You may be a victim of software counterfeiting

I wouldnt be surprised if scammers would soon start placing image ads so that malware is downloaded to PCs. I wouldnt be surprised if M$ is slapped with a suit to prevent scammers from appropriating credit card information via such misplaced trust.

As pointed out earlier, our average Joe can be conned into clicking anything that scares him.
Fear, is something that can be sold, and sold very well.

I can only shudder to think about the kind of Wall Street clowns who influenced this not-so-well-thought-out feature.

There is at least one good alternative to using Microsoft’s Windows Update service and it’s this Firefox plugin called Windiz Update.
I have successfuly used this to update several Windows systems and everything I can find about it indicates that it is safe to use and does not install any malware. But make your one judgement and use at your own risk.

It sucks that the commenter was ripped off, but he was screwed by the seller, not Microsoft

I mostly agree.

However, I think it’s little disingenuous the way Microsoft is changing the validation methods for Windows XP so radically, nearly FIVE (!) years after its release.

If Microsoft is going to inflict these kind of changes on users at this late date, Microsoft should also be generous in the way it handles the resulting problems.

It’s easy to be generous when you’re the king, but for some reason, generosity doesn’t happen nearly enough.

Everything on ebay is pirated

I think this is a gross exaggeration. I’ve purchased software a few times on eBay and never gotten a pirated version.

What you do see, however, is lots of “grey market” software-- stuff marked “not for resale”, “promotional use only”, or “academic edition”. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this-- it’s a valid license and genuine software.

I agree that it is a little disingenuous to wait 5 years for this.

So don’t you think that the sudden change of heart is because of the upcoming Vista release? Do you think that there will be a price drop for XP or do you think that Microsoft is expecting to offer lower cost/free “Express Editions” of Vista and this is the way to force users to upgrade to them?

“You’ll have to install some kind of questionable third-party hack to get around it.”
"pirated versions of Vista, for example, will not be able to enable the fancy Aero “glass” interface."
Erm, no. Usually when one gets a pirated version of something the protection is usually removed before distribution. WinXP is unusual in this regard because MS only had a key as copy protection, so there was no need to remove the copy protection, and thus the pirated copies were very similar to non-pirated copies.

Wow :slight_smile:
How about China, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries?

“What you do see, however, is lots of “grey market” software-- stuff marked “not for resale”, “promotional use only”, or “academic edition”. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this-- it’s a valid license and genuine software.”

Ummmm… but the software vendor has a problem with it and they can easily refuse to validate your licesnse. I’ve been there before. The morons at the company I work for always try to save money by buying software on eBay (we are a ten person software shop). 100% of the time what we have received has been “promotional use” software. And out of about 8 attempts, 2 of them have been rejected by the software vendor when trying to activate them.

And it burns my butt to know that some guy is sitting out there hocking promotional software and people are paying large sums of money for it. One of the products that got rejected cost us $700! I’m sure the guy who sold it to us was very happy to have made so much money on something that he got free just for attending some sort of conference or demo.

But what really got me was when a friend of mine decided that he wanted to buy the Standard Edition of Visual Studio 2003. We are talking about software that I could go down to the store and pick up for about $100. He bought a copy on eBay for $75 after shipping only to find that it didn’t come with the MSDN Library cd’s. So then he has the nerve to ask me to make him a copy of the cd’s so he can have the integrated help feature. You know what I had to say about that foolishness! :wink:

One thing that annoys me mightily is MS attitude towards users of Microsoft Virtual PC - specifically, that the point of Virtual PC is to sell more Windows licenses. The only assurance we’ve been able to get from MS is that any copy, backup, archive or clone operation requires us to purchase another OS license. They explicitly include backup!

As far as activation goes, I’m surprised at how many programs don’t work at all without an internet connection. For most stuff I’ve bought a copy of VMware Workstation and an extra XP license, and consolidated all my home machines onto one. One activation of each product and I’m fine. This also gets me out of a lot of the other product activations - I either use the trial version or activate and snapshot, then when I get prompted to reactivate I revert to the snapshot.

The point I’ve seen a few places is that people who are the heaviest users of pirated software and media are often also heavy purchasers of same. I know I am - my tax return normally has $1000-ish of software purchases every year, and there are piles of CDs and DVDs lying about the house that were bought legally (then ripped illegally and I rarely-to-never listen to the plastic version).

(ripping is illegal in Australia, unless you have permission from the copyright holder… I have that from one artist out of about 20 requests)

I believe the ‘scarlet-letter A’ was for

It’s a shame there seems to be a lot of false-negatives popping up. All my versions of windows are genuine, but I’m still avoiding installing that update. It’s just not useful for me, so why would I.

I am now such a victim, as one of my home PCs has now been ‘branded’ as not genuine. [It makes one feel like the witches or whatever, who were branded with the ‘scarlet-letter A’ on their forehead. Or,
maybe I’m mixing my metaphors?!]

At any rate, I purchased the machine about 3 years ago from a [seemingly] otherwise reputable local shop, who has since closed its doors [itself maybe a ‘victim’ of offshoring the building of PCs to
China, etc.]

