Microsoft has released WGA Notifications application which effectively turned Microsoft Windows operating system into a ‘nagware’, with a “This copy of Windows is not genuine” warning. What the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications application does what it will check your Microsoft Windows XP validity. If it found that the copy of Windows XP is not validated, not genuine, counterfeit, unlicensed, pirated, illegal, unauthorised or simply failed the Windows Genuine Advantage validation process, then the notification messages will appear at various places and time.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purpose only, as most information is found on various part of Internet. Readers should contacts Microsoft if their licensed or OEM software cannot be validated or purchase genuine software.
When you log on to a non-genuine copy of Windows XP, the following notification error message “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will pop-up on the logon process:
And the nicely said “You may be a victim of software counterfeiting” message on the bottom right corner of log-in screen:
Microsoft allows Windows faithfuls to have 2 options: Get Genuine or Resolve Later. Click on Resolve Later will temporarily bypass the notification and let you login into and use Windows nagged with notification icon and messages, which will randomly appear as balloon notification message with an icon in the notification area (system tray).
Clicking on the balloon notification or the notification area icon will lead you to the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Failure Web page that contains the specifics of the validation failure and the steps that you can take to make the operating system genuine.
To get rid of the WGA notifications that intends to remind you that your Windows is not validated, you can buy a validly licensed copy of genuine Microsoft Windows.
Update: Bypass WGA Validation with Crack or Hack and Disable WGA Notifications Warning Message Workarounds
Latest Version: 1.5.554.0 on October 2006 (distribute to some computers with no known roll-out pattern), 1.5.708.0 on September 2006 (distribute to whoever wants to download from Microsoft Download Center), 1.5.540.0 on 28th June 2006, 1.5.532.2 on 6th June 2006, 1.5.532.0 on 30th May 2006, 1.5.530.0 on 23rd May 2006, 1.5.526.0 on 26th April 2006.
More information on WGA Validation Tool (KB892130) and WGA Notifications (KB905474) which install LegitCheckControl.dll, WgaLogon.dll and WgaTray.exe.
With new release of WGA, some methods no longer works, and some has been updated. Several methods that has certain success on certain people, you may try until you success.
Official Method by Microsoft – more information here.
- Lauch Windows Task Manager.
- End wgatray.exe process in Task Manager.
- Restart Windows XP in Safe Mode.
- Delete WgaTray.exe from c:\Windows\System32.
- Delete WgaTray.exe from c:\Windows\System32\dllcache.
- Lauch RegEdit.
- Browse to the following location:
- Delete the folder ‘WgaLogon’ and all its contents
- Reboot Windows XP.
Note: With this method, you may be prompted to install WGA Notifications again which can still be unselected.
Another alternative suggested by dman is by using System Restore to restore the PC to a previous restore point that WGA Notifications hasn’t kicked in, and then carefully stop KB905474 from been applied to the system. To use System Restore, go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore.
Note: Again, you may be prompted again to install WGA Notification, so it must be bypassed.
Third Method updated
This method involves using a cracked version of LegitCheckControl.dll to replace the original copy of LegitCheckControl.dll, and thus bypass the WGA validation and make Microsoft believes that your copy of Windows is genuine. To get rid of WGA Notifications warning messages, the patched version of WgaLogon.dll and WgaTray.exe to replace the existing files.
To apply the patch by replacing the files manually, try to end the respective processes in the Task Manager before deleting the existing files. Most likely is you will have to restart your PC in Safe Mode in order to replacing the original copy of LegitCheckControl.dll and related files. However, there has been automatic updater and even cracked WGA installer that automatically apply the patched version of WGA files.
Latest Update for WGA version 1.5.708.0 latest
Download cracked and patched version of LegitCheckControl.dll with thanks to Danny.
Latest Update for WGA version 1.5.554.0 latest
Download cracked and patched version of LegitCheckControl.dll, WgaLogon.dll and WgaTray.exe for v1.5.554.0 of Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool and WGA Notifications.
John suggested that it may be rolled out to reduce the frequency of ‘phone home’ feature. BetaNews has confirmed this and says Microsoft has completed the pilot phase for WGA Notifications, officially rolling out the anti-piracy reminders to Windows XP users worldwide. Anyway if Notifications Tools is patched, it won’t callbacks at all. Swissboy found that now there are 15 languages supported for KB905474 and offers solution.
