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Windows Genuine Advantage Tool (KB905474) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Microsoft,

    Why does WGA want to "read and modify physical memory"? This is a Zone Alarm message displayed at startup ( along with a message about wga.tray ). If I allow this modification I am directed to enter BIOS setup because of a "memory mismatch". Given other threads I have read, I think you guys at MS are in dire need of a Plexendectomy. Please provide a means to uninstall this "Critical Update".

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006 12:32 PM

Answers

  • Mr. Liu,

    Physical memory is RAM. The amount of RAM (physical memory) on this machine is 1 Gigabyte of 1066MHz RDRAM. The startup alert from ZoneAlarm is: "Windows Genuine Advantage Notification is trying to read and modify physical memory". If I allow the modification to occur, the message : "Memory mismatch. Press F1 to enter setup" is displayed at restart. So, apparently, the WGA is at least partially successful in making this change when I allow it. Hence the reason for not allowing it. All I want to know is why this event is occurring. I see no need for any application or program or "update" to require this type off access.

    Sunday, June 11, 2006 1:04 AM

All replies

  • That might be impossible from windows to direct into BIOS setup.

    It is impossible iirc to uninstall 905474 but you can uninstall the icon tray.

    By the way did you scan your computer from spyware/malwares and virii?

    If you uninstall ZoneAlarm what does happen?

    Does this message appear in safemode?

     

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006 12:45 PM
  • The genuine validation process will collect information about your system to determine if your Microsoft software is genuine. This process does not collect or send any information that can be used to identify you or contact you. The only information collected in the validation process is:

    * Windows product key

    * PC manufacturer

    * Operating System version

    * PID/SID

    * BIOS information (make, version, date)

    * BIOS MD5 Checksum

    * User locale (language setting for displaying Windows)

    * System locale (language version of the operating system)

    * Office product key (if validating Office)

    * Hard drive serial number

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006 1:41 PM
    Moderator
  • Maybe I mispoke. If I allow the startup file to run, i.e. the modification to startup files, I have to enter BIOS setup to address the memory mismatch before I can boot normally. At each restart (unless I choose the option to save the setting in Zone Alarm), I will be presented with the same prompt regarding WGA attempting to read and modify amount of installed memory.

    My machine(s) are scanned daily for viruses, and malware.

    Why would I want to uninstall Zone Alarm?

    I don't know nor do I intend to find out whether this occurrs in Safe Mode. This did not happen before I installed the "Critical Update". Unless you or someone at Microsoft can tell me why the WGU Notification Tool needs to read and/or modify physical memory, I will not be installing anything from the Windows Update site.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:22 PM
  • So, what does this response have to do with my inquiry? After installing the aforementioned update, it is attempting to read and change the amount of installed RAM. I want to know why.
    Friday, June 2, 2006 9:07 PM
  • I believe you are getting a false reading or report from Zone Alarm. You might want to check-out the Zone Alarm forums:   http://forums.zonelabs.com/
    Saturday, June 3, 2006 9:32 PM
    Moderator
  •  2nice wrote:

    Microsoft,

    Why does WGA want to "read and modify physical memory"? This is a Zone Alarm message displayed at startup ( along with a message about wga.tray ). If I allow this modification I am directed to enter BIOS setup because of a "memory mismatch". Given other threads I have read, I think you guys at MS are in dire need of a Plexendectomy. Please provide a means to uninstall this "Critical Update".

    I was going to post the same question.  None of the replies so far seem to really answer the question.  I will check the zone Labs site and get back to you if I find anything. 

    Monday, June 5, 2006 11:47 AM
  • Carey,

    Thank You for your response. If the alert from Zone Alarm is a false one, why did I have to enter BIOS setup to address the "Memory Mismatch" after initially allowing WGA to make the requested change? If I allowed the change, I would be entering BIOS setup at every restart/shutdown.

    I have checked the ZoneLabs forum and this issue was not addressed as of 6/2. Zone Alarm is only notifying me of a request to alter system settings. This did not occur in any way, shape, form, or manner until the Windows Update.

