Some of you might be as familiar with Microsoft’s latest piracy warrior… the Windows Genuine Advantage spyware program. If not then here is what it is (on the surface):
Windows Genuine Advantage includes two main tools - Windows Genuine Advantage Validation and Windows Genuine Advantage Notification. The WGA Validation tool checks that an instance of Windows XP is properly licensed, and is required for some Windows updates. If the copy doesn’t check out, WGA Notification repeatedly reminds the user to upgrade to a properly licensed version of Windows.
When digging a little deeper…
Unfortunately WGA Notification also checks back with Microsoft once a day even if the licensing check is successful, something the company hadn’t previously made public. Neither of the programs is designed to be removable.
Once the WGA Notification tool has checked your OS and has confirmed you had a legit copy, there is no decent point or reason to check it again and again every boot. Moreover, connecting to Microsoft brings security issue for corporate networks, and privacy issues for everyone. It is also unclear which information are transmitted (Microsoft published an official answer, but an individual study brought some questions). All of that, along the fact that Microsoft used deceptive ways to make you install this tool (it was told you it was an urgent security update, whereas it is a new installation giving you no extra security) makes me calling this tool a spyware.
Ok, with all that said, I can in no way be upset that this “tool” was installed on my PC. I, Bucho… am a pirate.
However there have been several reports of legitimate owners getting hit with piracy notifications upon reinstalling their copy of Windows. That would piss me the f### off! After actually giving Microsoft money to use the OS, then getting spyware “like” (not “like” at all… its fucking spyware) pop-ups all day long!?!? WTF?!?!
Well thanks to Guillaume Kaddouch, a French developer, you can download a program he wrote for free that removes the WGA notification. Unfortunately, updates from now on will most likely not be able to be downloaded unless you have the WGA program installed on your PC.
I tested out the program and it worked perfectly! Also, I turned automatic updates off, and removed the Security Center pop-up warnings. No more updates for me, but at least I can use my PC without wanting to throw it through my front door.
HOW TO REMOVE WGA NOTIFICATION
1. Start > Settings > Control Panel
2. Click on Security Center (Classic View Shown)
3. Click on Automatic Updates
4. Select Turn Off Automatic Updates
5. Click OK
6. Click on “Change the way Security Center alerts me” under Resources on the Security Center window.
7. Uncheck Automatic Updates (and anything else you don’t want alerts about)
8. Click OK
9. Close the Security Center
10. Download the WGA removal tool
11. Run RemoveWGA.exe
12. Click Yes
13. Click Yes
14. Your PC will reboot and remove everything. A notification window will be displayed stating what was removed.
Courtesy of Simple Thoughts