WGA horror story #760745

Summary:Microsoft continues to insist that there are no problems with its Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program. But pesky customers keep spoiling the illusion by posting problem reports documenting the flaws. One recent example comes from a hospital, where doctors in the operating room can't view X-rays online until they click past bogus messages warning them that they may be victims of software piracy and demanding that they Get Genuine.

Some of the stories on Microsoft's Windows Validation Problems forum are too heartbreaking not to share. This report from a Microsoft customer using the handle "purple collie" appeared on Monday:

Followed your steps. Validated machine; ran MGA & shows GENUINE -- still get the "not genuine" prompt at login and on tool bar. How do I make this stop??

The post also included the output from the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic utility, establishing that this copy of Windows XP is indeed legitimate.

Another forum participant helpfully passed along some of the cut-and-paste instructions routinely offered by the official support crew, prompting this response from the original WGA victim, which adds some context:

I have run the WGA download; I have validated the software; MGA still says genuine; enabled active-x and run the wgatray /b.

This machine is supposed to be running in the OR, and the last thing the docs need when they go to pull up the xrays/ct scans is to be told they are illegal (and to spend time clicking around to get rid of the fool message).

The wga message started after I reformatted my Dell and re-loaded windows. Then I installed the MS updates (which were fine) and then installed a new nvidia card. Since then it's been wga heartbreak!

Any more suggestions?? HELP!!

Here's the "fool message" that appears every time one of the doctors in this hospital operating room tries to log on to Windows XP:

eb_not_genuine_small_1.png

Two days later, a Microsoft MVP who volunteers on the forum finally got around to offering yet another cut-and-paste reply:

Go to your C:windowssystem32 folder and DELETE the LegitCheckControl.dll file. Then go to http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/Validate.aspx?displaylang=en and revalidate. That will reload the DLL file correctly. Reboot your computer after this.

This same MVP smugly asserted in the Talkback section of yesterday's report on the rising rate of WGA problems that every single report like this one is the result of "pre-existing system file corruption issues that resulted in their inability to properly valdate their system." According to this Microsoft apologist, "The WGA file itself is not flawed and works as designed to validate a genuine Windows operating system devoid of file corruption."

In this example, of course, the WGA victim did a completely clean installation of Windows, with nothing more than updates from Microsoft and a new video card. So where did the "file corruption" come from? Unless, of course, this is the new Catch-22 and any problem with WGA Notifications is, on its face, evidence that you have file corruption and you just need to look a little harder.

A word to the wise: If you end up on the operating table at this hospital, do not - I repeat, do not tell them you work at Microsoft.

Topics: Microsoft

About

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

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