Windows Genuine Advantage Notification?



I reinstalled XP Pro SP1a from my retail CD. I then installed SP3 from CD,
which I had previously (last August 2008) downloaded from the Microsoft

I then installed updates as they automatically downloaded (download but let
me install) to my pc. I now have Windows Genuine Advantage Notification
ready to install, with many other updates in the 'yellow shield'. I
understand what it does, and my install will pass the WGAN test. If I
don't install WGAN, will I not get some future updates downloaded into my


May I suggest a web search with this as your search term:

what is windows genuine advantage notification

You will find a great deal of information, including this:

"Description of the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications


"Genuine Windows Software"

Hi, Leonard,

I did search right after I posted, and found lots of great information.

The answer is yes, I will not get some updates if I do not install WGAN.

I also ran into an article (not by MSFT) that stated the WGAN calls home
with every reboot, and questioned why that needed to be done, after the
initial check. The implication was that user activity was collected.
The article also stated that WGAN was very difficult ot remove, but did
give instructions on how to remove it for the paranoid. I'm not at all
the paranoid type, I was just wondering. It can call home as much as it

Thanks for the reply.

Leonard Grey

I actually believe WGAN is impossible to remove, which is Microsoft's
way of saying that there is no /supported/ method for removing it.

With more detective work I'm sure you find out (from a trustworthy
source) when and how WGAN contacts Microsoft servers. Personally, I
wouldn't care. If WGAN does contact Microsoft, it would be to report if
my version of Windows is legal. Since we are using legal copies of
Windows, there's nothing to worry about.

I am not a conspiracy theorist who believes that Microsoft is using WGAN
to spy on me, and the next thing I know I'll get a knock on the door in
the middle of the night from the CIA. I just don't buy into that whole


WGAN is *not* a required update, it's an *opt-in* program; WGA is
required if the system goes to the Windows or Microsoft update sites or
the MS Download Center.

If one does not install the WGAN then the system will still update
automatically or via the update sites and will be able to download
Genuine software from the MS Download Center:

Q: What is the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications program?

A: Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications is an opt-in program launched
by Microsoft in select markets as part of its continued effort to combat
counterfeiting and to create a better Windows experience for users of
genuine Microsoft Windows software.

As part of the program, customers worldwide will be invited to install
WGA Notifications through Automatic Updates (AU) to confirm that they
are running genuine Windows. Customers who are running genuine Windows
and opt-in to the program will not see any messages. Customers who are
using a non-genuine version of Windows will receive a message during
logon that their copy of Windows appears to be non-genuine and will be
directed to the WGA Web site to learn more.

Q: How does WGA validation work?

A: The process for WGA is designed to be quick and simple. It does not
collect any information that can be used by Microsoft to identify or
contact the user. The validation process includes the following steps:

* Upon their first visit to the Microsoft Download Center, Windows
Update, or Microsoft Update, users will receive a message requiring them
to validate their Windows.
* Users will be prompted to download an ActiveX control which
checks the authenticity of their Windows software and, if successful in
validating Windows, stores a special license file on the PC for future
* The validation process electronically checks for several known
counterfeiting methods. Users do not have to manually enter information
in most cases.
* After successful validation, users may continue their download.
* WGA Notifications is an anti-piracy tool which performs the WGA
validation check and notifies users if they are not running genuine Windows.

*-343-* FDNY
Never Forgotten
"Security updates should *never* have *non-security content* prechecked"

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