General release version of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications also has updated EULA which says installing of this update is optional. However, once installed, the update will become a permanent part of your Windows XP software, means you can’t uninstall it. The EULA also confirms that information about your system will be sent to Microsoft. You can just skip installing the KB905474 by clicking “I Decline” when shown the EULA. If you don’t want the Automatic Updates or Windows Updates to try install WGA Notifications again, click Don’t ask me to install these updates again at Decline EULA window.
Latest Update for WGA version 1.5.532.2
Version 1.5.532.2 of WGA Validation Tool and WGA Notifications is NOT YET mass released to all Windows system, so your system may not have this version.
WindowsXP-KB905474-ENU-x86-1.5.532.2-noWGA.exe (as suggested by swissboy) is the original setup of KB905474, but with the 3 files as mentioned above replaced with patched version and re-packed. You can view the contents with WinRAR or 7-Zip. Download
here or here. (Removed due to compliant from Microsoft)
LegitCheckControl.dll-v1.5.532.2-Jun-02-2006.zip (as suggested by swissboy) contains hacked version of LegitCheckControl.dll which you have to replace manually over the existing dll in \Windows\System32 folder. Download
here or here. (Deleted due to complaint from Microsoft)
new More automated WGA removal tool: RemoveWGA
Latest Update for WGA version 1.5.532.0
LegitCheckControl1.5.532.0.muiz.fixed.rar (suggested by Picard) is the patched LegitCheckControl.dll and can be download
here or here (removed due to complaint from Microsoft).
If LegitCheckControl.dll alone doesn’t work, try to patch the other two WGA files too, namely WgaLogon.dll and WgaTray.exe. Download the the patches for 3 files
here or here (Removed due to complaint from Microsoft). Overwrite the original files with these hacked version in \Windows\System32 folder. The patch should remove notifications nag screen and allows Windows Update.
There are also several automated tools that save the dirty works of have to manually overwrites and replaces the WGA applications.
WGAPatch905474 (suggested by SilverBullet) contains 905474.exe that will patch Windows to allow access to full (custom) Windows Update and get rid of nag screen. Download 905474.exe
here or here (removed due to complaint from Microsoft).
There are also several patched WGANotify KB905474 installation setup which will install KB905474 WGAnotify with the 3 patched WGA files namely LegitCheckControl.dll, WgaLogon.dll and WgaTray.exe. One of them is HotFix windowsxp-kb905474-enu-x86.exe suggested by DeaDMan Walking, which will after install, disable notifications nag screen and allows update. Download
here, here or here (removed coz of Microsoft complaint).
WindowsXP-KB905474-ENU-x86-v1.5.532.0-noWGA.exe (suggested by Swissboy) is also the patched KB905474 setup file which is actually the original setup of KB905474, but with the 3 files replaced. Download it
here or here (removed due to Microsoft compliant).
Use the latest cracked LegitCheckControl.dll by searching for “Windows.Genuine.Advantage.Validation.v1.5.526.0.CRACKED-ETH0″. Can also be downloaded
here (obsolete link, update here). Cracked LegitCheckControl.dll also available here or here (obsolete links, updates available here). Once download the cracked dll, replace the LegitCheckControl.dll in \Windows\System32 folder with the cracked version. You may need to restart your PC in safe mode to replace the files.
Clear the contents or create a new empty data.dat for WGA, and make data.dat Read-Only and Hidden as detailed here.
The following step basically is the same with the above data.dat method, only different is that you no need to create any file in the WGA data folder:
- Launch Windows Explorer and go to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data
- Go to Tools -> Folder Option -> View.
- Select (click) Show Hidden Files and Folders option.
- Unselect (uncheck) Hide Protected Operating System Files option.
- Click OK.
- Delete everything in the data folder.
- Right click on data folder, and select Properties.
- Select (Check) Read-Only as the folder’s atributes.
- Click OK or Apply.
Update: After 30 May 2006 with the release of WGA 1.5.532.0, this method no longer works. If the data.dat is set to “Read-Only”, WGA may complains that the serial key from the file could not be read, making the WGA validation failed even with the cracked dll files. So just delete the file (and make sure the folder is not set to “Read-Only”), WGA will then automatically regenerate the file and create the key, so you will pass the validation if you have the correct patched dll installed.