I’m now too stubborn to just rollover and pay the
richest man on the planet, who the European Union
and many of the states in these United States still consider to be a monopolist.

So, I guess I’ll just continue to wear my ‘scarlet letter’ with pride.

Meanwhile, I think Microsoft and Mr. Gates should ALSO start marking up a map of the US/World, with
little dots, one for each desktop/laptop that
was DELIVERED with an ALREADY-PAID-FOR copy of
Windows on it, but which was TOTALLY ERASED and
never used, and had Linux installed on it INSTEAD.

I’m betting that THAT LINUX-only-PC map’s dot-count would be easily COUNTER-BALANCED by the dot count of their present map.

In otherwords, Microsoft should consider it
a balanced-off trade, instead of yet-again
flexing their DOMINENT-nay-near-MONOPOLISTIC
weight around again. They either just don’t
’get it’ or else just consider their WEALTH
to be the attribute that they most want to
maximize, at the cost of further offending more
’customers’ (who they clearly do not ‘respect’).

[Oh, and if they WERE to make such a Linux-only
map, I’d suggest they use the very nice ‘Google-Maps’ APIs, rather than their stupid
and EXPENSIVE ‘MapPoint’ approach. Check out
my ‘website’ that I built using ‘Google-Maps’.]

Just my 2-cents worth…


My daughter bought a PC from a “computer fair”. It had XP Home installed on it. She was not given an XP disk with it.
I bought a brand new HP computer from a shop, and didn’t get an XP disc either. I did get the HP Recovery disk containing all running apps. Mine is genuine. Hers apparently is not. She can’t afford to buy an XP disc. As she has no disc to send to Microst she can’t get a replacement disk from Bill Gates. She paid cash as a lot of the stallholders did not have CC facilities. The adress on the receipt is bogus.
I bought my first PC in 2002. A father and son were building PC’s to specification. I paid 300 and it came with XP Pro installed. I tried to register it and couldn’t. A nag screen informed me that in 30 days I would not be able to use XP…in 29 days etc… then 28 days. I took the PC back. They refused a refund as it was custom built. They reprogrammed in XP Pro, and told me not to register with Micros
t. I went to the Small Claims Court, but by the time the case came up the birds had flown. There are an awful lot of sharks in the water. I couldn’t afford to buy a genuine disk. A friend gave me a promotional copy of XP pro he had been given. I registered it with a code from the Internet. It worked including updates until I bought the HP PC. Bill Gates could afford to sell XP for 10 a copy. China and 3rd world countries are getting a cut down version of XP. Why can’t we have the same? There are lots of XP applications I never use and will never use.

I have a genuine XP licence at work. The problem is that I didn’t had the bleeding licence key at hand when I installed XP on my laptop at home. So can someone please tell me how I can enter the genuine licence key to get rid of the most annoying error message of all time before I install linux in mere frustration?

Found the soulution. Just download the script ChangeVLKeySP1.vbs from Microsoft and run the command ‘ChangeVLKeySP1.vbs ABCD-DFGH-IJKL-MNOPQ’ with a valid licence key and the really, really annoying error box disapears instantly.

Ok wait wait wait… would someone tell me exactly what this ‘threat’ means to me. (cause my Pops was fooled into buying a pirated version of XP with our computer) I want to know what’s the worst that can happen if I just ignore those stupid MS Pop-Ups not buy a Key. Will My Computer Shut Down? Will I lose my data? … how much does this product key co$t anyway, should I buy it?

Will My Computer Shut Down? Will I lose my data?

No, but those nag dialogs will stay naggy. There might be a way to disable the nags here:

… how much does this product key co$t anyway, should I buy it?

The best long term solution is to make sure you have a valid key.

XP Pro ~ $140
XP media center edition ~ $110
XP home ~ $85

You can try eBay, but there weren’t many good deals there when I checked:

or buy from newegg…

you too cool. thank for the info

When I purchased my PC I bought a valid copy of XP, (from a very reputable and well known electronics store) complete with registry key, and had no troubles validating it. This extremely annoying problem started about two weeks ago. I have tried contacting Micro***t since it began, and have so far had no answer. This infuriates me. I got rid of the problem by removing the wgatray.exe and wgaLogon.dll files. This is after making sure all my settings were in order. Im still outraged that this happened in the first place. I’m convinced that this problem is not just happening to pirated copies. More money for Mr.Gates.

Just another incentive for us all to up sticks and go Linux , its free and they arnt like spoilt children wanting to turn off updates we niether need nor want

The solution of running ChangeVLKeySP1.vbs is lame. The real solution for this annoyance is rather simple, and proven.

  1. Locate wgatray.exe and wgatray.dll on your PC. It is defaulted at c:\windows\system32\

  2. Boot your PC in Safe Mode and with DOS Prompt. Press F8 during boot will get you there.

  3. At DOS prompt, change directory to the location of the files. (e.g. cd c:\windows\system32\ )

  4. Delete the two files wgatray.exe and wgatray.dll. (rename is fine, but why keep it around?)

  5. Reboot your PC and voila. Remember to turn off Automatic Updates feature, and tell it not to remind you of it any more.

Life is supposed to be normal and good.