Peer-to-Peer Enables Windows XP Swaps
Hundreds of illegal copies of Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system - and instructions on how to bypass its copy-protection scheme - are already floating around the Internet's peer-to-peer networks.Hundreds of illegal copies of Microsofts new Windows XP operating system - and instructions on how to bypass its copy-protection scheme - are already floating around the Internets peer-to-peer networks. Hacking tips being shared on P2P networks purport to work around the very product-activation measures that Microsoft built into Windows XP to prevent such piracy. A file called "WindowsxpCrackMethod.txt," obtained via the Gnutella network, describes a few simple steps that allegedly disable the product activation feature. The file, which includes a 20-character key required to install XP, steps users through booting the operating system into Safe Mode and then altering the Windows registry settings to indicate that the software has already been activated.
When Microsoft launched Windows XP on Oct. 25, the company reiterated details of its product activation requirement. During installation, XP, unlike previous versions of Windows, generates a unique ID based on the PCs hardware that must be sent to Microsoft either over the Internet or by phone. The feature is supposed to cut down on piracy and what Microsoft calls "casual copying" to ensure that each copy of XP is installed on no more than one physical computer.