Turn Windows XP Home into Pro



Grabbed from this website:

HOWTO Change Windows XP Home to Windows XP Pro

We can’t vouch for this hack, because we are too lazy to try it (and we never, ever violate copyrights or EULAs), but kind reader Martin explains the process for turning an Windows XP Home install disc to a Windows XP Pro disc after the jump.

It sounds pretty simple to do (just some registry changes), but you can’t install Service Pack 2, so you might try to slipstream in the changes to your modified install disc (if that’s even possible).

Alternately, buy XP Pro, or get a Mac.

yes indeed, you can’t change an installed Windows but only your Installation CD (or even a recovery CD in case the manufacturer had not left out important parts)

Here’s the detailed breakdown you asked for.

  1. Copy the root directory and the i386 directory of the WindowsXP CD
    to your harddisk
  2. Extract the Bootsector of your WindowsXP CD
  3. Change 2 Bytes in i386\Setupreg.hiv :
    a) Open Regedit
    b) Highlight HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    c) Menu: File -> Load Structure -> i386\Setupreg.hiv
    d) Assign an arbitrary name to the imported structure e.g. “Homekey”
    e) Goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Homekey\ControlSet001\Services\setupdd
    f) edit the binary key “default” and change “01” to “00” and “02” to
    g) Highlight “Homekey” and select menu: File -> unload structure
  4. Burn your new XP Pro CD
  5. Install WindowsXP as usual. Your XP Home Key will work.

Note: You cannot apply SP2 to such a WindowsXP Pro, so step 1.b)
might be to integrate SP2 in your Installation CD

Please check the menu-entries as I don’t owe an English copy of
XP and have to guess them.

Shouldn’t be that hard when you use nLite to slipstream your XP :slight_smile:


Interesting, but I’d bet it only changes all the screens to say Pro instead of Home. A registry hack won’t make the extra/different files (Domain stuff, GPEdit, etc) for Pro appear on the Home cd.
Found a dated, but extensive list of file differences here

Having said that, I’m still gonna try it sometime :slight_smile:


I thought all the home/pro cd’s were the same, it’s just the key and/or reg that makes the difference, which manifests itself at install time and the reg changes made by the install (or otherwise). This kind of change was known about months after XP was released - it was on the net and forums.


there is an atricle about this in the current german magazine c’t, and they say that this works, but - as already mentiond in the 1st post - you cannot apply SP2 to a Windows XP HomePro.
As a consequence of this, you can imagine that M$ will maybe apply a “HomePro-Protection” to other security updates - so maybe you won’t be able to update your OS any more.
on the other hand, you cannot change back from HomePro to normal Home-Edition - so, this should really only be done for testing purposes, but not on a productive-pc…


The fact that you cannot install SP2 would appear dubious that anything but a name change has been effected here.

Those who are willing to attempt this mod may report back to us if the following differences between Windows XP Home and Professional were eliminated by the mod.

Pro features that aren’t in Home Edition
The following features are not present in Windows XP Home Edition.

[li]Power user [/li][li]Remote Desktop - All versions of Windows XP–including Home Edition–support Remote Assistance, which is an assisted support technology that allows a help desk or system administrator to remotely connect to a client desktop for troubleshooting purposes. But Only Pro supports the new Remote Desktop feature, which is a single-session version of Terminal Services with two obvious uses: Mobile professionals who need to remotely access their corporate desktop, and remote administration of clients on a network. You can access a Windows XP Remote Desktop from any OS that supports a Terminal Services client (such as Windows 98 and, interestingly XP Home). XP Home can act as the client in a Remote Desktop session; only Pro can be the server.[/li][li]Multi-processor support - Windows XP Pro supports up to two microprocessors, while Home Edition supports only one.[/li][li]Automated System Recovery (ASR) - In a somewhat controversial move, Microsoft has removed the Backup utility from the default Windows XP Home Edition, though it is available as an optional installation if you can find it on the CD-ROM (hint: it’s in the /valueadd folder). The reason for this the integration of Microsoft’s new Automated System Recovery (ASR) tool into Backup. In Pro, ASR will help recover a system from a catastrophic error, such as one that renders the system unbootable. ASR-enabled backups are triggerable from XP Setup, allowing you to return your system to its previous state, even if the hard drive dies and has to be replaced. Unlike consumer-oriented features such as System Restore, ASR is not automatic: It must manually be enabled from within the Backup utility in Windows XP Pro. In any event, while there is a Backup utility available for Home Edition, you cannot use ASR, even though mentions of this feature still exist in the UI. Confusing? Yes. But it’s better than no Backup at all, which was the original plan.[/li][li]Dynamic Disk Support - Windows XP Professional (like its Windows 2000 equivalent) supports dynamic disks, but Home Edition does not (instead, HE supports only the standard Simple Disk type). Dynamic disks are not usable with any OS other than Windows 2000 or Windows XP Pro, and they cannot be used on portable computers. Likewise, Home Edition does not include the Logical Disk Manager.[/li][li]Fax - Home Edition has no integrated fax functionality out of the box, though it is an option you can install from the XP Home CD.[/li][li]Internet Information Services/Personal Web Server - Home Edition does not include the IIS Web server 5.1 software found in Pro.[/li][/ul]

