Monday, November 24, 2008

Windows XP Genuine Disadvantage

Hmmm.. It's been nearly five months since I last posted on this blog, primarily because i'm getting too lazy, and secondly because I am (actually) quite busy with college life. Most of my time goes in looking around for an opportunity when I can scurry back to Mumbai and spend an evening at home :)

And when I reach home, the very first task that I do is to switch on my PC and troubleshoot all the problems that the enterprising members of my family have either found, or created on my PC. I'm like the hardware engineer that you call every month to your house to fix your PC if its broken. Normally the problems that I need to fix are rather simple, requiring only a few minutes of thinking. But this time, I got something new. My dad had unknowingly tried to auto-update Windows XP, and the sneaky bastard that Microsoft is, it managed to detect that my version was a pirated one. Since then, it had started throwing up nasty warning messages about me being a "victim of software counterfeiting"

Pretty normal, you would say. Everyone knows how to turn off the Genuine Windows Advantage notification. Not so fast. This time, the error messages was accompanied by an inky black desktop with a notification on it. Everytime you change the wallpaper, it reverts back to the same irritating black desktop, with the same stupid message again. On googling, I found that this is the result of Microsoft's recent drive against piracy - an update released on 20th October 2008, which has caused a lot of controversy. Read an article about about this here :

I found a solution on the net. The solution was to kill the WgaTray.exe process using the task manager, and then delete the WgaLogon.dll and WgaTray.exe files from the System32 folder in Windows. However, there was a problem here. The moment I kill the process, it automatically restarts immediately. And since it is not possible to delete a file when it is running, I was unable to delete the files. What do I do?

Then I had a brainwave. This is what I did :

1. Insert a Windows XP bootable disk into the drive (Ha! Using the venom as the antidote!!)

2. Restart the PC and boot from the CD.

3. Wait for the program to do its mandatory loading processes, to initialize Windows installation

4. In the screen where it asks you whether to install a fresh copy of Windows XP or to repair an existing installation, select Repair. A command prompt screen opens.

5. Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

6. Use the commands "del WgaTray.exe" and "del Wgalogon.dll" to delete the two culprits

I guess one could use any bootable disk to do this, but I derived a special pleasure doing it using Microsoft's own CD.

Computer back to normal.The human intellect triumphs over the computer! Muhahahahaha!!!!

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