Home > Windows > Change 2 Bytes and Windows XP Home becomes XP Professional Change 2 Bytes and Windows XP Home becomes XP Professional Eugenia Loli 2005-06-01 Windows 56 Comments German Computer magazine C’T (Heise) is describing in its current print issue how to change Windows XP Home to a Windows XP Professional version before install. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 56 Comments 2005-06-01 4:27 pm Seems too good to be true. 2005-06-01 4:29 pm There are different versions of Windows 2000(1 that can server 10 clients max, 1 that can server unlimited clients, etc.), although all actually share the same codebase. If I recall correctly, you can change between these versions via a registry key, but it is illegal and Windows recognizes the change, though I am not sure if they do anything about it. I suspect that the same thing will apply here too. 2005-06-01 4:33 pm I think that there was a kernel thread dedicated to monitoring the mentioned reg keys and changing them back it they were altered. I think the same hack was around for NT Workstation/Server as well. 2005-06-01 4:41 pm Simply shows there isn’t much difference between the pro and the regular versions altogether. 2005-06-01 4:43 pm > Seems too good to be true. I disagree. It’s even possible to install Windows 2000 without a product key. It’s very easy. I haven’t tested it for Windows XP, it works perfectly with Windows 2000. http://www.easydesksoftware.com/recovery.htm#XP If it is possible to disable the serial number, it sounds quite possible that there might be other tricks that work well. > If I recall correctly, you can change > between these versions via a registry > key, but it is illegal […] Do you *think* that it is illegal or do you *know* it? > […] and Windows recognizes the change, > though I am not sure if they do anything > about it. I don’t know that either, but I definitely know that Windows 2000 never complains if it was installed without a product key, as described above. 2005-06-01 4:48 pm Why would this be illegal? I can imagine it voids any sort of warranty since you tampered with the product but does the EULA explicitly prohibit this? And even if it does, is that even legally valid? Here in Europe I’m allowed to tamper with any product I own, as far as I know.. If not, I’ve committed a couple of crimes already by fixing several home appliances myself and “patching” old games on my 486 back in the day. 2005-06-01 4:50 pm Yaa you got that right theres nothing new in this. The same method is used to convert a trial copy of Windows Server 2003/XP Professional Edition to a legal one(with legal activation,serial key and updates). In Windows XP Professional x64 beta the 2-4 bytes (3 bytes total) contain the timebomb. It is 365 days and is encoded as e9 07 ie 9 * 7 = 63 and e is the 5th alphabet so 5. It would be read as 563 which actully contains the time 365 (in days). Anyways I am planning to use MS products now (not because its a bad company or the software isnt useful but because I did 6 activations and this would be my last one). And does anyone have a link to a guide/HOWTO for newbies on adding driver support in kernel (ie recompiling it). i specifically for newbies I dont want some very complicated stuff without simple instructions. 2005-06-01 4:51 pm Can’t be too different from the ATI Softmod. MSFT might send you a legal notice to scare you into removing the content, but I don’t believe there’s a legal precedent where they would win. 2005-06-01 5:10 pm It had to be discovered sooner or later – even though that’s not exactly “news”. Yep, you’re paying THAT much more for 16 bits, bro. 2005-06-01 5:14 pm Just read the article, and although it refers to “changing two bytes”, it does say that the main article is 8 pages long and involves burning a new CD. This leads me to beleive that there is more to it than just openign a file, altering two bytes and voila! Are we saying that the entire XP Pro code-base is on the Home CDs? Also from the article “some functions are missing”. So it is not “Windows XP Pro”. It sounds more like a half-way house with SOME of the Pro features. Does it support domains? Apparently, SP2 cannot be applied to this new OS. This is NOT the same as installing without a CD key. It produces quite a different effect. It installs a different (although similar) OS. 2005-06-01 5:25 pm It’s true that the general codebase is identical between Home and Pro. There’s no surprise in that — everyone knows it. The difference stems from what the OS thinks it is supposed to be “running” as. As long as you don’t need *extra* code (more on this in a second), you can make Home think it’s Pro, and you’ll get the benefit of SMP (Home only supports one physical CPU) and a blue boot bar instead of the ugly olive one. I’d say that’s pretty much it. All of Pro’s extra features come from extra components. Pro comes with IIS, Remote Desktop (the server part), dynamic disks, automated system recovery, and a bunch of other crap. This additional functionality comes from *extra* components that are installed/configured. You won’t get these if you perform this hack. Before any of you say “zomg omg!1! dat’s so lame becuz pro is so much more expensive!!1!1one linxu is FREE!!” or something equally retarded, remember that 99% of XP users only need the Home Edition, and those that need Pro for its extra features buy it for the extra features. 