The Devil's Own Windows XP VLK
In warez circles there has been much talk over the years about a pirate version of Windows XP, often referred to as "The Devil's Own" version. What this refers to specifically is a full version of Windows XP Pro Corporate,
Windows XP was first released on October 25, 2001. It required an online activation, with an option to call Microsoft by phone if no Internet connection was available, in order to use the product beyond an initial limited period.
Although beta versions of Windows XP existed prior to the release of the final version, the notion that The Devil's Own version of XP was a beta is not true. Any hacked beta releases came prior to the actual Devil's Own version appeared in the wild.
According to experts within the warez community, The Devil's Own version of Windows XP is a complete, non-beta version of Windows XP Pro Corporate and a special volume license key, or VLK, that allowed the version of Windows to work without activation. This eliminated the need to activate online or call Microsoft for the version of Windows XP to work indefinitely.
The Devil's Own Version and the associated VLK leaked prior to the October 25 official release date of the operating system. It is speculated that the leak came from a major computer manufacturer, namely, Dell, as they received the final version ahead of the official release date.
The famous Windows XP Devil's Own Key is:
- FCKGW RHQQ2 YXRKT 8TG6W 2B7Q8
Although Microsoft states they started blocking leaked VLK's as early as the release of Service Pack 1 (SP1) it wasn't until SP2 was released that the famous Devil's Own key was blocked. Using the key above will prevent you from being able to install SP2 on Windows XP. Microsoft basically created a new key verification engine for Windows XP Service Pack 2 that could detect illicit keys that they have in their blacklist database.
The Devil's Own Key has been blocked to the point that it will not work with any of the later releases of Windows XP, namely the version with SP2 already integrated, or "slipstreamed" into the operating system. The Devil's Own key has been officially blocked by Microsoft since August 2004.
Individuals that were using The Devil's Own key found an effective workaround. By using a special "key changer" application developed in the warez underground, the Devil's Own key could be changed to another key that had leaked, however, was not within the SP2 internal blacklist.
The final defense Microsoft used against leaked keys was the introduction of the WGA update.
In August of 2005, individuals still using the Windows XP Devil's Own key were locked out of MS Windows Update. Microsoft started requiring users to verify their serial number before using Windows Update. This effort to force users to either buy XP or tell them where you got the illegal copy is called ‘Genuine Advantage.’
Microsoft went a step further, encouraging individuals to turn in others they knew were using a pirate key. The "nark" would be rewarded with a free license for Windows XP.
An equivalent such key has leaked for Windows Vista. This devils key has also been blacklisted by Microsoft and will cause the WGA notification on systems utilizing it. The Vista Devil's key is:
See all Microsoft Windows Installation Keys for further information.