How to upgrade an illegal copy of XP SP1 to a legal copy of SP2?

Posted on 2006-05-11
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
A friend of mine just discovered that his company's five computers have pirated copies of Windows XP Pro SP1. They cannot find the person who sold them the computers with the pirated XP. They would like to purchase and upgrade to XP Pro SP2. They know they need to purchase the full version of XP. The challenge is what is the easiest way to upgrade without reformatting their computers and re-installing XP and all their programs and data. I'm asuming they cannot change the XP SP1 key code to the code  of XP SP2 they purchase. If they cannot then they probably need XP SP1, if so where can one purchase XP SP1. Is there an easy way to install XP SP2 on top of the pirated SP1?

BTW, the friend did not know he was getting pirated software; just a great price.

Thank you for your quick response,

Question by:DMVance
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    I think you need to contact Microsoft for that.

    most likely they will ask you to purchase a full copy of the Windows XP

    Author Comment

    We realize we will need to purchase a new full copy for each machine. The question is how to install the legal XP SP2 on top of the SP1?

    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    SP2 Check for legal copy before you can install it, that is why you have to contact MS to find a possible solution, as using other hacks now will futher complicate the matter (ie your future support etc)
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    He's not talking about just installing SP2, he talking about installing a legal new full version of XP that includes SP2. Usually an in-place upgrade or repair installation works in these cases. Follow the same information for doing a repair install for a corrupted Windows such as found at...

    The only things you should lose, would be restore points. Documents and programs should be ok, but it never hurts to back them up first.

    Author Comment

    In this case a call to MS Presales resolved the issue.

    For future reference -

    To upgrade an illegal copy of XP SP1 to a legal copy of SP2

    On the problem computer go to Windows Update, Run the MS Validate program, an non-valid copy message will appear. Instructions will be provided to upgrade to
    a valid copy for the the fee of $149. Once the upgrade has been purchased the operating system will upgraded online to a fully legal copy. A legal CD will be delivered to the purchaser in 7-10 days.


    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    Ok I have been working on this for some time having learned and gained certification in XenDesktop 4 along came version 5 which was released last month. Since then I have been working to deploy XenDesktop 5 in a small environment with only 2 virt…
    It is only natural that we all want our PCs to be in good working order, improved system performance, so that is exactly how programs are advertised to entice. They say things like:            •      PC crashes? Get registry cleaner to repair it!    …
    It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
    Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor ( offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…

    729 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now