2005-06-01 5:31 pm This is not unusual. For example, Intel’s celeron processors are basically underclocked pentium processors with a reduced cache. Overclock a celeron and you have a pentium, though it will void your warranty. I suspect MS would tell you that you violated the user agreement… 2005-06-01 5:32 pm There’s a little program that changes some registry keys and can turn your Win 2000 Pro into a Win 2000 Server, same for Win NT4. So, I’m not surprised you can change Win XP Home into Win XP Pro. 2005-06-01 5:38 pm I will stick with w2k over xp any day of the week. I have xp pro; however, it is just a pain with respect to the hardware change and the re-registration process. Now, if there was a work around with respect to hardware in XP pro, I might be interested. 2005-06-01 5:51 pm Of course there is a workaround. Get a corporate version from one of the well known channels. Might not be very legal, but at least it won’t nag about activation when you change your setup. 2005-06-01 5:52 pm 1) How can we find out for sure if this is legal or not? Certainly, MS isn’t going to tell us? (I have the same question about buying music online from Russian mp3 sites.) 2) Assuming I am a home user without multiple CPUs, how would I actually benefit from running the Pro version of XP? 2005-06-01 5:57 pm I have that ct magazine right in front of me, and they made a chart where you can see what changes, and the *real* pro version has lots things more than the *homethatthinksitispro*. anyway i dont care, because in my point of view windows isn’t usefull. 2005-06-01 6:32 pm It just goes to show you how Microsoft enforces artificial product separation to extract more money out of suckers. That people put up with this nonsense and even defend it is pathetic. 2005-06-01 6:39 pm No different than the car companies with different body styles, same guts, different prices 2005-06-01 7:13 pm But you cannot change the air filter in a Camry and make it a LS300. 2005-06-01 7:15 pm The way I see it, software that isn’t worth “two bits” can be upgraded by changing “two bytes”. Enough said! 2005-06-01 7:40 pm and simple file sharing can be turned off too. This can be done to an existing install. 1 Make restorepoint 2 Edit apropriate reg key 3 Restore to said restorepoint 2005-06-01 7:43 pm It is your property, there mistake. It is NOT illegal, and the legal system should not be altered so that the “people” have to pay for M$’s mistake. 2005-06-01 7:49 pm Some models were the same as the next model up except for a governor installed to reduce the clock speed, or to reduce or remove other features. Pay for an upgrade, and techs would come out and remove the governor. 2005-06-01 8:19 pm What a drag, I use Linux and I dont have to worry about all of this. Call it professional home or whatever who cares, Read the EULA and even the most law abiding person will break a clause or two when it comes EULA’s. 2005-06-01 8:22 pm http://www.winhelpline.info/download/dlm_download.php?id=542 http://www.ozzu.com/ftopic28282.html http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/03/25/registry_hack_turns_xp_pro/ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/03/28/winxp_pro_with_net_server/ So the ideea is not new and is not legal either ! 2005-06-01 9:02 pm Err… it is not property in the first place, hence it is *NOT YOUR* property even more so. It is a license, an allowance to use the software and to use it in certain ways, only. However, many things in a US EULA don’t apply in Germany and C’t would never do something (blatanty) unlawful, they got their lawyers sorted. 2005-06-01 9:16 pm what are the differences for a home user using winxp home versus winxp pro? 2005-06-01 10:33 pm It just goes to show you how Microsoft enforces artificial product separation to extract more money out of suckers. That people put up with this nonsense and even defend it is pathetic. Sorry, but it looks like the anti-MS trolls are grasping for straws on this one … So are you saying that MS should only offer one version of XP? What’s the difference between having two different versions in two different packages as opposed to having two different versions in the same package? I guess if you are opposed to people having a choice between a ‘home’ and ‘pro’ version, then you must also feel the same way about various Linux distro makers who offer a ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ versions as well? 2005-06-01 10:57 pm “So are you saying that MS should only offer one version of XP?” So are you saying Microsoft should have offered a Dos 6.22 Home and a Dos 6.22 “Professional”? Win 3.1 Home and a Win 3.1 “Professional”? Win95 Home and a Win95 “Professional”? Win98 Home and a Win98 “Professional”? WinMe Home and a WinME “Professional”? etc etc etc I remember them using this same basic scam, with the MS Office97 FULL EDITION and the MS Office97 UPGRADE edition, as well as the UPGRADE versions of Windows, putting customers through ridiculous obstacles in order to simply install their legally purchased software. Nice bunch over there in Redmond. 