XP registry hack to make XP like POS

Posted on 2014-07-15
Last Modified: 2014-07-16

I am fully aware of updating all my client's pcs to Windows 7, 8.1, or Linux. I have except there is one pc at a client's office that I have to keep at XP because of a very specialized piece of software that works perfectly in XP and does not in Windows 7, or 8.1.

I know I can use use virtual box, xpmode, or just keep the xp pc running.

Currently the pc is OFF the internet. But at times the software has to go out and verify it is a legal copy. So the pc is plugged in, the software is launched, the pc is disconnected. There is a POS registry setting to make XP update for several more years like a POS machine.  Does anyone have experience with the POS patches installing on XP? I have one test pc and so far so good. Whatever this statement crashes, no bricking xp.  I do not expect the patches for POS to update everything in XP but both OSes are very similar...why would MS rewrite the code.

Why would MS release POS right ahead of Windows 7? Who knows.

I know you will tell me to do anything except apply the registry hack...but in this case I do not want to break what is not broken...xp works perfectly. The hack would be a great solution until the Windows 7, 8.1 updates to the specialized software are stable enough to use.

Unfortunately, the software is written is Foxpro and I cannot set the XP pc as an Admin/User scenario. The software breaks. I have security set at the highest in XP. The firewall always asks for inbound/outbound traffic, not using Windows firewall obviously.

Question by:dronethought
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    Hate to say it but DON'T apply the registry hack. :)

    As of right now, there are no reports of the POS updates breaking standard XP installs (that I know of).. but I cannot 100% that will always be the case. And if you receive an update that breaks it and causes it to crash.. well that's just as much something to worry about.

    You could consider setting a static IP on your XP machine, then locking down the firewall rules so that it can only reach out to the one IP/FQDN it needs to register that software. I would also consider putting it on its own vlan and segmenting it from the rest of the network. You could then have internal ACLs to prevent it from interacting with other segments as desired.

    I would also ensure you have good AV on it. Consider installing Microsoft EMET. You can also look into advanced security products like Cyvera TrapsXP. (it is like EMET but on steroids.. has more features.. more security.. and easier to manage)
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    by:Sean Jackson
    You're making it clear that you are going to go with XP.  


    It's not clear just how long Micro$oft will continue to support the POS versions, so there will be an eventual EOL for those too.

    But do you know if this mission-critical software will run in the POS version?

    What you're saying (having an air-gapped environment, going online only to verify legitimacy) sounds like you aren't exposing yourself to too many vulnerabilities.  Continue being cautious, and just remember that anyone who knows anything will say this is a bad idea.  Be careful.

    Good luck.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    by:Schuyler Dorsey

    Your avatar cracks me up. That is all.
    LVL 2

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you! :)

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