the Opera 36 version, which you’ll find on the company’s downloads page.
Avast also offers a version of its free antivirus program that will still work on XP. We hope you don’t need to point this out, but we recommend that you don’t go to random download sites you find on Google to get old versions. If it’s legit, you can probably still get it directly from the seller, unless that seller is Microsoft, in which case you’re on your own. For once, we can’t entirely blame it.
The same website tinyapps.org itself is a treasure trove of minimalist apps for this long-outdated OS. We’re told there’s an active community of XP fans on the internet helping each other out with advice on how to run this geriatric code today, but really, seriously, please don’t unless you have absolutely no choice. If that’s an option, run it in a VM and keep it isolated from the internet. ®