2005-06-01 10:58 pm Overclocking a Celeron does not make it a Pentium. The main differences are: Cache – Celeron chips have less cache memory than Pentium 4 chips do. A Celeron might have 128 kilobytes of L2 cache, while a Pentium 4 can have four times that. The amount of L2 cache memory can have a big effect on performance. Bus speed – There are differences in the maximum bus speeds that the processors allow. Pentium 4s tend to be about 30 percent faster than Celerons. Yes the clock speed of Celerons can be slower but if you over clock it you still can not make up for the cache or the bus speed the processor allows. 2005-06-01 11:26 pm I don’t see any problem with Microsoft offering two versions of windows. One has features that 99% of users don’t need or even notice. They sell the home edition for non-pro users at a discounted price. Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, and eMachine users don’t need SMP, and the majority don’t even know what it is. Yes they could offer just one version of windows with all the features of pro, but then everyone would have to pay for the price of pro. I say thank you Microsoft for offering a lower-priced, stripped down, version that is all the majority needs. 2005-06-01 11:37 pm Darius, never once to miss the opportunity to come to the defense of Microsoft to protect it from all those Linux lunatics. What would the world be without your brave and selfless defense of such a noble cause? I say bullshit. Dual-core processors are just around the corner and hyperthreading actually appears to the OS as an additional processor. Artificial prices,artificial barriers and wankers who claim for more of the same. Don’t you people ever get tired of defending a monopoly? 2005-06-01 11:50 pm “So are you saying Microsoft should have offered a Dos 6.22 Home and a Dos 6.22 “Professional”? Win 3.1 Home and a Win 3.1 “Professional”? Win95 Home and a Win95 “Professional”? Win98 Home and a Win98 “Professional”? WinMe Home and a WinME “Professional”? etc etc etc” What the heck are you talking about? There are features in XP Pro that are not included in XP Home. They just happen to share a common codebase for the base system, with the other features not included. What does that have to do with different versions of old operating systems? “I remember them using this same basic scam, with the MS Office97 FULL EDITION and the MS Office97 UPGRADE edition, as well as the UPGRADE versions of Windows, putting customers through ridiculous obstacles in order to simply install their legally purchased software.” Umm, what scam is this? The fact that they offered a cheaper upgrade for existing customers than they did for a full version for new customers? Gee, what a scam! I guess nobody but Microsoft offers upgrade incentives. Give me a break. I can see how people can not like Microsoft for a variety of reasons, but the blind hatred sure does cloud some of any logical thought process. And no, I’m no MS fanboy. It just gets old listening to zealotry. 2005-06-01 11:51 pm Microsoft has made it quite clear that the Home edition will support HyperThreaded and dual-core processors just fine. The restriction comes into play on a dual-PROCESSOR system — ie. two sockets. Nice try, though. Get a clue, then come back. Next! 2005-06-01 11:52 pm There has been posts on how to add in pro features in home, IIS and raid5 already. Can’t say Pro was worth the extra $60 except I thought I needed it to support dual processor machines. MS might have finally fixed it with a hotpatch last week. Suse sure runs nice on it. Hint, hint MS. 2005-06-01 11:53 pm im a linux/bsd user, and i see nothing wrong with this. they are offering a cheaper priced version of a product. what home user needs iis, remote desktop server, etc. and as for the hyperthreading issue, im sure once it becomes an issue they will have a windows update patch that fixes this problem. 2005-06-02 1:07 am It just goes to show you how Microsoft enforces artificial product separation to extract more money out of suckers. That people put up with this nonsense and even defend it is pathetic. —————————————- I wont defend it, but tell me this: Does it not make it OK for Microsoft to do this while other companies do similar practices? Artifical product seperation is nothing unique to Microsoft. 2005-06-02 1:15 am Folk’s you get what you pay for. As for “artificial” product seperation. BS! MSFT makes a pretty good product in XP Pro. All the “extra features” that Pro has over home is what makes it more expensive. I see nothing wrong with MSFT charging more for XP over Home. Want more features? Pay more money. 