[li]Security [/li][li]Encrypting File System - Windows XP Professional supports the Encrypting File System (EFS), which allows you encrypt individual files or folders for local security (EFS is not enabled over a network). EFS-protected files and folders allows users to protect sensitive documents from other users.[/li][li]File-level access control - Any user with Administrator privileges can limit access to certain network resources, such as servers, directories, and files, using access control lists. Only Windows XP Professional supports file-level access control, mostly because this feature is typically implemented through Group Policy Objects, which are also not available in Home Edition.[/li][li]“C2” certification - Microsoft will attempt to have Windows XP Professional certified with the “C2” security designation, a largely irrelevant status, but one which will not be afforded to Home Edition.[/li][/ul]

[li]Management [/li][li]Domain membership - Home Edition cannot be used to logon to an Active Directory domain. For obvious reasons, the Domain Wizard is also missing in Home Edition.[/li][li]Group Policy - Since Home Edition cannot be used to logon to an Active Directory domain, Group Policy–whereby applications, network resources, and operating systems are administered for domain users–is not supported either.[/li][li]IntelliMirror - Microsoft lumps a wide range of semi-related change and configuration management technologies under the IntelliMirror umbrella, and none of these features are supported in the consumer oriented Home Edition. IntelliMirror capabilities include user data management; centrally-managed software installation, repair, updating, and removal; user settings management; and Remote Installation Services (RIS), which allows administrators to remotely install the OS on client systems.[/li][li]Roaming profiles - This feature allows users to logon to any computer in an Active Directory network and automatically receive their customized settings. It is not available in Home Edition, which cannot logon to an Active Directory domain.[/li][/ul]

[li]Corporate deployment [/li][li]Multi-language support - Only Windows XP Professional will ship in a Multi-Language version or support multiple languages in a single install.[/li][li]Sysprep support - Windows XP Pro will support the System Preparation (Sysprep) utility, while Home Edition will not.[/li][li]RIS support - See the IntelliMirror heading in the previous section; Home Edition does not support RIS deployments.[/li][/ul]

[li]64-bit Edition [/li][li]Microsoft is shipping a 64-bit version of Windows XP for Intel Itanium systems that mirrors the Professional Edition feature-set.[/li][/ul]

[li]Networking features [/li]The following networking features are not included in Home Edition:
[li]The user interface for IPSecurity (IPSec)[/li][li]SNMP[/li][li]Simple TCP/IP services[/li][li]SAP Agent[/li][li]Client Service for NetWare[/li][li]Network Monitor[/li][li]Multiple Roaming feature[/li][/ul]

[li]User interface features[/li]Windows XP Home Edition has some different default settings that affect the user interface. For example, Guest logon is on by default in Home, but off in Pro. The Address bar in Explorer windows is on in Pro by default, but off in Home. During the beta period, Microsoft had intended to use a business-oriented shell theme (“Professional”) by default in Pro and the “Luna” consumer theme in Home Edition. But feedback from corporate users suggested that everyone liked the consumer-oriented Luna theme better, and development of the Professional theme was cancelled. Other user interface features that are present in Pro but not Home include:
[li]Client-side caching[/li][li]Administrative Tools option on the Start menu (a subset of the Admin tools are still present in Home, however).[/li][/ul]It’s also worth mentioning that Home Edition will support upgrades from Windows 98, 98 SE, and Millennium Edition (Me), but not from Windows 95, NT 4.0 Workstation, or Windows 2000 Professional. You can upgrade from Windows 98, 98 SE, Millennium Edition (Me), Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, or Windows 2000 Professional to Windows XP Professional.