Microsoft's latest Service Pack for Windows XP has found its way onto the Internet. Reports say that users who are running illegal copies of the operating system will run into problems. It turns out this is true, although in this guide by Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot, he shows us how to avoid this obstacle with a work-around to install Service Pack 1 for those of you who use Windows XP.
IntroductionBy now many of you would have discovered that Microsoft's first Service Pack for Windows XP is among us, whether Microsoft like it or not. Recently a press release was issued by the software giant saying the Service Pack would be released on the 9th of September to end-users but as it happens, it was leaked before this date by beta testers and folks in the know - what a surprise.As far as I have seen there is no official word available to us on what the Service Pack actually improves. Although judging from the past we can safely assume it will improve performance and stability, as well as included the latest security updates and new features such as Windows Media Player 9 which is included in Service Pack 1. On the other hand it will most likely also bring with it a whole bread of new problems...During our testing we didn't notice too many drastic physical changes to the OS after installing the Service Pack, but I'm sure there would be many changes "under the hood", so to speak - For one we noticed in Office applications that things were quicker, well more responsive at least. For those wanting to update to Service Pack 1, there has been a lot of talk on several other websites regarding Microsoft attempting to stop users of pirated copies of Windows XP from updating, which is partly the reason for the publication of this guide.Nobody likes piracy and we certainly don't usually condone it but these days it's unavoidable, wherever you turn or look. For the enthusiast crowd anyway, it's almost mainstream - the term "crack" is becoming a well-known term even amongst the not so tech-savvy users in the computing world. Friends of mine who have been using computers for no more than 6 months already have half their programs on their computers cracked and are fully aware of the consequences.Since Windows XP Service Pack 1 leaked its way onto the Internet people have been asking me regularly how to update when they are promoted during installation that they are running an illegal copy of Windows. This guide will explain how to get around this obstacle - Let's face it, these users are already running an illegal copy of Windows - can further harm really be done?Depending on how you look at it, there is two answers to this question - Let's continue on anyway, even with the possibility of Microsoft pulling a knife to my throat.How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?
XP SP1 Updating - Let's Get Started
Let's Get StartedThe process of updating to Windows XP Service Pack 1 is not as difficult as you might imagine. In fact, it is fairly simple actually.Step 1 - First of all you will need to download the 133mb Service Pack 1 file from the Internet ready for installation, if you can find a working mirror anywhere. I would have recommended you getting it from Microsoft servers but from the time it took to write this guide Microsoft pulled it from their Premier Download section. So, here are a list of mirrors I have found that work at time of writing this guide - Keep trying, one of them will work eventually.- Mirror #1- Mirror #2- Mirror #3- Mirror #4As we find more mirrors we will add them here, if you know any others please do us a favor and email us with the details!If you have no luck finding the file, alternatively you can wait a few days till Microsoft officially release the Service Pack to the public.Step 2 - Once you have downloaded the file you will need to also go ahead and download the sneaky Windows XP serial key changer - This is the program which makes the installation of Windows XP Service Pack 1 possible for you naughty folks out there that use an illegal copy of Windows. If you don't change your serial key you'll get booted out of the install process half way through with the following error message.
Of course, if you are one of those good folks who have a legit version of Windows, you can skip this section and jump straight to the installation of the Service Pack. The program we will use to change your serial key is readily available all over the Internet - Microsoft asked us a few days to remove the file from our servers, but a friend offered to host the file on his servers for us. Download the Serial Key Changer program and Viewer here.How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?
XP SP1 Updating - Let's Get Started Continued
Let's Get Started - ContinuedStep 3 - Now that you have downloaded the Serial Key Changer and Viewer from our servers we are ready to go ahead and change your serial key. If you are using a pirated version of Windows XP Corporate Edition chances are you are using the same serial key which the majority of other people use, and it won't work when go you to install the update. The Serial Key Changer program will give you a list of serial keys which will work when updating. Open the Serial Key Changer by running "XPProCorp-keyChanger.exe"; it will bring up a new window with a DOS based program as pictured below.
After the serial keys have been generated you will be prompted with the following screen which let's you activate Windows.
From here you need to select, "Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows" - Don't worry, we don't actually do it. After choosing this option you will then be taken to the following screen.
It doesn't actually matter what country you choose from the Step 1 field, as we won't be calling anyone. Ignore the rest and skip down to the bottom and click the Change Product Key button which will bring you to the following screen.
How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?
XP SP1 Updating - Let's Get Started Continued Again
Let's Get Started - Continued AgainNow refer back to the Serial Key Changer program and simply choose one and type it into the New key field area as shown in the picture above. Once you've done that click the Update button. It will then proceed to update your serial key and bring you back to the Activate Windows by Phone screen. From here you can close this screen; your Windows serial key has been changed.To confirm that your serial key has changed correctly to the one you choose from the Serial Key Changer Program you need to go ahead and open the Serial Key Viewer program by opening the file "WindowsXP Product Key Viewer.exe" which looks a little something like this.
Step 4 - Now that we have changed your serial key we are ready to go ahead and begin the install process of Windows XP Service Pack 1. Locate the update file and open it, you will be promoted with the "Welcome to the Windows XP Service Pack 1 Setup Wizard", click Next to continue. Next up you will need to agree to the license agreement which is followed by the option to either Archive Files or Do Not Archive Files. It is recommended that you do choose the Archive Files option in case you happen to run into problems after installation.Now you should have the installation process happening, depending on the speed of your system the update should install in rough 10 - 20 minutes (maybe longer), especially if you choose the Archive Files option which makes the process quite a bit longer.
After the installation process is finally finished you will be promoted to reboot your PC - go ahead and restart your system. Once you are back into Windows you will have Service Pack 1 installed. To confirm that it did actually install okay, go to your desktop, highlight My Computer and press ALT + Enter together and you should see a screen similar to the one below like on my system.
How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?
XP SP1 Updating - Conclusion
ConclusionOK folks, so we didn't exactly do it the legit way but as we said in the introduction, if you were already running an illegal copy of Windows what further harm could really be done. By now you should be basking in the glory of the latest Service Pack for Windows XP, at least all the latest bug fixes and security updates.If anyone has any comments or questions regarding this guide please direct them to the Windows XP section of our forums. I will not be answering question through email unless you are Bill Gates or someone of similar importance firing me with abuse.Until next time, take care!How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?
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Cameron founded TweakTown in 1999 after it originally started off as his personal homepage. Cameron was once, many years ago, the only person at TweakTown producing content, but nowadays, he spends his time ensuring TweakTown operates at its best in his senior management role.
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