WGA horror story #760745

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.

TOPICS: Microsoft

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:


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.

Topic: Microsoft

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  • Not really Genuine

    Obviously, the computer wasn't licensed for use with the NVidia card. As a Dell OEM machine, they needed to restore it to the OEM state that it was licensed for and reinstall.

    If they want to use a new video card, they need to get a new OS license to go with the new hardware.

    If this was a software error, it was a failure of the manual validator to recognize an invalidating hardware change.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • He's kidding, people

      You were just busting Carey in the other thread, so why did you forget the warning here? I almost spewed coffee all over my keyboard!

      For anyone lurking, you can indeed change your video card and reinstall your operating system, even on an OEM Dell PC. TGB's just havin' him some fun.

      But yes, this does seem to be the new message from the WGA team. The WGA Notification utility is also a powerful system diagnostic tool. If you receive a message telling you you're a victim of software piracy, it may be secretly telling you that your system has serious file corruption errors as well. Thanks, Microsoft!
      Ed Bott
      • I have a question

        Maybe you can answer it since the dipstick from the other thread avoided it:

        If file corruption is causing some of this then why wasn't that taken into effect when WGA was created? We know that not every computer is perfect and a lot of people use systems for various things. Just what exactly is WGA considering a file corruption?

        Ok, so it was more than one question. Sorry.
      • Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

        [i]You were just busting Carey in the other thread, so why did you forget the warning here? I almost spewed coffee all over my keyboard![/i]

        Sorry, Ed. A moment of weakness combined with "first post fever."
        Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Another one of those fine lines

        between feature and annoyance.
        • Feature??? NT

    • Re: Not really Genuine

      Windows XP will accept a video card change or upgrade with no issues, as long as one installs the appropriate video card drivers.
      • Different story at WGA forum

        I believe you're correct, Carey, but Phil Liu at the WGA Validation Problems forum says: "Changing the Video card (or adding it) may have put you into an Activation required status (from hardware updates)."

        I can't imagine, based on the description from this user, how simply changing a video card could cause activation problems. And anyway, the user made it quite clear in the original post that the messages were Validation failures appearing on the login page and on the taskbar.
        Ed Bott
      • Thats not the point

        The point is 'what have the video card drivers got to do with whether your XP licence is valid or not'

        It really shouldn't matter how often I want to change my graphics card or which drivers I wish to use with it. My OS is either legit or isn't and the graphics card/drivers don't change that.
      • MS needs to tell us the exact amount and order to do things.

        So what is appropriate drivers? The ones from NVidia's website or the drivers from the manufacturer's website? I will not upgrade to XP because PNY tells me to go to NVidia's website and they always say they are unsigned. So it sounds like he has to reactivate after the NVidia change and go back to WGA and hope he gets validated. These hoops are a bunch of sh*t.

        I believe MS is going to hurt themselves pretty good over this process.
        • Re: MS needs to tell us the exact amount and order to do things.

          If you have a PNY video card with a NVIDIA chip, then download and install the NVIDIA WHQL Certified drivers:

          Please make sure to read the Driver Installation Hints Document before you install this driver.
          • They always popup unsigned drivers on 2000

            They will do the same in XP. What us Window users need is exact detail on what to do. It is getting as frustrating as linux. Spelled out concrete sequential instructions that guarantee a legit install. Otherwise you are about as helpful as a kickstand on a Abrams tank.
          • As frustrating as Linux??

            [i]They will do the same in XP. What us Window users need is exact detail on what to do. It is getting as frustrating as linux."[/i]

            In Linux I don't EXPECT it to just work, although it usually does. In Windows I don't expect it NOT to work.

            Windows has enough frustrations without trying to imitate Linux in terms of hardware drivers. Isn't hardware drivers the main qualm that Windows users have with Linux? Ohh no, it's software. Well Linux is way ahead of Windows in terms of software, so I guess we're getting there.
          • Yes but not on 2000

            On XP yes and I always expect it to work regardless of the OS. If they say it will work, it better work no matter the origins.

            Yes it is. But if the drivers work and they say you are not allowed, not in 2000 but in the new version that will prevent you from getting security upgrades, that's a problem. Software for linux is awful except for a few good pieces and they had corporate backing. Woo some software houses to port over and your fortunes will change.

            And stay away from GPLv3!
          • Lol the certified video drivers never cause any problems right?

            They only cause the newest games to crash. Oh well who needs games anyway. I guess I'll just have to make another spreadsheet of sudoku.
          • I do not have problems with video drivers.

            I don't play games although I had one crash and my desktop was at 640x480. I set the bells and whistles too high or was it nwiz.exe in the system startup. Been a few years. You get this unsigned message when you install the drivers. They work fine. No problem unless it prevents authorization on the newer system.
        • Another Reason Why...

          I don't want to go from Win2K to XP if I don't have to.
          • I felt like that for years.

            I don't have to yet. And I haven't.
    • MS money grubbing?

      Having to buy a new OS every time you change the hardware config is not a sane or fair tactic. That would be like having to buy new plates for your car if you installed better spark plugs.
      • New and improved....

        I am not a technical whiz as most of you out there are. but I hhave been using the computer for about 15 yrs. I started with windows 3.0 and now have 2 computers one usung win 98 and the new laptop using win xp. I have a problem with adding a new wing to Bill's 44,000 sq ft home every time I update a piece of hardware in my laptop. I further have a problem with MS telling me that they refuse toi support my win 98 becaus ethey have come up with a better product. For all his philanthropic endeavors, I believe that Bill G has begun to go one step past the proverbial line in the sand. Why can't the WGA program do exactly what its sposed to do and stop there. Check to see if the program is genuine... compare serial numbers and if they are a match end the search. I further believe that this is just another attempt by Bill G to play "Big Brother" to us all. and I for one resent the intrusion into my privacy!!!!!