Another alternative suggest that three files are installed Windows XP System Folder for WGA:
The wgatray.exe process makes the check for genuine windows software. If WgaLogon.dll is denied execution right, that WinLogon is unable to call it to check on Windows validity and display notification package at boot, and since WgaLogon is also responsible for running and maintaining WgaTray.exe, no more tray popups either.
To change and disable the execute bit of WgaLogon.dll:
- Turn off Simple File Sharing in Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab.
- Right click WgaLogon.dll in Windows Explorer and open the Security Tab.
- Click Advanced button.
- Uncheck the Inherit box at the bottom.
- Click the Copy button.
- Click OK.
- Go through each listed user/group and remove the “Read & Execute” permission for WgaLogon.dll, leaving the “Read” permission as-is.
- Click OK to apply the permission changes.
- Close the file properties dialog.
- Restart the computer.
- Turn “Use simple file sharing” on (optional).
Optionally, steps suggested by PSNet which has the same effect – disabling WgaLogon.dll.
This method doesn’t remove WGA notification tool, instead just disable the annoying pop-ups and nags screen. Currently, you can opt out of receiving all the pop ups on start up and be left with just the star.
Right click on the WGA star in the system tray and choose ‘change notification settings’. When the web page loaded, click the + next to the “Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications Options”. Then untick (unselect) the “Display Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications messages” box and click “Save Settings”.
The page will now refresh with a new option “I understand that I am disabling the display of messages in this version of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications”. Select by ticking the box and click “Yes, Im Sure”. After that, reboot the PC and all the nags will be gone although the Blue Star WGA icon stays in the taskbar but it doesnt pop up any warning messages.
Best of all, this is the legal way of getting rid of the annoying warning messages, although Microsoft said this resolution to be around for temporary only.
Install ZoneAlarm firewall, and configure to kill or disallow “WGA” in the allowed programs section.
Steve suggested the following:
1. Go to \windows\system32 in explorer
2. Rename WgaLogon.dll to WgaLogon.dll.bak
3. Create a new empty WgaLogon.dll in notepad and save to the same location
4. Right click on the task bar, and open Task Manager at the Processes tab
5. (Quickly) delete WgaTray.exe, then it will give you approx 5 seconds to click on WgaTray.exe in Task Manager and click End Task, and confirm
6. Restart your computer and the login and nag messages should be gone
Again, this method will help to disable the WGA warning notifications only.
Dhillip wrote an utility Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications Remover which can help to remove the warning messages.
Melhacker also wrote WGARemover tool to remove WGA.
Note: The file WGANotify Remover has been deleted and all assumed no longer works for new version of WGA.
WGA Notifications Patch is a series of steps to disable notifications message suggested by Tekken.
Download WGAFixer (WGAFixer1.5.530.0.exe) which replaces the LegitCheckControl.dll version 1.5.530.0 and modifies the WGA related registry.
If you have installed KB905474 (Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications) which is currently an optional component although it’s grouped as High Priority Update, there is no official and proper way of uninstalling KB905474 (according to EULA, you can’t uninstall it). However, there seems a way of uninstall or at least way to partly remove KB905474 WGA Notifications suggested by TechTics:
- Click on Start -> Run.
- In the Open text box, key in %windir%\system32\wgatray.exe /u
- Press OK or Enter to execute it.
- Click on Start -> Run again.
- Launch Registry Editor by key in regedit in the Open text box.
- Navigate to the following key and delete the key and its branch. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\WgaLogon
- Reboot the PC and WGA Notifications should be removed.
- Optionally, you may delete the WgaTray.exe and WgaLogon.dll installed by KB905474 and its software distribution folder by using the following commands at Run function: cmd /c “del %windir%\system32\wgatray.exe”
cmd /c “del %windir%\system32\WGAlogon.dll”
cmd /c “rmdir /s /q %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Download\6c4788c9549d437e76e1773a7639582a”
However, this method just removed the warning message notifications of WGA about pirated Windows, and you will be almost immediately be asked to install KB905474 again. So be sure to unselect the KB905474 when asked to install updates in Automatic Updates or Microsoft/Windows Updates.
