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LilBambi

WGA and WGA Notification Tool

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:) urf! the future is here. and that's too bad. :)

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Speaking about forcing an install to someone... would be a good item on various blogs around the world. :) That'll teach 'm a lesson! :)

Edited by striker

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Well it looks like I won't be getting anymore updates from** I just tried to manually udate a W2k system and got the following message: [Error number: 0x8DDD0018] The site cannot continue because one or more of these Windows services is not running:Automatic Updates (allows the site to find, download and install high-priority updates for your computer) Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) (helps updates download more quickly and without problems if the download process is interrupted) Event Log (keeps a record of updating activities to help with troubleshooting, if needed) To make sure these services are running:1. Click Start, and then click Run.2. Type services.msc and then click OK.3. In the list of services, double-click on Automatic Updates and then click Properties.4. In the Startup type list, select Automatic and click Apply.5. Verify that the Service status is started, if the Service Status is Stopped click on the Start Button.6. In the list of services, double-click on Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and then click Properties.7. In the Startup type list, select Manual and click Apply.8. Verify that the Service status is started, If the Service Status is Stopped click on the Start Button.9. In the list of services, double-click on Event Log and then click Properties.10. In the Startup type list, select Automatic and click Apply.11. Verify that the Service status is started, If the Service Status is Stopped click on the Start Button. [/color]I'll be ****** if I'll let ANYONE hijack my computer. 1984 has arrived. If this doesn't generate a tremendous outcry from Windows users, then it's all over but the mopping up.

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I get my 2K updates without that message.I just checked those three services. Automatic Updates is set for Automatic but I always choose Custom install and I have never had updates download in the background. BITS is set to manual. Event Log is also automatic.As long as you always remember to select Custom and NEVER select express, you won't have any updates forced on you in 2k.I just checked my 2K notebook and all three services have the same settings as I previously mentioned.

Edited by zlim

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If I go to the WinUpdate page, I do custom also and *knock on wood* seem to be ok. Belarc Advisor (with Defs updated 6/13) shows my PC is up to date with MS Updates.

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Further from the thread at Wilder's, here's the formal *release* of the "RemoveWGA" uninstaller: http://www.firewallleaktester.com/removewga.htmAs gkweb indicates, this only removes the WGA notification, not the validation:

Also, Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications is different than Windows Genuine Advantage Validation. RemoveWGA only remove the notification part, phoning home, and does not touch the Validation part. As the time I'm writting this, the Validation part is mandatory for some not critical downloads from Microsoft, but the Notification part is not mandatory at all, and you are able to install all of the security updates without installing this one. This may change in the future thought, I don't know what are the Microsoft plans.

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Works well too Corrine! Used it on my WinXP. I didn't use it on the client's computer because I have no idea what Microsoft will be doing next! :sweatingbullets:

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MS brought back Service Pack 2 on CD.
I know that, Corrine. But maybe others here don't realize it's been made available once again since quite a few months now.
Personally, I've never had any issues with MS patches. (Knock on wood!)
And neither have I, Marsden. But we're not talking about a patch here. We're discussing what amounts to a very obtrusive piece of code that has negative side effects and borders on a gray area of spyware, even for those that have legal copies installed. The code is no good since it lands on systems that shouldn't be getting the download at WU/MU once the online scan is finished. That's part of my beef with this.I have everything else I need from MS. But WGA Notification is not something I feel I should need or have. That's the point of this topic. :) Edited by Guitar Man

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Thanks for the heads up on Belarc's tool, Corrine. It first told me that the def updates were not current (to June 13th). After installing them, it said I was missing one update, which didn't include WGA. Also, just before doing this, I changed the AU settings to "Notify Me", and lo & behold, the systray yellow icon shows up with 3 updates: - the June Malicious Software Removal Tool- another critical update (I can't remember what it was, but will confirm that shortly), and......- WGA Notification ! :thumbsup: Needless to say, I unchecked WGA prior to installing the first 2 ones. I will reboot, and see what happens.UPDATE EDIT : The 2nd one was KB914389 (or MS06-030). And the Notification tool was niot installed, and I don't see the yellow icon resurface...for now...BTW, the WGA Validation Tool was installed on April 22nd, as shown in Add/Remove Programs. No problem there.

