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Stop Treating me like a Criminal RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have Windows XP installed on a laptop I bought new less than 2 weeks ago. It's from a reliable source (Dell), and it's probably a legitimate version of the product.

    That said, I am not going to install the WGA piece of ***. I am not a criminal, and I don't deserve to be treated like one. The only "benefits" I recieve for installing this program, is access to security updates I used to get anyway, without having to give up my self-respect.

    No other product I own does this. My car doesn't report in to GM to say that it hasn't been stolen, and that I still have the title. My CDs don't even send emails to the RIAA saying I haven't illegally burned them.

    Obviously, Microsoft does have a problem with piracy, and I do not condone that piracy in any way. But the solution to that problem does not lie in alienating responsible, law-abiding customers, and basically blackmailing them with the threat of leaving them unprotected from holes in their own product.

    I deserve more respect than this. I will not subject my computer to be monitored for evidence of wrongdoing. I should be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, even from a private company. I will not install WGA, and I will continue to protest against what I see as an attack on me as a person.

    I am not a criminal; stop treating me like I am.
    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 8:55 PM

Answers

  • R Moir,

    I can't argue with you on the points in your latest post.

    I would submit that the overwhelming majority of average users will never even see a WGA notification about possible software counterfeiting.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 5:49 PM

All replies

  • You don't think you are overreacting a little?  My car doesn't report to Toyota either but I have to have it registered and operate it under certain conditions outlined by the state government to protect other road users, I pay $40.00 a year registration, it needs to show plates etc.  I think WGA is less like "phone home" stuff that people are paranoid about and probably more like showing ID at the door of a bar.  Windows XP is a complex and powerful product, and Microsoft just wants to be sure that people are using it the way they agreed to in the EULA.

    Just my 2c

    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 9:04 PM
  • I think the reaction here is perfectly reasonable and understandable.

    Microsoft have decided to fight criminals in a manner that has a very large and unfair impact on legitimate customers. You have to pay to run your car as you say, but you don't need to submit to a strip-search every time you put the key in the ignition.
    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 9:54 PM
  •  ianderthal wrote:

    >SNIP<

     The only "benefits" I recieve for installing this program, is access to security updates I used to get anyway, without having to give up my self-respect.

    If you have Automatic Updates enabled, you will continue to receive updates that are classified as critical security updates regardless of whether you participate in the WGA Notofications Program or not.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 9:57 PM
  •  R Moir - MVP wrote:
    I think the reaction here is perfectly reasonable and understandable.

    Microsoft have decided to fight criminals in a manner that has a very large and unfair impact on legitimate customers. You have to pay to run your car as you say, but you don't need to submit to a strip-search every time you put the key in the ignition.

    The only time WGA comes into play is when a person decides on purpose that they want something other than a critical security update from MS.  Only then does either Windows/Microsoft Update or Microsoft Downloads require a quid pro quo---if you want nice-to-have software, you have to let us check you validity.  That check is made by the WGA system.

    A person who does not want to participate does not have to in any way, shape or form.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 10:01 PM
  • I'm very well aware of how WGA works, Dan. With respect, I think you're splitting hairs when you claim that people don't have to participate - your ability to support your own use of your computer is greatly curtailed if you opt out.
    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 10:04 PM
  •  R Moir - MVP wrote:
    "... your ability to support your own use of your computer is greatly curtailed if you opt out.

    I don't agree, since critical security updates are still dispensed, support and security are the same whether one opts in or out.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 10:11 PM
  • I think I missed something or have it remembered wrong.

    Dan,
    If a person does not purposefully go and check for updates and install them but instead has automatic updates turned on, does this mean that the WGA check is not installed?  And therefore that person will never see a pop-up window saying "your XP is counterfeit?"

    I thought the WGA check and resulting popup/toolbar program was installed even if only automatic updates are turned on and the user never manually looked for updates.

    Dave
    Tuesday, June 6, 2006 11:10 PM
  • Probedude,

    It depends upon what setting Auto Updates is set for.

