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from illegal to legal

This is a very techy-type write-up, so I'll make this an extended post. 🙂

Earlier this week I received my new Microsoft Windows XP Professional product key via e-mail. The CD with the OS on it is in the mail and will get here either this week or next week.

Of the two computers I have, my laptop was running XP legally and my desktop illegally. That has since been resolved by purchasing a license of XP Pro for the desktop. In short, I'm now legal. 100%. On both my laptop and desktop. Two separate legal licenses of XP. I am now completely abiding by the Microsoft EULA. The Dell Inspiron I have came provided with XP Pro originally. The desktop is now running on a separately purchased license I just bought.

Does the Product Key Update Tool actually work?

One thing I was concerned about is whether or not I had to reinstall the entire operating system with this new key. The answer is no, I didn't have to. Microsoft has software called the Windows Product Key Update Tool. You download it, run it, enter the new product key, reboot, it validates, and then you're done. No re-installation necessary. It's safe to say I breathed a huge sigh of relief after the reboot when Windows prompted the key was successfully updated.

Things I've noticed since "going legal"

Obviously, the first thing I did after updating the product key was go straight to Windows Update to download every single frickin' patch I could get my hands on. And I did. I updated everything.

Boot time is now faster. Shut down is faster. Application launch is smoother. It's almost as if I added RAM to my system but didn't.

Final words

No, I'm not Microsoft's bitch. And no, I'm not telling you to "do the right thing" if you're running XP illegally. In my situation, the bugs just kept piling up without the updates and I had to do something about it, so I did. My computer now runs much better. It was either pony up the cash for the license or buy another box (which would have cost me a lot more).

Also, I want to make clear I'm not championing MS products. I still use Firefox, OpenOffice, Trillian and several other no-cost apps. But to note, all of those run better with the XP updates applied - no doubt about that.


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