Edited by Guitar Man

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According to the WGA Blog, the rumor isn't true: http://blogs.msdn.com/wga/default.aspxOne thing I am not seeing in the blog, however, is what is reported in the Microsoft Statement http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/feature...06-08wgaqa.mspx (Updated June 14, 2006):

Recent public discussions about WGA Notifications have raised questions about its operation. Shortly after logon, WGA Notifications checks whether a newer settings file is available and downloads the file if one is found. The settings file provides Microsoft with the ability to update how often reminders are displayed and to disable the program if necessary during the test period. This functionality enables Microsoft to respond quickly to feedback to improve the customer's experience. Unlike validation, which sends system information to Microsoft, this operation is limited to the download of the new settings file. No additional information is sent to Microsoft. There have been some questions on this issue, and Microsoft is working to more effectively communicate details of this feature to the public.As a result of customer concerns around performance, we are changing this feature to only check for a new settings file every 14 days. This change will be made in the next release of WGA. Also, this feature will be disabled when WGA Notifications launches worldwide later this year. {emphasis added}
Until that page is updated, I have a problem with the credibility of the blog entry. If nothing is reported back to Microsoft, what new settings are necessary every two weeks?BTW, it certainly didn't take long: http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?showtopic=15687

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Simple...How do most of us end up with multiple machines? We upgrade our hardware from time to time. I replace the video card in May, I buy a larger HD in June and I swap out my slower CPU in August. After a year or two we accumelate enough parts to build more machines.I may take that smaller HD with an XP installation and stick it in the older hardware. I may employ the known tricks to evade Windows Product Activation... even with different hardware than the orginal install. I my look for a hacked bit-torrent copy of XP. It really is not that hard to do.With enough spare parts, I could easily go from a single machine to many machines in just days.That is why WGA will "phone home" on some predetermined interval. It was every time you rebooted your machine a couple of weeks ago to every 2 weeks now. In a month or two it could very easily be once a month or longer. They will eventually find the sweet spot or the point with the least pain for the greatest number of people.

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There is no acceptable sweet spot on this type of offensive ware for legitimate consumers and computer professionals, IMHO.

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Questions about "phoning home"...How come no one ever complains about Apple's QuickTime calling home, or Adobe's Acrobat checking the mother-ship? How about Sun's Java RunTime Environment dialing collect?Have I missed any?

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How come no one ever complains about Apple's QuickTime calling home, or Adobe's Acrobat checking the mother-ship? How about Sun's Java RunTime Environment dialing collect?
Same reason you don't hear many complaints about Windows Update in general (WGA is an entirely separate issue). They're checking for updates that will (usually) genuinely benefit the end user. WGA does nothing for that.

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Questions about "phoning home"...How come no one ever complains about Apple's QuickTime calling home, or Adobe's Acrobat checking the mother-ship? How about Sun's Java RunTime Environment dialing collect?Have I missed any?
And you won't hear any complaints from me about any of those or any other software "phoning home" on my machine because they do not! They also do not disguise a "notification" tool as a critical update -- which is how Microsoft classifies AU (automatic updates).

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Ed Bott's comments yesterday:
You don't need to look very hard to find outraged Windows customers who have been branded pirates by Windows Genuine Authentication. And a hefty number of them claim they're being unfairly targeted, with legitimate Windows copies that are being tagged as stolen or pirated. I've heard from several dozen people, and I've also seen credible stories posted on Microsoft's public WGA newsgroups.Now, via e-mail, comes confirmation from Microsoft that its false positive rate might be unacceptably high. Microsoft’s PR agency apparently e-mailed other tech reporters to try to spike the WGA “kill switch†story I reported on last week. Eric Lai of ComputerWorld got the memo and basically reprinted it with no analysis (Microsoft denies WGA kill switch in Windows XP). But Lai's story does include one interesting new detail, a statistic that Microsoft confirmed in a follow-up e-mail to me: Through its spokeswoman, Microsoft said that “80% of all WGA validation failures are due to unauthorized use of leaked or stolen volume license keys.â€Oh, really? Turn that statistic around: Microsoft said that 20% of all Windows users who fail the WGA validation test are not using leaked or stolen keys.So what is the reason for WGA rejecting the other 20% of Windows licenses? ComputerWorld apparently didn't ask, so I fired off an e-mail to Microsoft's PR agency, who passed along a response from Cori Hartje, Director of Microsoft Genuine Software Initiative: While we will don't have specifics to share on other forms counterfeit installations, they mostly result from activities such as various forms of tampering and unauthorized OEM installations.Yes, that's exactly what they wrote. Besides being woefully ungrammatical, it's also imprecise. How many are caused by tampering? How many by unauthorized OEM installations? And what exactly are those categories? Note that there's no admission that some of those failures might be false positives.Trying to pry answers out of Microsoft is difficult, because they refuse to grant interviews on this subject. And taking one question at a time via e-mail, with a lag time of a day or more between question and answer, is just insulting.
Questions about "phoning home"...
Like epp_b mentions, the intentions are quite different. That's like comparing sp*m to email and saying since we don't mind getting email we shouldn't object to getting sp*m.

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Ugh, I was offered WGA for the third time this morning. I wonder if its been updated at all (the KB# was 905474).

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