rebuilding your XP box

Microsoft has stated that updates are no longer available for XP.

If I reload my XP system from the original disks, can I still get the updates and/or Service packs up until the date that support stopped ?

Or is there just no support at all ?

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F IgorDeveloperCommented:
Acording to Microsoft, related to updates:

"An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update."

See this page for more information:
sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the links, but that does not answer my question.  

Are updates that were created up until the time of "End of Support" available ?

I did see where the signatures are available for a time.
As long as you have XP SP3 installed, the updates are still available for download. XP without SP3 won't update. You should still be able to download SP3.

The big problem though is that the last updates and patches for XP were published by m$ over an year ago, so even if you install those updates, you will have a very insecure OS that can be easily attacked and exploited. So keeping on using XP is very foolish in my point of view. If you still keep on using it, at least disconnect it from the LAN so it has no internet connection. Only use it for local stuff, and never for web browsing or mailing. Of course a PC you can't use for web access and mailing is practically useless today...
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Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
If your XP disk is SP1 or better then go here and get SP 4.  This is an unofficial release, not Microsofts but done by enthusiasts.

That's one way of doing it.


Or get the genuine XP SP3 (assuming your system is SP1) from

If you are only on XP with no Service Packs get SP1a from

You'll still need all of the updates after you've got SP3 installed.
sidwelleAuthor Commented:
what other OS's can I load ?
Ubuntu ?
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Yep.  If XP ran on your machine Ubuntu would too.

XP is still fine for home use.  For Internet work I'd still use it to get mail using a good mail client such as Thunderbird but not for Internet surfing unless I knew the sites concerned were safe.
I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu, it is slow and has a useless User interface.

Much better is MakuluLinux. The currently available XFCE version is very fast, there is a 32 bit and a 64 bit version, so it will run without problems on older hardware, it has a great User interface which greatly pleases the eyes, is very easy to use and setup, and as long as you don't use the "Lite" version it comes very complete with many programs already installed, so it is likely that out of the box you have everything you need. It also includes "Wine" and "PlayOnLinux", so you can run some Windows software easily.

There is probably a Cinnamon version coming out next week or at least very soon, and that is even more nicely polished, looking similar, but nicer than Windows 7. But at the moment only a 64 bit version is planned as far as I know, and it also does need more resources than the XFCE version, so for old hardware it may not be suited:
I don't agree with the above that XP may be used for mail use, even if you have a good client like Thunderbird. Lots of viruses and malware these days come in via email, and the mail client used has absolutely no influence on that.
Not sure why Ubuntu would be thought of as having a "useless User interface". Multiple UIs are available, so you can choose one that is close to what is desired.

However, I also wouldn't suggest Ubuntu if there isn't significant background in Linux. I would recommend Linux Mint for anyone replacing XP and wanting to give Linux a try. I prefer the Cinnamon UI, and I've checked both the 32- and 64-bit versions on multiple older desktop and laptop systems.
Ubuntu comes with Unity as default, and that is a useless interface. It is more suited for touch enabled devices, and even then it isn't ideal. Adding another desktop to a system needs some knowledge, and you get a UI that isn't properly adapted to the software installed etc. If another than the default UI is needed, then it would be better to get a distro or spin that comes with that as default, for example "Xubuntu" if you need the XFCE desktop.

Another disadvantage of unity is that you need a 3d GPU with OpenGL to work properly (that is also true for Cinnamon). Old PC's often won't have such a GPU. So if Linux Mint, then the mate desktop would be the better pick.
Peter HutchisonSenior Network Systems SpecialistCommented:
Depending on the spec and age of the machine, I would go to Windows 7.

As for Linux, I personally like Mint Linux which has a nice tradtional desktop layout, very easy to use and free!
re "you need a 3d GPU with OpenGL to work properly", true, if you're needing the 3D features, e.g., for gaming, etc.

But if that's the case, then there's a chance that the appropriate hardware is already in use. For an old XP system that's being effectively retired, it seems unlikely that it's being used in that way. For anything less than that, it's simply not an issue. I've had zero issues for different users on multiple 10 year-old ex-XP systems so far.

But these are users of general browsing, email and various Office apps. If fancier apps are desired, then so is fancier hardware. Either way Mint + Cinnamon works very well.
Unity and Cinnamon both need the 3d features to work. It isn't just for gaming. If you try running Cinnamon on a GPU that doesn't support OpenGL, it'll say something like "Cinnamon crashed, do you want to reload it", or sometimes it'll also say "Software Rendering being used" which will greatly slow things down. What happens with unity I don't know. Many, or probably most PC's that were built for XP didn't yet have a 3d GPU. That only became standard when Vista arrived with Aero, which also required such a 3d GPU.

For example the nVidia Geforce 440 or ATI RAGE Pro cards were very common in the XP days, and neither of them support OpenGL.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
XP updates are still hosted by Microsoft but you can also download scripts or write your own to grab them and then build your own installer CD/DVD using nLite
For example (*other similar scripts exist - this site also includes Flash player updates and other common third party utils direct from publisher links)

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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Thanks Rindi and MASQ, this was the assurance I was looking for.
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Windows XP

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