2005-06-02 1:31 am Does this enable the terminal services / remote desktop protocal server? I’d think they would simply have neglected including that on the CD, since apparently this doesn’t enable all Pro features. 2005-06-02 3:11 am I’m definitely no fan of M$, however I can’t see why so many are attacking them for offering different features at different price levels? You usually end up with more features if you pay more for something. Be it computers, cars, etc… People can argue all they want that XP home and pro are very similar, and they are. However if you want the features XP has, you have to pay for them. Just like you have to pay for extra goodies on a new car. It’s the same car, but if you want that CD changer, it’ll cost you extra. So I don’t see the problem here. They license the different versions of windows for different things. And they also include things in each version which are unavilable in others. Even if you do turn your copy of home into pro, it still won’t do everything pro will because it’s missing some stuff. Just like turning Windows 2000 pro into Windows 2000 Server. You don’t get the server apps, the server management software, etc… Sure the base OS is the same thing, but there are differences in features and licensing. And it’s not fair to bash M$ for pricing these products differently. Although I’ll admit that I really don’t see the point of home. They should have just released one version of XP. And like I said before, I can’t stand M$. I’m definitely not a fan of them or their business practices. However, in this case the argument against them doesn’t hold water. 2005-06-02 3:19 am You do not own software, you have license, or a right to it such as GLP stuff. You can only do with it as the license says. A copy of windows is like renting an apartment. It’s just like owning it and it is a ok situation, you just can’t go painting the walls or screwing a shelf to the wall. Things like this just show people seam to refuse to ever realize this. How hard is it to understand you don’t own a copy of windows. You own a license, or in other words, you are leasing a windows from MS, you just pay one payment though and the term of the lease is long as you want. Also, there is nothing wrong with disabling features to change the price. Thats done on just about all products. Firmware that changes what model something is. Change in setting on a cars ECM that changes the HP. Move some jumpers to change the clock speed of your Apple Mini Mac. You should be rather happy they do this. It create price structures. Now they can charge people more for every last feature, but make it cheap for others, With those who really want features paying more for them, others end up paying less but the company makes the same amount of money. 2005-06-02 3:27 am Darius, never once to miss the opportunity to come to the defense of Microsoft to protect it from all those Linux lunatics. What would the world be without your brave and selfless defense of such a noble cause? I don’t normally respond unless addressed (or attacked), and in this case: It just goes to show you how Microsoft enforces artificial product separation to extract more money out of suckers. That people put up with this nonsense and even defend it is pathetic. … me being one of the people who he refers to, I thought my response was perfectly legitimate. You can talk all you want about MS – just don’t talk about me. Anyway, I don’t even know what the hell the guy was so upset about to begin with. I mean, the nerve of Microsoft to offer two different versions of XP – they should be arrested for this!!!! 2005-06-02 3:49 am How is this any different from “patches” that change demo versions of software to the full version by adding the differences (aka… kracks)? You’re taking data that exists in a copy of Pro, which you don’t own and therefore aren’t entitled to, and adding it to Home, to make it act like Pro. You’re kracking it just like any other warez. This is like people who download pirated upgrade versions to software they own or get their friends to buy them student licenses, and think they’re smart by doing so. If you aren’t using it legally, why bother paying at all? If you buy Home to do this, you basically got suckered into paying MS and not even ending up with a valid license after all. Just steal the software and save yourself the money and effort. Or buy it. Whatever. 2005-06-02 5:03 am http://www.system-admins.net/e107_plugins/kig_menu/_imagefiles/kara… 2005-06-02 8:03 am Your authoritative tone does not automagically mean you are right. Your assertion that this is illegal is patently wrong. As one can already see from the name, Copyright deals mainly with the rights to make copies. Modifications to a product which you do at home, but do not distribute in any way are out of reach of Copyright. That is, at least in german copyright. You are wrong too in saying that getting a copy of Windows means leasing it. For instance, if it were a lease, the one who got the copy of Windows would have the right to demand from Microsoft that his copy is usable. As you may know, this is not the case. Microsoft specifically disclaims itself from having any such obligations. Note that you are contradicting yourself, in that you say or in other words, you are leasing a windows from MS, you just pay one payment though and the term of the lease is long as you want.. “As long as you want” violates the definition of a leasing contract, because such contract is always a temporary contract. 