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where can i download a free version of windows xp

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... you'll find plenty of illegal copies of XP on offer if you search the Net, but not only will most of them not work at all, and those which do work will be flaky (and will be detected by Microsoft Update as fakes, thus denying you the vast majority of security patches and bugfixes), but also pretty much ALL illegal downloads of XP (or any other MSoft O/S, or any other major app, office suite and so on) are now home to a fascinating selection of malware ranging from viruses to keyloggers.

So, by all means d/load a fake (you won't find a genuine copy for free... how do you think MSoft got so rich!?), but I'd advise you to never again use your machine for anything involving ANY of your own personal information... oh and also, don't be surprised when your machine slows to a crawl, as every botnet from here to Brazil starts having a party via your machine!*

*If you don't know what I'm talking about, then DEFINITELY DO NOT INSTALL PIRATE (i.e. FREE) SOFTWARE ON YOUR PC!!

Seriously, just buy a copy -- you NEED Microsoft's security patches, even the NON-critical ones (fake copies of XP can still get the critical ones ONLY via Automatic Updates) and also their bugfixes, as XP simply won't work without them; you NEED a PROPER copy of SP2 (and an unlicensed non-SP2 copy won't let you get it) and, more importantly, you NEED to stay away from the malware-ridden illegal downloads out there. It's not even just you who would be affected; we are all getting a bit tired of having to lock our computers down tighter than Fort Knox in order to keep out the botnet and mail-spamming Trojans which people who install illegal software are, probably without knowing it, spreading all over the Internet, themselves naturally included.

Just buy a copy of XP and do the world a favour.

Nell :)