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WGA Notification Prevents Proper Boot RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm having a nasty problem, not just with Windows Genuine Advantage Notification but also with the insistence of Microsoft to push it repeatedly onto my computer with every boot.  This has necessitated that I turn off automatic updates, which I would have preferred not to do.

    The problem is that, after boot with WGA Notification present, about half the time I can get no applications to boot, no email, no browser, nothing, even though the boot seems to have completed normally otherwise.  I can't even get Task Manager to display, nor can I do a normal shutdown.  I am actually forced to turn the machine off unsafely and then reboot, and even then I have only about a 50/50 chance of it working next time (on the worst instance I was unsuccessul six consecutive times, and then finally got it working on the seventh reboot).  I have waited up to 15 minutes after booting to see if the problem clears on its own, which it has never done.

    With WGA Notification removed (by a third-party app) I have not experienced this problem even once, but then, following EVERY SINGLE boot, Automatic Update tries to reinstall the offending app.  The only solution to this that I have found is to turn off Automatic Updates (and then I still get an annoying warning with every boot that it is turned off, as if somehow I don't already know that).

    My Windows XP is genuine,  WGA Validation has never caused any problem, and I am fully registered and everything.  This WGA Notification has got to be the most inconsiderate, out-of-bounds, screw-the-user thing Microsoft has yet done to its customers, and that's saying something.  I mean, don't you guys already have enough money that you might save your users all this trouble and tolerate the occasional unregistered copy?

    If the capacitors in my motherboard fail because of the need to do a hard reboot so repeatedly, I've half a mind to bill Microsoft for the replacement and costs of the resulting downtime.

    My question is, how can I keep WGA Notification off my machine permanently, and still run Automatic Updates without constant and annoying warnings and repeated attempts by Microsoft to push this unwanted and damaging application onto my machine?

    Sunday, July 30, 2006 1:12 PM

Answers

  • Mango, thanks for your feedback (I read that entire post!) thanks!

     

    I would recommend opening task manager to see what is taking up processor power when doing certain tasks. WGA Notifications is NOTdesigned to LOCK, or INHIBIT the use of a computer in any means. *every* time (so far) it has been related to hardware firmware/drivers. This isn't to say WGA Notifications isn't to blame, it just hasn't been the case yet.

     

    I do know ZoneAlarm (some older versions) has conflicts with the software, however. Have you recently updated the firmware of the hard drive? It *may* be conking out. Just a guess.

     

    WGA Notifications does NOT act at all when turning off the computer (only when first loading and within the first 5 minutes).

    Can you run the diagnostics tool http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 and provide its output?

    -phil

    Monday, July 31, 2006 8:52 PM

All replies

  • Please download and install the following WGA file. Afterward, restart your computer and hopefully the issue will be resolved. http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=69498
    Sunday, July 30, 2006 1:24 PM
    Moderator
  • All you sent me was a link to a file that manually installs WGA Notification.  It might have been nice if you had said so before I bothered to download it.  Fortunately I download files to disk WITHOUT executing them, and I don't execute them or install them without doing a little research first.

    I DO NOT WANT WGA NOTIFICATION ON MY COMPUTER AT ALL!   I will NEVER want it!  There is no legitimate benefit either to me or to Microsoft to be derived from this burdensome and annoying application.  I don't want it pushed by Microsoft; I don't want it installed as part of the Microsoft Update; I don't want to install it manually; I don't want to "fix" it -- I WANT IT GONE FROM MY COMPUTER NOW AND FOREVER, and I want it to REMAIN gone without warning me so repeatedly that it's not there, and without making me deactivate my automatic updates, and without all those ominous (but ridiculously false) warnings when I invoke Microsoft Update manually.

    My copy of Windows XP is fully genuine.  It's registered and everything.  WGA Notification INTERFERES -- SERIOUSLY -- WITH MY COMPUTER'S OPERATION.  I DON'T WANT IT, and I don't want always to see scary "Warnings" about the horrors that might ensue without it.

    Thanks for trying to help, but your reply was totally unresponsive.  Just a hint for future reference:  When you include a link to an executable with an arcane naming scheme, you really ought to explain what the executable is so people might have some awareness whether it might be useful to them or not.  A lot of people trust Microsoft and would just have installed the update without even knowing what it was, thinking it was a legitimate patch that might actually solve their problem.

    Heck, I can reinstall WGA notification any time I want just by turning my Automatic Updates back on.  What I WANT to do is turn my Automatic Updates back on WITHOUT reinstalling WGA notification, so maybe I can use my computer again without having to reboot repeatedly.

    Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:08 PM
  • What you need to do is visit the Windows Update web site directly.  When you are offered the WGA Notification update, select it but "Decline" its EULA.  Then place a check next to "Do not show this update again".  From henceforth you can enable Automatic Updates and the WGA Notification update will not be offered.  I have tested this procedure and it works!
    Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Note:  The offer to decline the WGA Notifications update appears after downloading the WGA Notification update but prior to its installation.  Simply downloading this file does not install it. Declining the EULA prevents its installation.
    Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:26 PM
    Moderator
  • What you said in your previous two messages was true, but of course when WGA Notification was FIRST pushed as an automatic update there was no way for the end user to know what it actually was nor what it would do.  Microsoft didn't see fit to inform users that it "phones home" so frequently, but even that is not directly my problem with it (although I believe it may be the underlying cause of the problem).

    I believe, with no way actually to check (because I can't do ANYTHING on my comupter during the symptom I described without a cold boot), that WGA Notification runs with the highest priority, preventing anything else from executing until it phones home and receives some kind of acknowledgement back.  Sometimes, however, this connection may not be made (possibly because MS servers are too busy to accommodate the number of hits they receive), and my computer simply keeps trying without allowing anything with a more normal priority to run.  This is just a shot-in-the-dark theory, mind you; I am on a very reliable broadband connection so the problem is probably not communications at this end.

    But I have successfully removed the application using something called "RemoveWGA 1.2" from a company called Firewall Leak Tester (the executable is "RemoveWGA.exe", about 13.5 KB in size, available at http://www.firewallleaktester.com/tools/RemoveWGA.exe).  Since I removed it my computer has booted successfully (and MUCH more quickly) every time I have tried.

    After removal of WGA Notification, if I leave Automatic Updates turned on, after each reboot WGA Notification is pushed back onto my computer immediately, to be installed as soon as I shut down and restart unless I affirmatively decline -- an annoyance.  With Automatic Updates turned off, I get a warning that Auto Updates is turned off and my computer may be at risk -- another annoyance.

    When I do a MANUAL update, it shows up as a priority update.  When I "hide" this update, subsequent manual updates give me a very nasty warning of how risky this "Priority Update" is to hide.  This is yet ANOTHER annoyance.

    I just want it gone without a trace, and to make no subsequent effort to pollute my computer again or to warn me of dire consequences should I fail to comply.  I want to be able to turn Automatic Updates back on again (although I manually invoke Microsoft Update to check more frequently than the "Patch Tuesday" updates in any event).

    It just isn't right for Microsoft to put  its legitimately licensed users through this.
    Sunday, July 30, 2006 9:36 PM
  • This is a quote from a MS employee:

    "In every one of our tests, the WGA Notifications only "fires up" upon boot, then stops within the first 5 minutes (and does not use anywhere near 99% of the CPU power). Every hang problem has been (so far at least) linked down to driver issues within the BIOS, video card, or other hardware as well. I would suggest updating to the latest system firmware/drivers."

     

    Sunday, July 30, 2006 9:55 PM
    Moderator
  • The drivers on my PC are kept ABSOLUTELY up to date to the best of my ability to do it, with the sole exception at present my nVidia video card driver because of a documented flaw in their most recent release (I had a rather lengthy correspondence with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 engineers regarding this problem a couple weeks ago, and consensus between your engineers and those at nVidia resulted in my reversion to the previous stable release, v. 91.31, of their software, which solved that problem). I check frequently for updates, not only on my drivers but for my software as well. The problem is definitely NOT firmware or drivers. The problem is WGA Notification.

    My PC is (how shall I put this?) "mature," about three and a half years old, a rather generic Athlon XP 1700 with 512 MB of RAM, an 80 GB hard drive, a VIA Rhine II Fast Ethernet Adapter and an ARTEC WRR-4848 CD RW drive and a JLMS DVD-ROM LTD-166S drive. It has an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE display adapter. This is a pretty generic configuration, but I do have a boatload of software installed, mostly various graphics and document production applications like Photoshop, Paintshop Pro X, Adobe Acrobat, MS Office, OOO, and lots, lots more, including numerous different web browsers so I can test HTML pages for production. Of course I run anti-virus (AVG) and anti-spyware (MS Defender) apps, like everyone should.

    For many years I was a senior systems engineer on Windows and Unix systems at NASA Headquarters (with the title of internet services manager), and my job had a significant user support component. I am not a BDU.

    I once waited over 15 minutes for this problem to clear without success, but I do admit that I waited that long only once, and have not given it even five minutes to clear since. Since I removed it, I don't have to wait at all, and that suits me fine. It's the warnings I get that annoy me now.

