If install SP2 onto an illegal copy of XP Pro, in addition to a
legal Home version, will it “call home” with news of the illegal version? Will
it send Microsoft information about the computer, where it is and so on? Might
all of their prepaid CD’s have registration signal or something, to track it?
In other words, not good idea install sp2 in non registered
The short answer is that it’s not a good idea to have an illegal version of
Windows, period. Besides being illegal, it’s unethical. If you object to
Microsoft’s pricing or strategy or whatever that you refuse to purchase a legal
copy then use a different operating system. There’s plenty of good, free,
But to get to your question, like E.T., will SP2 “phone home”?
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First, I don’t believe that the CD’s of SP2 Microsoft Ships out are
serialized or encoded with any ID. I believe that all the SP2 CDs are
Second, if you’re afraid of SP2 reporting to Microsoft during the setup
process, then disconnect from the net while you upgrade. If you’ve got the CD the internet shouldn’t be required.
Thirdly, I don’t believe that SP2, Windows, or whatever “reports back to
Microsoft” even after it’s been installed. I know many folks are paranoid, but
there’s never been any evidence of this kind of activity.
Finally, and perhaps more relevant, is that there
have been reports that Microsoft will disallow future patches and
upgrades to unregistered versions. The bottom line is that if your copy is
illegal, then you aren’t entitled to updates. This will require a little detection
when you attempt to install an update.
So the bottom line is this: if you’re illegal, you’re on your own. If you’re
paranoid (and since you’re asking the question, I’ll assume you are at least a
little), sure, Microsoft could try to identify your machine. But even
if you’re not, eventually running an illegal copy will prevent you from getting
the updates you may someday need.
My advice? Get legal. Register. Then there’s simply no issue.