Validating windows vista online
WGA consists of two components: an installable component called WGA Notifications that hooks into Winlogon and validates the Windows license upon each logon and an Active X control that checks the validity of the Windows license when downloading certain updates from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update.
WGA Notifications covers Windows XP and later, with the exception of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
The version of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications released November 29, 2006, had a changed install process to inform the user of what the program does, and can also be set to automatically update to newer versions of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications.
It also informs users that may have a non-genuine version of Windows why their Windows version isn't being reported as genuine.
The Active X control checks Windows 2000 Professional licenses as well.
WGA also advertises the latest service pack, Service Pack 3, for Windows XP, which requires manual intervention to disable.
It includes the following steps: The Active X control is downloaded on the first validation and when a new version is available, but the validation itself can be performed any time the user connects to a Microsoft Website to update.
However, since non-critical Windows updates are not presented by Automatic Updates, installation of WGA is required for installation of such non-critical updates, which are only available through Windows Update or the Microsoft Download Center.
In addition to persistent notification and the disabling of non-critical updates, WGA also disables Windows Aero, Windows Defender, and Windows Ready Boost.
The user is given a grace period in which to then pass validation, after which most of the operating system is disabled and Windows reverts to reduced functionality mode.
However, unlike previous releases, it started being only automatically delivered to Windows machines using four widely distributed product keys.
The latest update (version 1.9.0040.0) was released on March 24, 2009.