    But talk of MS's tests of this WGA Notification application is all nothing but an irrelevancy, indeed a misdirection. I do not WANT this application on my computer, nor do I want all the warnings I receive when I remove it. I don't want to waste five minutes of my (not Microsoft's) time every time I reboot, to spend in service to Microsoft's paranoia with absolutely zero value added for me.

    It's MY computer, not Microsoft's, and repeated reboots diminish its longevity. This application is nonsense -- I am a fully licensed, legitimate user of Windows XP and shouldn't NEED to remind Microsoft of that fact every time I boot.
    Sunday, July 30, 2006 10:35 PM
  • Mango Man,

    Despite your belligerent attitude, my prediction is that Phil of MSFT will want to work with you, for the eventual benefit of other MS customers, to get to the bottom of the hangups which appear to be the result of the WGA Notifications Tool.

    Phil has on numerous occasions displayed the patience of a Saint while trying to assist posters and at the same time improve his product (he is a PM for WGA).

    Please continue to monitor your postings........

    Monday, July 31, 2006 12:52 AM
  • My "belligerent attitude," as you so diplomatically put it, is the result of frustration caused by being so repeatedly cajoled to keep my PERSONAL computer in constant (well, perhaps not "constant" but "frequent and repeated") contact with Microsoft against my will, and by my inability to terminate that communication without subjecting myself to constant "warnings," one of which requires pointing my mouse at a VERY small (on my 1280x1024 resolution monitor) "X" in an "Automatic Updates is (sic) turned off" message box, which, if my elderly and shaky hands should miss the little "X" and click on the box instead, will result in pushing the app back onto my computer.

    Is it now considered unreasonable to be annoyed by such things?  Or maybe we're expected to keep our opinions to ourselves.  Perhaps I'm the product of simpler times when "We the People," ESPECIALLY long-time customers of a merchant, were not yet expected to behave as obedient and docile vassals of a corporate feudal tyranny.

    That said, it may very well be possible that WGA Notification was only part, and not the entire, cause of whatever problems required me to perform so many reboots.  While I got more consecutive successful reboots yesterday and the day before after I removed WGA Notification than I had since it was first pushed onto my computer, one part of what seems to be a related symptom arose with my first bootup today.  I use Eudora as my email client, and it offers an option to use "Microsoft's Viewer" to preview mail (its own viewer, which is presented as an alternative option setting and continues to function, does not display HTML formatted material properly).  Sometimes when I had to boot repeatedly to get my computer to work properly, the computer would seem at first to be fine, but when I would check my email this viewer frame would remain blank.  This problem was not fixed by closing and reopening Eudora, but instead can only be remedied by another reboot.

    This problem may be unrelated and coincidental but I doubt it, and I more nearly expect that the third-party application that removed WGA Notification for me missed some parts of it.  It does allegedly leave WGA VALIDATION intact.

    I would be very pleased to receive assistance from Microsoft in solving this problem.  My dear old "Cheap-Guys" computer is not yet ready to be sent out to pasture, but the thought of a complete wipe-and-reload is rather intimidating at this point.  These repeated cold boots are going to fry the motherboard long before its time, however, and something must be done.
    Monday, July 31, 2006 11:28 AM
  • Mango Man:

     

    I'm sorry, but I haven't read your entire post (I'll admit it before it gets me into trouble) :).

     

    However, would you clarify the exact issue you're experiencing? Lets see if we can work this through.

     

    -phil

    Monday, July 31, 2006 5:59 PM
  • Phil:

    When booting my computer from off (as when I get up in the morning), the boot will appear normal in every respect.  All my screens come up in the proper order, the splash screens for little things I run (like the APC UPS monitor software) appear as they should, Peter Sellers (as Inspector Clouseau) greets me with, "Cato, my little yellow friend, I'm HOOOOME!" and eventually (usually about a minute to a minute and a half after hitting the switch) the disk drive stops spinning.  This is the behavior I have come to expect over about four years of reliable and confident use of this PC.

    HOWEVER, since the pushed installation of WGA Notification, when I try to invoke any application, like an email application, a web browser, a word processor, a multimedia viewer, or whatever, whether I do it from an icon on my desktop or through some other means (like start/run or through All Programs), it APPEARS at first to be working -- the hourglass replaces the cursor arrow and the disk drive begins to spin as if the application is actually booting -- but then nothing happens.  I can go to the start menu and then hit "Turn Off Computer," and the window appears asking me if I want to stand by, turn off, or reboot, but whatever I choose all that happens is that the "Turn Off" window disappears, but the computer will not actually shut down or reboot.

