Wontcha make my bad license, wontcha make my bad license, won'tcha make my bad license trueeeeeee?
July 17, 2006 12:32 PM   Subscribe

How do people get legit with Windows licenses?

Microsoft is clearly on a major push to crack down on bogus (primarily installs done with Windows Corporate which never demanded authentication, I presume) XP licenses - getting the current DirectX update on my Dell Latitude last week required me to go through hoops I'd never had to do before. Since it is a legit license it passed with no problem, but what if it hadn't?

Meaning, if I were one of the people with a bogus copy that Genuine Advantage had snagged I certainly could go get an XP Pro upgrade package at Costco or buy an OEM copy from Newegg, but what would I have done then? Is MS forcing people to do a fresh install on top of a perfectly working (well, aside from whatever Genuine Advantage does) copy of XP?

I primarily ask because I am sure it's just a matter of time before one of my friends or my darling girlfriend's friends asks me what to do - I am sure at least a few of them have machines that were put together w/ corporate edition rather than proper licenses. No doubt MS is perfectly happy to take their money and let them "get right" but what's the process going to be for them (or me, if I get roped into helping)?
posted by phearlez to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
If your friends click the learn more button on WGA, they'll take your friends to a page where you can buy licenses for, IIRC, XP Home for $99 and XP Pro for $149, which will assign your friends a new license key and a downloadable tool to switch their copy to the new license key. Of course, WGA can be disabled too, as a little Googling will show.
posted by boaz at 12:53 PM on July 17, 2006


Like boaz said, you're not buying the software, but a license, meaning a CD-KEY. That's it. No install necessary.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:23 PM on July 17, 2006


Well, "no install necessary" is a *little* strong: you won't have to install the whole OS, but you will have to run the key-installer and "install" the new key.

Thanks, boaz; I hadn't seen that; and those prices, amusingly enough, are cheaper than I can buy the OS for, even wholesale.
posted by baylink at 1:30 PM on July 17, 2006


Response by poster: I have no interest in getting myself involved in what will no doubt be the never-ending battle of WGA vs Bypassing WGA, boaz - my intention was to find out what I'd have to tell folks to buy. The fact that there's some mechanism built into WGA itself to do that may explain why nobody has asked me as of yet...
posted by phearlez at 2:07 PM on July 17, 2006


You know, I just happened to check the Auto Updates queue when WGA was waiting in the wings, and fortunately clicked "hide, never show again, stay the fuck away" and haven't had to worry about it.

I figure, I'm not going to pay to purchase a license (since we have about five legal copies throughout the house) but I'll probably purchase Vista when it's actually released. And proven not to kill kittens.
posted by disillusioned at 2:16 PM on July 17, 2006


Corporate edition will let you do the updates. You may have to jump through some additional hoops, but if you got the latest service pack installed w/o incident, there's nothing MS can do at the moment.

To avoid their fucking WGA brilliance, find the section thats named something like 'for network administrators.' There will be an easy-to-deploy, completely contained exe download that shouldn't need any sort of authentication. Administrators do not like to be bothered with stuff like that, and Microsoft knows it.
posted by devilsbrigade at 4:21 PM on July 17, 2006


Response by poster: The suggestion is appreciated, however that sounds like a lot more continued interaction on my part than telling them to spend the $100/150 they should have in the first place :)
posted by phearlez at 10:15 AM on July 18, 2006


There are two parts to WGA: notification and verification. Notification is the annoying popup message. This you can uninstall easily by hand or with a tool, and in fact some of us never installed it to begin with (you can just deselect it in Windows Update if you always do Custom and not Quick or whatever the two choices are.)

WGA Verification is the thing that you encountered when trying to download DirectX updates. It's not optional, but it is also exceedingly easy to bypass. You just download a cracked LegitCheckControl.dll and that's that, the Microsoft Downloads and Windows Updates work without any hesitation.

If you want to go legit you just get a legit CDKEY and use a CDKEY changer app to install it. No reinstall is needed.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:32 PM on July 18, 2006


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