    Automatic updates has several flavors of On.  Full auto downloads and installs without any operator intervention.

    That is why so many people are saying in their posts, "I turned off the computer and it was fine then I turned it on and all of a sudden it's saying software counterfeit."  The default setting for auto update is download automatically and install at 3am.  If the computer is off at that time, the downloaded updates will install at the next startup after 3am.

    "Download but let me choose when to install" gets them from Windows Update then gives you the yellow shield in the Notification Area (aka system tray).  When you click that icon you get a choice of Express or Custom.  Click custom to see each update.  Uncheck the ones you don't want, say, the WGA Notifications update.  It won't be installed.  Or, refuse the EULA for the WGA Notifications update, it won't be installed.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 1:52 AM
  • But for the user that wants to remove the WGA check, once installed it isn't possible - correct?
    The person would need to know about the WGA check ahead of time and switch over to "download but let me say when to install" or already be in this mode to uncheck and prevent its install.

    So it is sort of mandatory - you can only avoid it consciously (which is fine), but you cannot choose not to after the fact.
    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 4:50 AM
  • So in other words:

    Of course you can avoid WGA, if you know enough to firstly disable default patching behaviour, flying in the face of "best practice" nags,  and then always remember to use the custom patching option. Oh and you'll need enough knowledge of how patches work to spot the cukoo's egg and to know that it isn't actually required.

    Sure, technically you might have a choice, but I personally don't think think that anyone can honestly expect the average end user to understand this.
    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 8:34 AM
  • Probedude,

    You are correct in your first paragraph.

    I am having trouble figuring out what "sort of mandatory" means.  Once you have it you are stuck with it, but it is avoidable.

    The WGA Notifications tool cannot be removed using the Add or Remove Programs applet in Control Panel.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 5:46 PM
  • R Moir,

    I can't argue with you on the points in your latest post.

    I would submit that the overwhelming majority of average users will never even see a WGA notification about possible software counterfeiting.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 5:49 PM
  • This is exactly how I feel. I can't get rid of this stupid icon and I am not a criminal I bought this windows xp with the computer. This is all a scam to make more money.
    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 12:30 AM
  • Angie,

    If you think there might be a mistake about the validity of the XP installed on your computer, for the fastest response please post a message in the WGA Problems section of this forum.  This section, Feedback and Comments, is for expressing opinion about the checks.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 3:46 AM
  •  Dan at IT Associates wrote:

    The WGA Notifications tool cannot be removed using the Add or Remove Programs applet in Control Panel.

    This is true; however, if you are lucky enough to have the lifesaver program "GoBack" on your computer, you can use it to go-back before WGA was installed, and then change those Automatic update settings.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 4:33 AM
  • R Moir,

    You are the first MVP I've read from on this feedback site that actually says it like it is, and understands the implications that MS's underhanded tactics are having for it's paying customers.   "Dan at IT Associates" might be knowledgeable about these issues, but he has been consistently taking the hard line approach of touting the MS PR propoganda 100%.  These hoops are ridiculous to jump thru correctly 100% the first time for the average person.  Even seasoned techs were taken by surpise with this thing. In typical MS fashion, some of these problems stem from using confusing terminology and making the procedures being way more complicated than need be. Also it is obvious that this software was created with only MS's interests in mind and not the user.   I feel like some of these these folks are behaving like college frat-boys that got caught with their pants down and are now trying every conceivable play on words to sound justified in defending themselves.  If Dan is NOT an employee, then either the perks must be really something special; or the corporate spin has gone to his head.  The arguments are so defensive as if Dan created WGA himself.  Admit it Dan, WGA sucks, its an invasion of poeples privacy, time and money solely for  MS to increase their profits.  Xp users in the field are not a free test lab for MS to tweak Vista's future upgrade and anti-piracy schemes.  I hope the MS executives at the top get enough feedback from reasonable MVP's like R Moir that are living in the real world.  Microsoft's bullish attitude towards competitors is what got it this far, and all the lawsuits and judgements don't seem to make a difference there. This mentality is so pervasive, now they feel it's their right to bully the customer.  Thus, lawsuits have been filed against WGA.  I doubt this attitude will change until their stocks take a huge hit, and probably not even then.  Customers need to wake up and move on to another platform.  Bill Gate's Trustworthy Computing Initiative is becoming an inside joke.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 3:02 PM
  • What,

    One man's "propaganda" is another man's "facts."

