Best place to get Windows XP service pack 2???

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jrigwald, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. jrigwald macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I am new to this forum and wondering what is the best way to get my hands on the windows xp service pack 2 so I can run bootcamp on my macbook pro?

    What are the things I should watch out for?

    Can I use someone else's copy?

    Do I have to get my own?

    Can it be any copy of Windows XP? does it have to be specifically for a Mac?

    :confused::confused::confused:
     
  2. eyup macrumors regular

    eyup

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    here's a funny thing I got on XP - if you load up a copy of XP you can pay for it online after the trial period expires to make it legit. Think it was about £90 for XP pro.

    Anyhow it was about half the price of a boxed version from PCworld.
     
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #3
    Wal-mart. Seriously, the one closest to me doesn't even have Vista. They have around three copies of XP, though.
     
  4. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
  5. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #5
    Typically, you'd need to buy a copy of Windows XP, either Home Edition or Professional are supported by Apple Boot Camp. Here's an Windows XP Comparison Guide between Home Edition and Professional.

    Don't get the 64-bit Edition (for Itanium-based workstations), x64 Edition (no Boot Camp driver support even if you have a 64-bit Mac Pro), Media Center or Tablet PC Editions (those last two probably can be made to work, but Apple doesn't support them).

    Also, you can't use an upgrade version because you can't eject the CD to validate the product being upgraded.

    Lastly, if you buy a pre-SP2 copy (original or SP1) then you have to make your own SP2 installation CD through a process called slipstreaming as the Mac needs driver support that came in SP2.

    In general, you need to have your own license for Boot Camp as Microsoft XP uses product activation to make sure you're running a legitimate licensed copy. There are hacks to get pirated copies of Windows working, but inevitably some update from Microsoft gets released and the stolen copy stops working. They do then offer to sell you a legit license over the Internet though. :D

    There is no special Mac version of Windows XP. The cheapest approach is to buy an OEM version (~$90 for Home Edition, ~$140 for Professional), which once activated will be tied to your Mac, cannot be transferred to another computer, and does not entitle you to any support from Microsoft.

    Retail (non-OEM) editions cost about twice as much, do let you transfer the license to another computer if you uninstall it from the first, and come with support from Microsoft. Otherwise, OEM vs. Retail are the same.
     
  6. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #6
    I would check out ebay. I got one on there at christmas time for about $80 shipped.
     
  7. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #7
    Be careful buying OEM versions of Ebay. I bought one and it was fine for about a year and then WGA popped up claiming that my copy was using a discontinued VLK.

    I've simply wiped that install, reinstalled and now won't let the thing install WGA. It functions and does automatic updates. Just Windows Update that doesn't work because it insists on WGA.
     
  8. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #8
    You can only use OEMs if you are building a computer. Just go out and buy a legit copy of XP Pro in any store (it will be SP2).

    TEG
     
  9. autumn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #9
    Check out your local craigslists. I got mine yesterday for $45. Pro SP2 that is. Installed it last night and no problem.

    Playing Orange Box now...:D

    Just be careful not to get the branded ones..like for Dell only and stuff.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    While I agree with you that buying retail is clearly legit, the terms of the System Builder License remain somewhat murky. So much so that MS has to blog about it trying to counter BSA FUD.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/ar...re-alliance-about-buying-software-online.aspx

    My interpretation (note: IANAL) of the SBL implies that many of its restrictions kick in only when you redistribute the license and thus would not generally apply to someone that is building a system they intend to use. (including the act of installing OEM software on a fully assembled PC, as "System Builder" has usually been defined as including "software installer").

    I'm not alone in that interpretation: http://windowssecrets.com/2007/06/07/03-Get-OEM-discounts-when-you-upgrade-your-PC

    Note too that as the System Builder you are responsible for primary support of any licenses you redistribute, so beware if you install OEM and sell your Mac, but if all you are doing is installing Windows for personal use and you don't need support form Microsoft...

    B
     
  11. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #11
    Yes, thank you. The EULA for OEM Microsoft products is pretty ambiguous. You could easily argue that you are building a system, albeit a virtual system. Plus, like as was stated, a lot of the "Builder" OEM EULA only kicks in when you distribute (i.e., sell) the system and included software.

    Obviously, Dell, HP, Gateway, etc., have licensing deals with Microsoft at what is probably a reduced cost because they deal in such high volumes. System builders buying from Newegg are obviously much smaller operations, which is why Microsoft sells OEM software over the counter. Basically, so mom and pop operations can build, sell, and support computer systems.

     
  12. jrigwald thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #12
    Thanks everyone for the fantastic info.

    Now I'm wondering how vulnerable my computer will be to viruses when I run download things on the windows side.

    Do I have to do anything in particular to protect myself?:confused:
     
  13. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #13
    The same as you would with any Windows standalone machine:

    Virus checker
    Anti-spyware/Anti-malware
    Firewall
    Common sense
     
  14. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #14
    Yes. You should get something if you're going to be downloading Windows programs from who-knows-where. The most popular free product is AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition. It's also probably the least annoying free product, which might explain its popularity, although it's still just a little bit annoying.

    In the US, the most popular consumer commercial product is Norton AntiVirus 2008 (~$40 for 1 year, current promotion for 50% off), but I personally like Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7.0 (~$60 for 1 year, but if you hunt around you can usually find 20-25% off deals on the coupon sites).

