Tag Archives: WGA

Microsoft addresses new reports of forced Windows updates and reboots


Microsoft has posted a long and complex explanation to its Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) blog, explaining the latest case of why software updates are being pushed to users who believe they’ve turned automatic updating off. Here’s the abridged version of what the Redmondians said.

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WARNING: device driver updates causing Vista to deactivate


After weeks of gruelling troubleshooting, I’ve finally had it confirmed by Microsoft Australia and USA — something as small as swapping the video card or updating a device driver can trigger a total Vista deactivation.

Put simply, your copy of Windows will stop working with very little notice (three days) and your PC will go into “reduced functionality” mode, where you can’t do anything but use the web browser for half an hour.

You’ll then need to reapply to Microsoft to get a new activation code.

How can this crazy situation occur? Read on for the sorry tale.

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Internet Explorer 7 update now WGA-free


Microsoft has issued an updated Internet Explorer (IE) 7 release that no longer requires Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation in order to download. The company has refreshed versions of IE 7 for Windows XP Service Pack (SP)2, Windows 64 client/server, and Windows Server 2003 SP1/SP2.

WGA is the anti-piracy mechanism Microsoft uses to check whether users are running “genuine” Windows before allowing them to download certain product updates, fixes, white papers and other related information.

Microsoft posted to its Download Center on October 4 refreshed versions of IE 7 for Windows XP Service Pack (SP)2, Windows 64 client/server, and Windows Server 2003 SP1/SP2. It also posted an update to IE 7 for Windows XP that resolves a phishing-filter problem with the browser.

Users interested in downloading the refreshed IE can get it from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer home page or go thorugh a third-party site thatis authorized by Microsoft to deliver customized IE releases. Microsoft officials said they also have pushed the refresh out via Automatic Updates, but those already running IE 7 “will not be offered IE7 again” via this mechanism.

Other changes that are part of the IE 7 refresh:

* The menu bar is now visible by default
* The Internet Explorer 7 online tour has updated how-to’s and the “first-run” experience includes a new overview
* A new MSI installer that “simplifies deployment for IT administrators in enterprises,” according to the Softies

Microsoft rolled out IE 7 last fall. Since then, the company has said next-to-nothing about its future plans for its Web browser.

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