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'Caribbean' Ian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have this annoying update that's been sitting on my toolbar for a while now, it's the Windows Genuine Annoyance thing that's meant (so far as I can gather) to check if i have a legit copy of XP.

I assume I have a genuine copy as I bought my laptop new from Tesco so I'm not too concerned about this, however I am reluctant to install anything on my computer that will be 'checking up' on me, I really don't like the whole big brother thing!

All my other software is legit too tho I do have some freeware third party software that WGA might not like. Is this WGA thing really only checking XP or is there a more sinister side to it? if so, is there anyway i can prevent it from wanting me to install it (that little yellow shield thing in the toolbar, bottom RHS)?

Microsoft... taking over the world I tells ya!
 

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Well if you don't allow it to check you cannot receive updates (of which there a few this month).

Something to hide per chance? :eek:mg:
 

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'Caribbean' Ian
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847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Spybot S&D
Limewire (which doesn't work on this island anyway)
And a DVD ripping tool (that I use to put MY OWN dvd's on to my Archos)

That's about it, so nothing that's gonna get me banged up, I think!:)
 

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I've... I mean, My friend has had this sitting around for a few days too and not been sure if I... erm... my friend should run it because..... ummm... He... Has a dodgy copy of office on his computer.

Is this update going to shop me (of course I mean him) to the cops?
 

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I came, I saw, I dived
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There are two issues which could effect you,

The first is Windows activation - when you first get a new computer you have to activate your copy of windows and you can choose whether to register your details with Microsoft, or not.

The second is Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) which Microsoft introduced a couple of years ago, this detects whether your activation key is legit and will lock your computer if it detects a dodgy one, you have to purchase a genuine licence to unlock it.

AFAIAA it is only looking at your Windows licence and is not currently looking at office or any other programs on your computer, I don't think Microsoft has the right under it's EULA & Privacy regulations to look any further than your OS.

If you have purchased your computer from a reputable supplier you should have a label on it proving you have a genuine licence.
 

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It doesn't lock you out even if you have a dodgy copy ..... yet.

A mate of mine has a dodgy copy of XP on his old machine and WGA has been telling him so for months, I think it now does one popup in the system tray esch time it's switched on which can be minimised and you carry on as normal.

As I told him though, if you have anything on your machine that you may want to take off, back it up, cos if MS decide to lock dodgy copies, you wont get back in.

I can also confirm that if you have genuine XP and hooky copy of Office, WGA does not check the office copy, though you're best off getting openoffice which is free and not having unlicenced software on there at all :angel: .

Arfie
 

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Resident Windfarmologist
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PM me if there is any issues

keith
 

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Has WGA already installed and wants you to run it, or is this Windows Update prompting you to actaully install WGA?

If it's Windows Update, then if you set it up so that it prompts you before installing, then you can choose not to install any particular item it presents you with... including WGA! It should give an option when you don't select it something along the lines of "never ask to install these updates again", and shouldn't bother you after that.

David
 

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'Caribbean' Ian
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, it's not already installed, just prompting me to install it, lots of info here, still not sure that i'd like this on my computer tho!
 

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.......... I can also confirm that if you have genuine XP and hooky copy of Office, WGA does not check the office copy ........

Arfie
What he said, I know of at least 3 machines with genuine versions of Windows and not so legit versions of Office 2003pro and 2007pro, and WGA runs on all of them fine.... So far

HTH

Andy
 

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Likes to play his bongo's in the morning
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Has WGA already installed and wants you to run it, or is this Windows Update prompting you to actaully install WGA?

If it's Windows Update, then if you set it up so that it prompts you before installing, then you can choose not to install any particular item it presents you with... including WGA! It should give an option when you don't select it something along the lines of "never ask to install these updates again", and shouldn't bother you after that.

David
If you don't fancy it then this is what you can do, however, if it's not verified your copy it may decide to prevent you from collecting essential security updates etc.

It does sound like you don't really have much to be concerned about.

However, I've seen reports of some users being given a false positive, i.e. they have a totally legit version etc, but the software says not, and the poor old pensioner or whoever decides the easiest route to a solution is to cough up for another licence - M$ making up for lost revenues from those with the nouse to get around the annoying software!
 

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I came, I saw, I dived
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If you don't fancy it then this is what you can do, however, if it's not verified your copy it may decide to prevent you from collecting essential security updates etc.

It does sound like you don't really have much to be concerned about.

However, I've seen reports of some users being given a false positive, i.e. they have a totally legit version etc, but the software says not, and the poor old pensioner or whoever decides the easiest route to a solution is to cough up for another licence - M$ making up for lost revenues from those with the nouse to get around the annoying software!
Provided you have got a known dodgy key code, like the Dell corporate edition that circulated a couple of years back, you can just call the MS activation line and tell them that you have had to rebuild your computer following a hardware failure and they will give you an activation code without too many questions.
 

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If you don't fancy it then this is what you can do, however, if it's not verified your copy it may decide to prevent you from collecting essential security updates etc.
Nope, security updates are explicitly excluded from any kind of WGA checking. To leave these computers exposed to exploitable bugs has the potential to hurt far more users than just those with the bug, and so quite rightly Microsoft have ensured that even if they haven't paid for Windows, they at least are allowed to fix bugs to prevent the spread of viruses etc.

What you can't do without WGA is download "optional" updates from the Microsoft website.

Can't personally see any reason not to allow WGA to run, I think the privacy concern is spurious (even if they did log what you did, Microsoft don't care what websites you visit, what programs you run, etc - they'd have a billion other people to worry about too!), but then you don't necessarily lose anything by not allowing it to run either.

David
 

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Oh dear myths and legends are rife again!

WGA only checks Windows XP. The first version cut off access to Windows update but there were so many false positives...and it was rather irresponsible to pull security updates from the Worlds most exploited operating system...they abandoned it after a week...claimed it was a beta...said sorry for automatically installing beta software without asking.

To stop WGA installing select the Custom option instead of Express within Windows update...the option they do not reccomend...but the one that lets you choose what the heck get's installed. Select the option to never notify me of this update again...ignore the dire warning that your computer will blow up (something like that) and WGA will leave you alone...until the next time they update it...when you will hopefully remember to go through the whole stupid ritual again. You will lose access to downloading some non-essential bloatware and DRM crap. Nothing important and nothing that there is not an alternative for.

If you do manage to install it and it decides your copy of XP is hooky (and it might not be), you can disable the nag-ware with a registry hack

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify
Delete the folder ‘WgaLogon’ and all its contents
Reboot Windows XP.

Corporate keys do not need activating. It is only small business and domestic users that get subjected to this time wasteing bollocks. We pay more for legit transferable licenses than the corporates on their select plans (over 100% in some cases)...and pay again in time lost punching 25 digit numbers down the phone line to Bangalore. M$ have a list of the common corporate keys that have been leaked on the internet. WGA knows about them and will nag you about it.

...and just wait til you try to use your Vista downgrade rights.
 
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