This article describes the most recent release of the Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Notifications application for Windows XP. This program notifies you if a copy of Windows is not genuine.
The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
Download the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474) package now.
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Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications for Windows XP notifies you if a copy of Windows XP is not genuine. The notification messages only appear on computers that have failed the WGA validation process and that are running a copy of Windows XP that is not genuine. If you are running a validated, genuine copy of Windows XP, you will not receive notification messages.
How to install Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications
If you obtain the WGA Notifications for Windows XP application through Windows Update or through Microsoft Update, the application will be installed on your computer according to your Automatic Update settings. In some cases, installation will occur at your next logon. During installation, you will be able to review the license terms and you will have the option to decline the update. If you decline the update, the application will not be installed. Upon acceptance of the terms and installation of WGA Notifications, you will receive updates that are specific to the application automatically.
Following installation, the WGA Validation tool will run to verify that your copy of Windows is genuine. If your copy of Windows does not pass validation, you will receive notifications the next time you restart and log on to your computer. These notifications will inform you why your copy of Windows did not successfully complete the validation process, and give you with options for resolving the issue. If your copy of Windows is genuine, you will not receive any notifications.
If you download and install WGA Notifications for Windows XP from the Microsoft Download Center, an installation wizard will help you with the update process. This includes a review of the license terms and the option to decline the update. When you accept the terms and installation of WGA Notifications, you will receive updates specific to the application automatically.
After WGA Notifications for Windows XP is installed, it cannot be removed from the computer.
The Windows Genuine Advantage privacy statement explains what information is collected, how it is used, and how Microsoft helps protect your privacy. For more information about WGA and genuine Windows, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
If your copy of Windows does not pass genuine Windows validation, you will experience the following symptoms.
- Logon notifications
When you log on, you see the following message in the lower-right corner of the screen:
You may be a victim of software counterfeiting.
This copy of Windows did not pass genuine Windows validation.
In addition, you see the following message:
When you see this message, you have the following two options:
You may be a victim of software counterfeiting.
Click Resolve Now to get help with this problem.
- You can click Resolve Now to obtain more information about the specific reasons for validation failure and to resolve the problem.
- If you choose not to click Resolve Now, you will be able to view and then click Resolve Later, after a short delay. If you choose this option, you will receive periodic reminders, after you log on, that your copy of Windows is not genuine. These notifications are described next. You will also see an icon in the notification area that you can right-click to view options for learning more about how to obtain a genuine version of Windows.
- Notification area
If your copy of Windows fails validation, you will receive notifications in the lower portion of your desktop that indicates your copy of Windows did not pass genuine validation. You can click the notification or click the WGA icon in the notification area to open the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Failure Web page. This Web page gives you the specifics of the validation failure and the steps that you can take to make the operating system genuine.
- Persistent Desktop notification
The persistent notification is an image that floats above the lower-right corner of the desktop. If your copy of Windows XP is not genuine, a persistent notification will appear below any active window to indicate that your copy of Windows did not pass genuine validation. You may interact with any icons that appear to be under the persistent notification. However, it cannot be hidden with objects on the desktop.
- Desktop background change
If your copy of Windows fails validation, the desktop will also be set to a plain black background. You may reset the background to a wallpaper or to another background color, but the desktop will be reset to a plain black color every 60 minutes, until your copy of Windows passes validation.
Every time that a notification appears, you can choose to receive detailed information about the specific validation failure. The information includes the steps that you can take to resolve the problem.
The previous sections describe features for the most recent release of the WGA Notifications for Windows XP application. If you are running a previous release of WGA Notifications, you may not have all the features that are described in this article. However, you will receive detailed information about the specific reasons for validation failure time every time you receive a notification. In addition to receiving options when you log on, you will also receive periodic notifications while you are logged in. To view the options that are available or to learn more about how to obtain genuine Microsoft Windows software, you can click the notification or the icon in the notification area.