    Monday, June 5, 2006 9:18 PM
  •  

    I am not sure that I should be responding to this thread or not, but I noticed and UPDATE on Microsoft Update/Windows update called "windows genuine advantage notification".. I think there are problems with it because it fails to install on my windows media center PC. I run the Genuine Advantage tool all the time and this is a very "LEGAL" copy of Windows Media Center 2005..

    Anyway, someone needs to review this current update.. The update that fails to install is "KB905474" and I run the regular tool from the website all of the time. I am running the IE 7 beta with this maybe that's an issue not sure.. but someone needs to review this code if it's expected that we have this on our systems.

    Thursday, June 8, 2006 3:17 PM
  • Addendum:

    Is somebody from Microsoft going to post a response to this issue? After all, it is a Microsoft update deemed "critical" at the update site that is causing the issue. There is no issue with authenticity. I have four other machines to maintain. I can't properly do that without feedback from Microsoft regarding the behaviour of this particular update.

    Please respond, Microsoft.

    Friday, June 9, 2006 7:23 PM
  •  2nice wrote:

    Microsoft,

    Why does WGA want to "read and modify physical memory"? This is a Zone Alarm message displayed at startup ( along with a message about wga.tray ). If I allow this modification I am directed to enter BIOS setup because of a "memory mismatch". Given other threads I have read, I think you guys at MS are in dire need of a Plexendectomy. Please provide a means to uninstall this "Critical Update".

    Physical memory? I'm not sure what you mean by that.

     

    In terms of writing to the hard-drive, yes. Our tool writes to a specific WGA file called data.dat located in the ALL USERS profile (%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data\data.dat). The file is extremely small and is only used during the validation process if it needs to. Also, during bootup, the KB tool writes to a log file (wganotify.log) located in System32. This file is used for debugging purposes ONLY, if, and ONLY if the program should crash and you need to contact support.

     

    Outside of Product Activation, we do not collect ANY information. The message displayed at startup relating to connecting to MS servers simply checks for an update (if needed) from our servers. This is a one-way connection, and we do NOT collect ANY information. We've recieved much feedback (thanks to the forum!) about zonealarm popping up wanting to block this connection everyday, and are currently working to change that design in the next few days to limit the connect to once every month or two weeks (still pending user feedback discussion).

     

    -Phil Liu

    Friday, June 9, 2006 8:32 PM
  • Mr. Liu,

    Physical memory is RAM. The amount of RAM (physical memory) on this machine is 1 Gigabyte of 1066MHz RDRAM. The startup alert from ZoneAlarm is: "Windows Genuine Advantage Notification is trying to read and modify physical memory". If I allow the modification to occur, the message : "Memory mismatch. Press F1 to enter setup" is displayed at restart. So, apparently, the WGA is at least partially successful in making this change when I allow it. Hence the reason for not allowing it. All I want to know is why this event is occurring. I see no need for any application or program or "update" to require this type off access.

    Sunday, June 11, 2006 1:04 AM
  • Carey, (& others)

    It is possible that WGA's validation routine is doing something that your version of Zone Alarm was not (yet) designed anticipate.

    In the case of operating system vs. peripheral utilities behavior, this sort of "getting out of synch" is not unusual.

    Normally, these issues will be addressed by future updates from one party or the other, or both. This will usually fix the problem.

    How soon these updates are made often depends on the technical implications of the problem and the degree of trouble it causes.

    As such, the quickest fix (in this case) may be to simply turn off Zone Alarm until the WGA changes have been made, and then restart it afterwards. Following that, check your vendor’s website for updates and install them when they are available.

    BTW: It may also be advisable to check your computer manufacturer’s website to determine if there is a newer BIOS available for your computer. The BIOS is software, too and an old BIOS may be part of the problem.

    I hope this helps.

     -pdw

     

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006 3:11 PM
  • PDWhite:

    If your response was intended to address my original question about the update wanting to "read and modify physical memory", I fail to see the relevence. Regardless of the version of ZoneAlarm being used I see no valid reason for any update for the OS to need that type of access.

    Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:21 AM
  • 2nice:

    The way a BIOS POST (Power on Self Test) measures memory size and the effective size of physical memory after system boot up can differ significantly. There are many things that can cause these discrepancies to occur, such as BIOS/ROM shadowing, additional device ROM mounts, not to mention various kinds of memory remapping. Even after all that, the operating system's memory manager may define available memory differently than the system BIOS did.

    If the BIOS is reporting an incorrect memory size (as the OS defines it,) the WGA tool's "corrected" memory size may be what is jerking Zone Alarm's chain. Perhaps you just need to remove and reinstall Zone Alarm so it will configure itself with the new system parameters.

    Over the years, all sorts of problems like this appear from time to time and then blow away again.  Why worry about it? It will be corrrected soon enough.

    -pdw  

    Friday, June 16, 2006 12:26 AM
  • pdw,

    Apparently, there is something I am failing to communicate. The core question:

    Why does WGA need to address any memory issue?

    So, because Microsoft is (justifiably) cracking down on pirated software, why should my only option as a legal user be to uninstall and reinstall an application that (as far as I am concerned) still works. This issue surfaced only after the update.

    Who will be fixing it soon enough? The tooth fairy?

    Friday, June 16, 2006 3:28 AM
  • 2nice:

    If you had read my previous replies carefully, and not so selectively, you would have gotten the answers to your questions already.

    To be brief and explicit:  Zone Alarm is designed to be protective. As such, when it installs, it stores a "picture" of what your system looks like. It raises alarms if it detects changes, in this case it is being inappropriately overprotective; it appears that it may be locked in on obsolete system data.

    Also, (since I have no way of testing this conjecture,) it may be Zone Alarm that is changing your system's internal BIOS parameters, thinking your system is being attacked.

    In the end, I reach the same conclusion: Eventually the programmers for Windows and for Zone Alarm will resolve this issue; be patient.

    In the meantime, I can only suggest that you do a clean uninstall of Zone Alarm and then reboot and install it again... That may make the problem disappear.

    Oh yes, about your last comment: I'm way too old to still believe in the tooth fairy. I'm a programmer and I know that you can't BS a computer, either.

    -pdw

    Friday, June 16, 2006 2:44 PM
  • pdw,

    I am not so sure I was being selective. I beleive you are conjecturing  that it is possible that ZoneAlarm is the application making changes to physical memory. That is not what the alert states. That is all well and good. All you do is raise more questions:

    How does the amount of installed RAM become obsolete?

    If ZoneAlarm is the culprit in attempting to modify these system settings, why the alert stating that WGA is the application trying to do it?

    You are also assuming that my issue is with the fact that an alert pops up. My issue is with any program,utility,application or other code wanting to make these kinds of changes. Hence, my questions.

    It is all but impossible to use computers for almost 30 years without learning some measure of patience.

    You can't BS a computer?!!! You can state this with a straight face being a programmer?

     

    Friday, June 16, 2006 7:00 PM
  • thanks for the maximum coopuration that you have been giving me. Alertme please
    Friday, June 16, 2006 8:03 PM
  • 2nice

    It must be a problem with your speed reading technique or something like that.

    I plainly said that my suggestion was a conjecture, based on past experience with these sorts of situations. I do so because I don't feel stingy with the fruits of what I have learned. I could get a lot deeper and more technical if I felt like it, but why should I?

    As far as the advice I've given thus far; It is given in good faith and I offer here (to you) for free. I am not representing myself as part of Microsoft or any other company; so I do not feel pressed to concern myself with being politically correct and I don't need feel compelled to be politely patronizing, either.

    Back to the subject: It is a fact: you really cannot BS a computer. You may be able to fool everyone, including a stupid machine, for a while. You can feed in improper programming or bad information, and for a time everything may run as if nothing is wrong. However, sooner or later the "garbage in, garbage out" principle kicks in and there is inevitably some kind of mess as a result.

    FYI: There are programmers and there are also hackers. Similarly, there are also those who take life and other people seriously and those who will do anything they can get away with.

    To sum this up: There is a technical problem which must be solved. You are doing nothing more than beat up on anyone who dares to do anything but tell you what you want to hear.

    That being said, this conversation is ended.

    I wish you luck.