    SOMETIMES (it is NOT consistent -- sometimes nothing happens at all when I hit the switch), although I cannot shut down the computer in the normal way through the start/turn off feature in XP, I can hit the on-off switch on the computer's external case, which normally will initiate a "graceful" shutdown.  It SEEMS to be initiating the shutdown but all that happens instead is that a few peripherals (like my scanner) make the little noises they make when I'm shutting down and the icons disappear from my desktop, but my wallpaper remains and the computer does not shut down.

    To get out of it I actually have to hold the on/off toggle button on my computer until the power is fully cut.

    Then, upon restarting the computer, it USUALLY comes up normally on the following startup, but not always.  I have had to reboot up to six times (on one occasion) to use any application on my computer.

    After I used the third-party application I mentioned in a previous post to remove WGA Notification, my computer has booted successfully every time, although once an additional symptom that SEEMS (although I am not certain) to be related, an inability to use Windows' Viewer in my Eudora email client's preview frame, has recurred, and that has happened only once through maybe eighteen reboots since I removed WGA Notification.

    HOWEVER, until I turned Automatic Updates (a feature whose value I as a former large-scale system administrator and user support guru really appreciate) off, WGA Notification would be immediatly re-pushed to my computer at every boot.  When I turned Automatic Updates off, I get nasty little warnings every time I reboot about how risky this is to do, and when I use Microsoft Update manually, even after I have hidden this update which otherwise reappears every time, I get an overly excited warning that I have hidden a critical update and the world surely shall end in a hail of fire if I persist in my disgustingly aberrant behavior.

    I rather imagine that you get LOTS of nasty comments about WGA Notification, but mine is less concerned about the potential for privacy invasion and malware infiltration than it is about the fact that the darn application seems actually to prevent my computer from working at all.
    Monday, July 31, 2006 7:57 PM
  • Mango, thanks for your feedback (I read that entire post!) thanks!

     

    I would recommend opening task manager to see what is taking up processor power when doing certain tasks. WGA Notifications is NOTdesigned to LOCK, or INHIBIT the use of a computer in any means. *every* time (so far) it has been related to hardware firmware/drivers. This isn't to say WGA Notifications isn't to blame, it just hasn't been the case yet.

     

    I do know ZoneAlarm (some older versions) has conflicts with the software, however. Have you recently updated the firmware of the hard drive? It *may* be conking out. Just a guess.

     

    WGA Notifications does NOT act at all when turning off the computer (only when first loading and within the first 5 minutes).

    Can you run the diagnostics tool http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 and provide its output?

    -phil

    Monday, July 31, 2006 8:52 PM
  • I installed ZoneAlarm briefly a couple of months ago (for years I had used McAfee but the version I had purchased was incompatible with MSIE 7) but then removed it because its phishing filters actually created similar but bogus web pages with substitute HTML coding and automatically inserted Javascripts in place of the authentic pages themselves.  This is nasty when part of your job is to develop and test websites.  I use y'all's software firewall now, and feel it is adequate because I run behind a decently configured router with its own firewall.

    I have not updated the firmware for the hard drive on my computer for several months.  I shall try that, and thanks for the suggestion.  It seems unlikely to be the culprit, but as you relate, it might seem unlikely that WGA Notification is the culprit except that the problem has abated almost entirely following its removal.

    As for your suggestion that I open task manager to see what's going on, I would really LOVE to do just that and, not being your basic BDU, it was the first reaction I had when the problem initially occurred.  But, when the condition is ongoing, task manager also fails to open, with the same symptoms of of appearing to start to boot, with disk activity and an hourglass cursor, but never actually makes it to my screen.

    When I first installed MSIE B7 it would not display pages contining certain types of content, including links from images and some PROPERLY WRITTEN Javascripts.  This turned out to have a very complicated cause involving new nVidia drivers I had installed only a couple days previously and an old "legacy" app written for Windows 98 to share my HP scanner over a LAN.  When I rolled back my nVidia drivers and took the HP LanScan software out of my startups in the registry the problem cleared.  Now, how on earth can something like that cause a problem with Internet Explorer?  Heck if I know!  My current problem may be similarly obtuse but its nature prevents me from doing any experiments that might give some more meaningful results.  I mean, at least my computer was running then.
    Monday, July 31, 2006 10:57 PM
  • He's not being belligerent, he's being blunt. I see nothing wrong with that and just because you have a problem with frank honesty doesn't mean that everyone else has that problem.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 11:55 AM