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WGA = Windows Genuine Advantage

Microsoft will make the verification mandatory in all countries for both add-on features to Windows as well as for all OS updates, including security patches. Microsoft will continue to allow all people to get Windows updates by turning on the Automatic Update feature within Windows. By doing so, Microsoft hopes it has struck a balance between promoting security and ensuring that people buy genuine versions of Windows.

The company's new authentication system - Windows Genuine Advantage requires users to prove they have an authentic copy before they can obtain updates. Pirated copies will still be able to download security fixes, but only if the systems are set to do so automatically.

Microsoft has advised consumers to take a copy of the CD that contains genuine software from retailers. It has advised consumers to check whether the authentication key slip is stuck to the PCs as the window genuine advantage validation tool will require the Original Windows XP CD Key.

Some Comments from the blogosphere on WGA checks.

How do I uninstall the Windows Validation Assistant component from my computer?

Open the C:\Windows\Downloaded Program Files folder. On a Windows Server 2003 machine, right click on ProductIDGatherer.WindowsGatherer and select Remove. On a Windows XP machine, right click on Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool and select Remove. Please note: The path for the Downloaded Program Files folder could be different depending on your Windows installation folder.

Written by Anonymous at 5/5/06 2:52 AM
Removing this is easy. Too easy infact. Click on the start menu and select run and type this:
%windir%\system32\wgatray.exe /u
Click on the start menu again and select run and type: regedit
Navigate to the following key and delete the key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\WgaLogon
Reboot and enjoy

Written by Anonymous at 5/5/06 3:08 AM
You may then safely delete the following files
Just click on the start menu and select run and type the following

cmd /c "del %windir%\system32\wgatray.exe"
then this one
cmd /c "del %windir%\system32\WGAlogon.dll"
and finally this one
cmd /c "rmdir /s /q %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Download\6c4788c9549d437e76e1773a7639582a"

I basically deleted Wgatray.exe in the system32 folder and deleted the key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinlogonNotify.

Written by Zavior at 17/9/06 2:19 PM
Hmmm... I have Zone Alarm on my system (Freeware Version) and I know I have downloaded the WGA on my system but all the files that you guys are talking about I can't find. Fortunately I did a little bit of homework and founded that you can disable that setting in IE under add-ons. I'm thinking I disabled it too fast for the webpage or whatever to install the files fully. I'm missing most of the DLL files that are listed and there is only a small trace of WGA being on my system. Unfortunately I cannot download updates. I have been reading the post on what all has been going on with this software that microsoft uses to infect it's own OS. Kind of funny actually. I think i'll bookmark this site and check in every once in a while.

Written by Raulvibes at 20/1/07 1:07 AM
Hello guys! i'm from South-Asia and was happily playing with my computers for years... but these days i'm fed up with so called "Genuine Windows".. i cannot install any new softwares from microsoft b'coz my windows is not genuine... As in my country we get.. a computer for US$150 whereas the genuine Win Xp or validate product key is US$149. THis is bullshit for us who are living in third world countries.... we cant enjoy computer technology b'coz we r poor!!!!! and i'v also tried hundreds methods to solve this problem but the links are either broken or website is dangerous... even now PC-cillin 2007 wants me to update windows for proper scanning.. i dunt know wat will my computer will be without such software... so,, guys plz help to get rid of this headache as soon as poosible... other wise i 'll get chinese TV card and make my computer television....