    Here's a story on the most recent (2008.01.22) AV-Test comparison of how well all the current anti-malware products work.
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #15
    Strictly speaking, Microsoft doesn't sell OEM software except to a few key distributors, however they allow redistribution of unopened licenses from one system builder to another, which is how Newegg et al sell OEM copies to the mom-and-pop operations and individual system builders.

    Essentially though if you really want to probe the limits of the EULA, you'll need an attorney to help interpret all the legalese, and ultimately a court in which to test them. Which of course is the main reason for any agreement, anything to keep the lawyers rich. :p

    B
     
  16. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #16
    You learn something new every day. Thanks. I thought Microsoft was helping the mom and pops out there. I had no idea that Newegg et al. was "allowed" to resell unsold OEM copies that MS sold to them. I thought Newegg et al. was just a distributer for Microsoft's OEM program (different from reselling as noted above).
     
  17. jrigwald thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #17
    So do I have to buy the full version or can I buy the upgrade version? Just to remind you, I don't have anything right now and I would only be using it to download music tablature off the internet.

    I went to office depot and they had the upgrade for $99.99 and the full version for 199.99
     
  18. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #18
    Upgrade versions of Windows can't get installed under Boot Camp. You can't validate the upgrade under Windows, because during install the Apple Keyboard driver isn't loaded yet and you cannot eject the CD to put in a CD of an upgrade-qualifying product during the install.

    An OEM copy of XP Professional is around $140, or $90 for Home Edition, that's the cheapest approach although the terms of the license are non-transferable to a new computer in the future once you install it on your Mac.
     
  19. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #19
    Get OEM. Dont get Professional, 99% of people who get Professional dont use the features that actually make it different than the Home version (it mainly just has network administration extras). Media Center is the best version of XP, it comes with media center as well as a glossy UI skin that looks way better than the standard XP playskool crap (which you can download and install on other copies of XP but it can be tricky to find), among other things.
     
  20. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #20
    Here's a chart with the differences between Windows XP Home Edition and Professional Edition. Another bit that may matter to some Mac owners is that Home Edition supports only one CPU while Professional can support two.

    The theme you're referring to is called Royale/Energy Blue, it's a bit more of a contemporary glossy feel. Microsoft New Zealand had it up for download for a bit, here it is for download on Softpedia. It works fine with any flavor of XP.

    Other than that, I'm not sure Mac owners would get much befit from Media Center. I would characterize it as an uglier-worser version of Front Row. :(
     
  21. MacSchwigg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #21
    Sorry if this is a little dense of me, but I'm considering buying a copy of XP Home for use with Boot Camp on my MBP and thought I'd clarify... a Core 2 Duo processor counts as just one CPU, right? I assume you're talking about CPUs, not cores.
     
  22. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #22
    You're not dense at all! Microsoft licensing (and the HAL code that is executed because of that licensing) is tied to physical processor sockets. I'm not kidding.

    Microsoft Windows XP Home: supports one physical processor socket (i.e. one CPU only, regardless of the number of cores in that one CPU)

    Microsoft Windows XP Professional: supports one or two physical processor sockets (i.e. up to two CPUs, regardless of the number of cores in each CPU)

    P.S. Their flavors of Windows XP get even more fun when it comes to Microsoft Windows Server 20003. There are seven different flavors. Depending on the edition, it supports up to 2-, 4-, 8-, 16-, or 32-way SMP processing, referring to the number of cores, but is then separately licensed (and enforced by the HAL driver) by physical CPU.
     
  23. docseuss68 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #23
    Looking for some clarification on OEM version of Windows. Are the restrictions imposed only legal, or are there also system restriction (such as an activation code that could only be used a certain number of times). If I needed to do an erase and install sometime in the future on the same computer, is that allowed (legal) and possible?
     
  24. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #24
    You can reinstall, reactivate, and revalidate an OEM Windows XP/Vista license on the same system, and it will let you do so usually without issues. If it detects that you're trying to do it on new hardware, say a new motherboard, and that activation code was used before, it will refuse activation.

    I have found in those cases, if you call them (the phone number is on the screen when activation is refused) they will give you a new activation code that will allow activation as long as your story seems normal. "I was just trying to reinstall on the same PC."
     
  25. pikafumanchu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #25
    Funny thing about Windows. My old roommate and I both have Intel MBP. I wanted to dualboot, but was very unsure about the process, and didn't want to pay however much money. So, my roommate, who was wealthy, bought a legit copy at Circuit City or something of XP Home.

    He installed it, and it worked wonderfully. I installed it and when it came time to validate the software, I decided to call it in. On the phone with the person, I originally tried lying saying I'm installing it onto a new computer since my old computer died. That wasn't allowed, so I hung up.

    Now, I should mention that when you first call in, it asks you to enter in a code that is on the screen. I entered this in and it said the device was already registered or something. So I clicked on the button that said refresh (or something similar), and it gave me a new code. I entered that code in and voilà, I had a fully functioning copy of XP Home, SP2.

    I guess what happened was that the original code they gave me was also for my roommate's. When I clicked on refresh (which the screen says to ONLY do if you are instructed by an operator), it gave me a completely unrelated one.

    Moral of the story: if you know someone with a store-bought copy, try it out. It definitely can't hurt.

    Moral of the story 2: dumb luck is a great thing. ;)
     

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