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Author Topic: WTF!!!? on "Windows Genuine Advantage"?  (Read 6936 times)

Iconoclast

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Re: WTF!!!? on "Windows Genuine Advantage"?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2009, 03:10:01 pm »

In another thread I mentioned that I'd received a new (used) laptop that had Windows XP Professional on it and that it seemed to be a nifty OS and the first Microsoft product in years that didn't make me want to treat W*******s as a cuss word.

Sigh. I spoke too soon. I've only opened that computer a couple of times, but this morning when I did, I got a popup asking me to install some abomination called "Windows Genuine Advantage." The PR gloss Microsoft puts on this is worthy of a government.

Claire, Claire, Claire... I was wondering when you would see the errors in your ways. M$ is a curse, or should be treated a such... and avoided like the plague! 

As far as I know, WGA is only forced upon you only if you want to continue to receive updates from the Mothership. If you don't use Automatic Updates, or try to update manually, you don't need to install the spyware.  I think I read somewhere that this is also a way for M$ to enforce their DRM policies on older OSs.  I would recommend against installing it if you can.

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As I suppose you long-time W******s users know, the stuff is spyware designed to see if your OS is pirated, and they talk it up as if it's some glorious benefit to you.

Well, it's "optional." So of I didn't install it.

Optional yes... but, no install = no updates!

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I have every reason to believe the OS that came with the computer is genuine. It has an OEM serial number on it. When I read up on Genuine Advantage (ptooey!) I got the impression that they only try to install it on you when you visit their update sites -- which I never have. But there the damn thing is, anyhow. So I'm asking you ... is it "optional" in the same way that the IRS says that taxes are "voluntary"? Or can I really not "opt" to install it -- and get the nags to go away.

As long as you have a valid COA on the bottom of the laptop, the OS in genuine... I also have a T60... it came with XP Pro... it is genuine in that the OS is real... but to M$ and WGA, genuine means "paid for" not pirated!  Gotta protect that revenue stream!

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I'd like to keep this OS as a dual boot with Linux. But if the Gatesborg is going to keep nagging and/or cripple my system, screw 'em, I'm removing that disease of an OS tomorrow.

Anybody know how I can stop this and use my OS in peace? Or is it going to continue to the point where I kill all Microsoftware?

Yep... turn off automatic updates... or better yet, go in and disable the service!

My wife insists on using M$... I can't seem to ween her from it. In her defense, there are a couple of apps that she uses that don't work under Linux and WINE... YET!  So, here's what I do to mitigate my risks with M$... I install a fresh copy of the OS and update any hardware device drivers from the mfg website... I also check for BIOS updates.  I then manually use the automatic update tool... I have to allow it to install WGA, or no updates. I tried to get it to use a TOR proxy, but when updating, it ignores all proxy settings and goes directly to the M$ site... very sneaky way to get your ip-geolocation!  After updating all the M$ code, I disable auto updates. I go in and disable any unneeded services and edit the security policies and logging features.  I install firefox, third party firewall, AV, spyware/adware tools. I then install any needed third party apps and configure them. After I get the box the way I want it, I get a couple of good backups and store them on DVD.  After I do the initial updates, I don't use automatic updates again (because it reports what's installed on the system, and that is none of their business!)  As long as the firewall is active and the AV is up to date, I haven't had too many problems.  I know I've generalized quite a bit, and if you're interested, I can force myself to sit down at the XP box and see what services and security policies I changed... I may need some aspirin afterward, though.

On a side note.. I was reluctant to erase the M$ virus from my T60, but I did and don't regret it.  WIth their increasing spyware mentality and enforcement of DRM policy... the last straw was after I learned that M$ has had a chair at the Bilderberg meetings for a while now... that couldn't be a good sign!   :tinfoil:  Anyway, there should be a thinkpad utility that will allow you to make backup disks (XP install disks) from the utility partition. However, I think that you are only allowed to make one, maybe two copies, of the M$ software, so if the previous owner made copies, you may be SOL.  If you can, make copies then you can delete the utility partition (I think it's 4-5 GB) and the XP partition... and use the whole disk for Linux  :laugh:
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securitysix

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Re: WTF!!!? on "Windows Genuine Advantage"?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2009, 05:08:46 pm »

Anyway, there should be a thinkpad utility that will allow you to make backup disks (XP install disks) from the utility partition. However, I think that you are only allowed to make one, maybe two copies, of the M$ software, so if the previous owner made copies, you may be SOL.  If you can, make copies then you can delete the utility partition (I think it's 4-5 GB) and the XP partition... and use the whole disk for Linux  :laugh:

Actually, if you have the COA sticker, any OEM Windows XP disc should be able to reinstall for you, so if you can get an OEM XP disc, the only thing you lose by wiping out the recovery partition is the "bundled software", which I usually disable, uninstall, or ignore anyway.
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Iconoclast

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Re: WTF!!!? on "Windows Genuine Advantage"?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2009, 05:58:47 pm »


Actually, if you have the COA sticker, any OEM Windows XP disc should be able to reinstall for you, so if you can get an OEM XP disc, the only thing you lose by wiping out the recovery partition is the "bundled software", which I usually disable, uninstall, or ignore anyway.

True, but the recovery disk also gives you the thinkpad specific device drivers... you can get them off the lenovo website, but it's a PITA... and very tedious. Thinkpads, being business oriented, don't ususally come with a lot of bundled bloatware... just some thinkpad utilities... which is a good thing.
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GypsyJoker

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Re: WTF!!!? on "Windows Genuine Advantage"?
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2009, 06:17:06 pm »

It's optional, alright, unless you want to update when someone discovers one of the gazillion holes in that abomination. then you'll have to install WGA. Or when you want to unlock your computer after microsnot decides to fubar your system because you haven't validated the OS
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