    -pdw

    Friday, June 16, 2006 9:28 PM
  • pdw,

    Nobody asked you to solve any problem. All I asked was that a simple question be answered. That question was "Why any application, utility, et.al., would need the type of access needed to read and/or change physical memory". You did not answer that question. Instead you resort to a halfed baked personal attack.

    It must be nice to be such a paragon. You are a coinventor of "politely patronizing".

    I can recommend a good proctological surgeon to alleviate your terminal case of cranial/rectal inversion.

    I don't wish you luck.

    Friday, June 16, 2006 10:21 PM
  • Please play nice. This is a public forum for all users - and while we respect the opinions and positions of EVERY user (whether or not a customer), there are limitations to what I can allow in terms of personal attacks.

    Any further personal comments I will have to lock this thread to keep it to a minimum.

     

    In response to your question - every peice of software running on your computer, every, uses physical memory (RAM) - whether or not identified as virtual memory and virtual pages. Software requires virtual (and ultimately physical) memory to run.

     

    WGA does not modify the BIOS in anyway. Only a modification to the BIOS or the physical hardware itself can modify the amount of RAM detected or ultimately used. WGA does not update firmware or hardware in anyway.

     

    I can only speculate that ZoneAlarm does not do this either (I'm not familiar with that antivirus/firewall software). I suggest updating your BIOS to the latest firmware and drivers to get the most of it.

     

    -phil liu

    Friday, June 16, 2006 10:35 PM
  • Mr. Liu,

    That response from you or any other contributor to this thread was all I was asking for.

    Saturday, June 17, 2006 1:16 AM
  • Mocrosoft have a problem with WGA...... a big problem!

    WGA on this laptop hangs up ... no cpu usage .. no disk I/O ... no change in memory foot print...

    All I see is ........

    The updates are being installed
    Initializing installation...
    Overall Progress:      
     

    ????????  NO PROGRESS after a full hour....

    If i try to cancel it frequently tries to stop me shutting down Windows.. I have had to resort to using the Power off button more than once.. 

    This is a problem with WGA all the other updates install perfectly OK..   on this laptop both when connected at home (2Mbit broad band) and at work (100Mbit link via local universitys connection to the UK www back bone)

    It is months since it installed with out a problem

    Really is getting on my nerves..  All the software on this laptop is 100% legal

    Sunday, July 2, 2006 4:05 PM
  • Please visit the MGA Dianostic site: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/diag/ 

    Sunday, July 2, 2006 5:48 PM
    Moderator
  • From all I've just read at this site, I am sure glad that was my only auto-update that ever failed and at first I was gonna try to reinstall. THANKS EVERYONE
    Monday, July 3, 2006 4:46 AM
  • I had problems with this also. While it does not allow uninstallation I was able to go to a restore point one day before the installation of this "update" and now my system works fine.

    Greg

    Friday, July 7, 2006 2:44 PM
  • I receive the same message from Zone Alarm as 2nice. I do not have to change BIOS settings as he does. I originally assumed I had received a virus along with WGA, or instead of WGA, and called the MS help line. I was directed to a web site that explained how to get WGA to validate my installation. I followed the instructions and validated my installation. I still receive the message telling me that WGA wants to read and modify physical memory. Can I safely assume that I don't have a virus? My virus checker also told me that I needed to uninstall and reinstall it because a component did not get a reply from my system soon enough. On the next boot the problem disappeared. My machine locks up when I try to switch users so my wife can use the PC. This did not happen before WGA. My workaround is to close all applications and log off. Is it necessary for each user of the machine to have WGA validate the Windows installation?

    While I'm happy to pay for software, I'm not happy when my machine locks up so that the power must be turned off. The result is that various files are truncated so settings are lost and sofware like Norton Anti-virus needs to be reconfigured. Is there a new version of WGA?

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 6:53 AM
  • Perhaps an email to Zone Labs, the developers of Zone Alarm would shed some light on this subject.

    I know for a fact what the response will be but as it's deemed here that WGA is definitely not at fault, the Microsoft reps here won't mind publicly reproducing Zone Labs answer.

    You can rest assured that Zone Labs will have no objection whatsoever to your reproducing their reply in public. In fact, they will probably implore you to do so.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 8:33 PM