2005-06-02 9:24 am If I buy a Ford Focus and want to upgrade it to a Ferrari (my analogy is rubbish, I’m not very into cars), I should be allowed to upgrade it. The fact that it costs money is irrelevant. Why not Windows XP? 2005-06-02 10:24 am You can also change Windows into Linux by just changing a few more bytes. And it is probably legal, too! 😉 2005-06-02 11:39 am Read: http://cr.yp.to/softwarelaw.html You DO own the various bits and bytes that M$ sold to you. 2005-06-02 4:01 pm Thanks Smeg Lister for the link. It’s a short but to the point article. 2005-06-02 7:01 pm that is the one I used for NT 4… to be a nice server.. then used it on 2k pro… to become 2K “server” but alot of the basic goodies installed for servers were missing…. but I lived with it… then I did it on XP…. and I got “Windows .NET server” I was like WTF.. (this was back in 99-2000) and it had real problems… I don’t think I tried home edition….. 2005-06-02 7:03 pm XP Home doesn’t have neat system tools like gpedit.msc I love going into friends computers and locking out Internnet Exploder functionality from all but windows update… they are then stuck with Opera (my browser of choice) or Firefox ( my other browser of choice) 2005-06-03 3:30 am people go to all this trouble. It’s not like there’s no choice… if you don’t like the restrictions Microsoft imposes, vote with your wallet. Use something else. For most people one of the many alternative operating systems that have been featured on this very forum will very likely do the job. But don’t buy the crippled version then spend your time finding hacks to uncripple it or bitching on the internet about how unfair the restrictions are. The fact that you forked over your money just encourages them and others like them to peddle more restricted software in the future. Though I’m sure the hack was fun to discover. 😀 2005-06-03 4:24 am That cr.yp.to article is interesting, but is it correct?. It implies trial version cracks are legal, and their distribution (of the crack) is legal too. I lawfully download my trial version of the $10.000 XXX Super-mega-pro that runs for 30 days, crack and use it. Then I decide the world is a better place with that piece of software running wild and distribute the crack. Of course, just the crack, software I developed, I don’t want to get into trouble by distributing the trial already patched. It sounds pretty weird, though. 2005-06-03 5:24 am So, I was reading this and thinking… if getting a version of XP home and ‘upgrading’ it to XP home is not illegal, just a license violation, then why does the same not apply to the GPL? I mean, if I decide to sell PVRs and use MythTV for the software (and not tell anyone it’s MythTV or give out the source code), then all I’m doing is violating the GPL, which is just a software license. So if companies could be sued for viloating the GPL, people doing this hack can be sued too. Does this make sense or does the GPL have something in it that makes it different from the MS EULA (in that particular aspect, of course) 2005-06-03 8:34 am So, I was reading this and thinking… if getting a version of XP home and ‘upgrading’ it to XP home is not illegal, just a license violation, then why does the same not apply to the GPL? To both Windows and GPL-Software does apply the same Copyright law. No difference there. I mean, if I decide to sell PVRs and use MythTV for the software (and not tell anyone it’s MythTV or give out the source code), then all I’m doing is violating the GPL, which is just a software license. Yes, you do violate the GPL then. So if companies could be sued for viloating the GPL, people doing this hack can be sued too. They can be sued in both cases, but the outcome will likely be different. The first case, ugrading Windows like in the article, is not about distributing your copy of Windows in any way. So Copyright law does not apply, basically spoken. But if you violate the GPL in the proposed way, you are distributing copies, so Copyright does apply. Does this make sense or does the GPL have something in it that makes it different from the MS EULA (in that particular aspect, of course) Yes. The Microsoft EULA does not give you any rights above those you get by Copyright law. Arguably, the EULA *tries* to take away rights you had by Copyright from you. But in many countries, there is no legal basis for doing so. So basically, in those countries you have all rights Copyright law mandates. The GPL on the other hand, does give you extended rights which go beyond those mandated by Copyright law. But if you want to exercise those rights, you have to comply with all terms of the license.