    You seem to have run out of facts to argue so now you start on the personal attacks, eh?

    C-ya.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 3:12 PM
  • AMEN!

     ianderthal wrote:
    I have Windows XP installed on a laptop I bought new less than 2 weeks ago. It's from a reliable source (Dell), and it's probably a legitimate version of the product.

    That said, I am not going to install the WGA piece of ***. I am not a criminal, and I don't deserve to be treated like one. The only "benefits" I recieve for installing this program, is access to security updates I used to get anyway, without having to give up my self-respect.

    No other product I own does this. My car doesn't report in to GM to say that it hasn't been stolen, and that I still have the title. My CDs don't even send emails to the RIAA saying I haven't illegally burned them.

    Obviously, Microsoft does have a problem with piracy, and I do not condone that piracy in any way. But the solution to that problem does not lie in alienating responsible, law-abiding customers, and basically blackmailing them with the threat of leaving them unprotected from holes in their own product.

    I deserve more respect than this. I will not subject my computer to be monitored for evidence of wrongdoing. I should be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, even from a private company. I will not install WGA, and I will continue to protest against what I see as an attack on me as a person.

    I am not a criminal; stop treating me like I am.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:34 AM
  •  

    I can not locate the gentleman who built my computer, his business has relocated and apparently because my ex is not willing to provide me the old CD's from the original installation of Windows XP I can not verify the registration number for those discs. I completely agree with the topic at hand. Paying additional money for me to be able to run my system "legally" is an insult to the American people who have already spent enough money on "Windows". Microsoft has disgraced themselves by not finding other options available to them to run out piracy. Piracy is illegal and immoral. I am neither of those and can not believe as a Soldier in the military and single parent of 4 children who handles business with my private computer had to fork out an additional 150.00 to microsoft due to problems they did not control in the first place.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 4:16 PM
  • Try again. I could not even check for critical updates until I downloaded WGA. Now it will not let me remove it and it gives me messages every few minutes. I know this is not a legal copy, but it has been on my laptop for 5 years and on disability I can't just run out and buy a new copy.

    Give me a break, gey rid of the pop-up warnings, and I will get a new lagal copy as soon as I can save the money.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 5:26 PM
  • Bitsydad,

    Critical security-related updates are pushed to all installations of XP whether genuine or not.  The difference is that nongenuine or not-yet-validated installations of XP are not allowed to manually download updates until validated, which seems to be your situation.  They still get the security related critical updates via Automatic Updates, if set.

    Do you have Automatic updates set to download and install, or download and notify you when ready to install?

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 9:22 PM
  • Hpisciotti,

    Since the Product Key for Windows is not located on the CD, having the CD or not having the CD is immaterial to "verify the registration number."

    If your computer was purchased new, and a copy of XP was preinstalled, there should be a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) affixed to the computer as proof of proper licensing.  (Retail copies of XP come with COAs, but these are affixed to the retail box's boxtop, and retail copies of XP are almost never installed by computer assemblers/builders because they are more expensive that the systembuilder/OEM license.)  If your computer does not have the COA, then there is a very strong probability that it is a nongenuine installation.

    If you happen to have an old Windows 98 or Me CD around the house that is a full version CD, you can use that CD as "qualifying media" in order to purchase and install a retail upgrade license for XP Home, which is the least expensive edition of XP.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 9:34 PM
  • Just someone tell me how to disable the WGA bullmess till I can buy a Mac and I will be happy. I bought my computer and software from HP that is reputable I believe. Why should I have to go thru all the pain of this and I own the computer and bought the software with it.
    Friday, July 14, 2006 3:27 AM