A registry hack for WGA suggested by PBLee. Copy the text below into notepad (including the ‘Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00′ heading), then save the file as a .reg file. Alternatively, download the wga.reg fix here or here. Double click on the file to apply the registry patch.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
There is another similar registry hack which patch WPA related registry entries to let Windows assumes itself is a genuine copy of Windows and has been activated. To apply the registry modification, copy and paste the following code into a text file, and save it as a file with .reg extension. Then simply double click on the .reg file created to apply it to Windows registry. Or to save your work, simply download the zip file wpa_registry.rar that contains wpa_registry.reg. Double click on wpa_registry.reg to apply the patch. Once applied, the hack should allows users to access and download updates from Microsoft Windows Update and install certain WGA-protected software such as IE7.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
“CurrentBuild”=”1.511.1 () (Obsolete data – do not use)”
The “Windows Genuine Advantage Notification” (KB905474) cannot be uninstalled by Add/Remove Program in Control Panel by default, contrary to the claim in the knowledge base article. To enable the removal of KB905474 WGA Notification tool, follow the below steps:
Note: It seems like it’s not possible to uninstall WGA Notifications from Add/Remove Program. Cobolhacker has details on why KB905474 cannot be uninstalled. Suggested steps to “uninstall” are search and delete all WgaTray.exe and WgaLogon.dll files in your boot drive (if you using search, check the “Search system folders”, “Search hidden files and folders” and “Search subfolders” checkboxes), delete all the register keys in the following tree: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\WgaLogon, and to remove the entry from Add/Remove Programs list, delete the registry key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Uninstall\WgaNotify. With uninstallation, WGA Notifications will try to install again next time.
- Click on Start.
- Click on Run.
- Type in regedit in the Run text box.
- Click OK or press Enter.
- In Registry Editor, browse the the following registry key branch: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
- On the right panel, modify the value of NoRemove (by right clicking on the key and choose Modify) to 0.
- Exit the Registry Editor.
- Re-launch the Add/Remove Program, and Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications (KB905474) is now removable.
Prevention is always better than cure. So the best to avoid the the KB905474 Windows Genuine Advantage Notification application to be automatically downloaded and applied by Automatic Updates is to disable Automatic Updates. Go to Automatic Updates in Control Panel and disable it by selecting Turn off Automatic Updates, or if you still want to receive the critical patches from Microsoft, select Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them or Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them. Remember to uncheck (deselect) Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474) when prompted to install any updates.
If you have already install the WGA update, you can use the hacked/cracked version of LegitCheckControl.dll (newer version suggestion by tyler) to remove the annoying nagging message. (For old version) But Windows Update will still ask you to install it since it’s a newer version which is 1.5.526, unless there is newer version of cracked LegitCheckControl.dll available. You may however try to “up” the version of hacked LegitCheckControl.dll yourself by using the following method:
- Get the patched/hacked “LegitCheckControl.dll” from the internet (e.g from link above or any file sharing service)
- Install Resource Hacker if you still don’t.
- Open both (original in Windows/System32 and hacked version) “LegitCheckControl.dll” files with Resource Hacker.
Go to “Version Info”, replace the version info of the patched File with the version information from new original LegitCheckControl.dll. 1 VERSIONINFO
VALUE “CompanyName”, “Microsoft Corp.”
VALUE “FileDescription”, “Windows Genuine Advantage Validation”
VALUE “InternalName”, “LegitCheckControl”
VALUE “LegalCopyright”, “Copyright © 1995-2004 Microsoft Corp.”
VALUE “LegalTrademarks”, “Microsoft® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.”
VALUE “OriginalFilename”, “LegitCheckControl.dll”
VALUE “ProductName”, “Microsoft® CoReXT”
VALUE “FileVersion”, “1.5.0526.0?
VALUE “ProductVersion”, “1.5.0526.0″
VALUE “PrivateBuild”, “Built by gacald on WGA-FILE-SVR.”
VALUE “Translation”, 0×0409 0×04B0
- Save File.
- Put the modified version of hacked LegitCheckControl.dll in Windows/System32 folder, replacing the original from Microsoft.
Beside, WGA Notifications tool is also reported to be able to be bypassed by emptying (deleting the contents of) the data.dat in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data as detailed here.
If you disable Automatic Updates, you can always download any updates from Windows Update or Microsoft Update using the hacks and tips from here and here. If you are prompted to mandatory must install KB905474, the above tricks should disable the checking of existence of KB905474 notification application. Again, remember to deselect the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474) which will listed in High Priority section and selected for you by default.