Where from I get the final release of Windows XP, including all updates?

  • 1
    Do you want to pay for it? – fourstar Jul 16 '09 at 10:34
  • I need a trial version with SP3 and all other updates. – Sauron Jul 16 '09 at 10:37
  • 11
    8 years of Windows XP and you need to try it out? ;-) – splattne Jul 16 '09 at 10:46
  • I am now using Linux. – Sauron Jul 16 '09 at 10:52
  • 7
    Woah, when did they finish Windows XP? The version I'm using still has a few rough edges. – John Topley Jul 17 '09 at 13:08

The only available trial that I know of is the Windows 7 Release Candidate, keeping in mind that:

  • Downloads will be available until August 20, 2009
  • The RC will expire on June 1, 2010.

There are not trials for XP or for Vista.

  • You are able to install and run windows XP (or Vista) for 30 days without activating, you know... I think that counts as trial. – fretje Jul 17 '09 at 13:10
  • Yes, but you can't download them. Not legally, anyway. – Robert Munteanu Jul 17 '09 at 13:29
  • Unless your a TechNet or MSDN subscriber – BinaryMisfit Jul 17 '09 at 22:04
  • 1
    In which case you probably have enough money to just buy XP, even if you decide you don't want to use it in the end. – DeadHead Jul 20 '09 at 3:50
  • while you don't have to activate it for 30 days you will still need a valid product key... – Oliver Giesen Jul 21 '09 at 10:19

You buy it from a shop and then install it and run Windows update.

  • Having tried this, I can say that most shops no longer carry XP. Even if you ask nicely. I know Best Buy didn't when I really needed it in a pinch ("broke" someone's home computer, with SP3 actually). Some online stores carry XP, but usually not XP SP3. – dlamblin Jul 20 '09 at 4:18

The normal procedure would be:

  • install Windows XP from your installation medium (CD-ROM for example)
  • apply the latest service pack (currently that's Service Pack 3)
  • run Windows Update and apply all patches

Regarding patching/updating Windows: there is a nice solution if you have to do this for multiple computers and want to minimize your download time and volume. heise security, a website of a German magazine publisher, has a nice, free solution for packaging Windows Updates:

DIY Service Pack - Installing Windows updates without an internet connection

Looking for manageable Windows updates even without an internet connection? Our offline update 3.0 script collection downloads the entire body of updates for Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003 from Microsoft's servers in one fell swoop and then uses them to create patch packages on CD, DVD or USB stick. Those in turn allow you to update as many PCs as desired.


You can also download all the updates and slipstream them together with your original CD into a new ISO file.


If you are a TechNet or MSDN subscriber you can download the latest SP3 slip-streamed version from the respective download sites.

  • 3
    Woot for couple-thousand-dollar solution. – icelava Jul 20 '09 at 3:47

If you're willing to do the slipstreaming of SP3, you can also use this Elder Geek's guide.


You determine the final release by looking at the roadmap. It also links you to the service pack to download (SP3). Since you cannot buy it in stores anymore, you must copy someone else's disk. If the disk does not include SP3, you must go through a slipstreaming dance. Once you have this Win XP with SP3 disk you can use it to install on the intended machine provided you have an activation key. You can still buy activation keys by going through the Microsoft Genuine Advantage thing, or by calling them, if that's what you actually need. They're not all talk, they have an accounts receivable department.

If you are in college, inquire with you're college first. They might have paid the Microsoft tax as part of your tuition which entitles you to certain things, possibly a license to windows and office. Probably free versions of Visual Studio and other products.

Now, although most stores you walk into don't carry it anymore, you can get it online. Such as from NewEgg.

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