now required for MS Windows updates
not yet required for MS Office updates
4 Methods for getting around it (for now)
these are not "cracks" - the cracks all fail or will
fail, since MS keeps changing the Validation to foil them
Best Method - Autopatcher (see Method 4 below) !!
Many people are scared to DL the WGA tool. However, the
update site will not let you get any updates
until you DL WGA !!!
if you do DL WGA, and but you do not have SP2 installed,
even if you are able to use the Windows
Update site without Validation (via a crack), or even if you have a valid copy of Windows - the only
upgrade it will list is SP2 !! So you really need to upgrade to SP2
using WinXP Pro SP1 you will not be able to install WMP11. So you really need to upgrade to SP2
you need WGA to be able to download updates, its a mandatory install !!
IMPORTANT: Microsoft makes security patches
(critical updates) available to all Windows users whether or not their systems
pass the validation test. So, pirated versions of Windows can always be patched
with security updates - but NOT with stuff like WMplayer and other add-ons.
That's because having un-patched computers out there poses a danger to everyone.
But if your system can't be validated, you'll have to download and install the
patches manually instead of getting them automatically through Windows Update.
Caution about all those "WGA Cracks" and "WGA workarounds"
There are tons of them - just check Google - HOWEVER . . .
almost ALL of the WGA workarounds simply do not work !!
the ones that do work - typically work only for valid copies of XP, that have WGA installed, and are running SP2. Those cracks are designed to let valid users DL updates without validating - but they rarely work for pirated copies because those serial numbers are blacklisted by Microsoft servers
What is Validation ??
Microsoft's WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) - is the main concept behind validation. Microsoft would have you believe that they are doing this for your own safety, and so that you can be sure that your copy of Windows is authentic. But think about it - have you ever known anyone who sits around worrying about whether their copy of WinXP is valid ??
*** they also now have an Office validation program ***
Serial #'s, Activation, and now . . . Validation
Microsoft started by requiring serial numbers to be entered during installation, then they added a requirement for activation via the Web after the install. Now they ask us to validate Windows every time we download a file ! ! ! What's Next?
Well you have no choice but to face facts and deal with the situation. The good news is that for now you are OK. The bad news is that Microsoft is quickly tightening the noose.
Microsoft's Automatic Updates Website - now Requires the Validation Tool
When you go to the automatic update site ( http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us ) and have the site searcj your computer for Critical and non-Critical updates, even if you need 50 updates - it will first show you this update - the "Genuine Advantage Validation Tool" - and will insist you download it before going any further !!
But you don't have to use the automatice update site !!! Read below . . .
How to get Updates without Validation (for now)
Here we show you the workarounds to Validation. Right off the bat you should make sure . . . that as you download these updates . . . SAVE THE FILES !!! You may need to use them again, and this may be the last chance you will ever have to download them without validation !!! You will end of with a lot of drive space being taken by these files, so if you run out of space . . . back them up to a DVD-R or a series of CD-R discs.
First off, stay away from the "automatic Update" website:
http://v5.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us - these updates ALL require Validation
Currently there are several ways to download Windows upgrades without Validation, as follows . . .
Method 1 - Notification (SP1 or SP2)
Set your Automatic Update Feature to "Notify Right-click on "My Computer" and select "Properties", then click the "Automatic Update" tab and check the following:
Windows will now periodically notify you that "new updates are available" from an icon in the system tray. You can double-click the icon and download and install them without validation (for now):
Method 2 - Manual Downloads (SP1 or SP2)
If you know what you need - as of now, you can still go to the "manual update" (catalog) page at:
Here you can get a list of ALL critical updates as well as Drivers and optional updates and you can download and install them without validation.
and download Windows updates without validation !!! So if your system does not validate - you had better go to that site immediately and download the updates that you need - because Microsoft will almost certainly change the manual update site soon - so that it also requires Validation !!!
The problem with the manual update site, is that it has no automatic system scan, and without the automatic scan of your PC, you will not know what updates you need, and there are so many of them !! But you can do a little detective work to identify the files you need. Here's how:
Method 3 - use a 3rd Party Windows Update Site (SoftwarePatch.com) (SP1 or SP2)
If the manual update site does not have the file/s that you need, try the one site that still carries a lot of the WinXP system files, such as IE cumulative updates, DirectX full download, etc. The URL is:
Method 4 - Autopatcher (SP2 only)
IMPORTANT !!! Autopatcher is available for WinXO, 2000, and 2003. But as far as Windows XP goes . . . Autopatcher is for SP2 only !!! if you have Windows XP SP1 then you must run the SP2 file first to update your system.
Translation Packs - don't download these, unless you are not in the U.S. They show up on some of the mirrors, but are only for foreign languages.
Autopatcher is a continually updated collection of free Windows update files that contain ALL of the Microsoft released patches and updates, and that NEVER REQUIRE VALIDATION !!! It was created by a group that is fighting back against Validation, and it is the perfect workaround to Validation. In addition, all you have to do is install the full version file ONCE and then install each update once a month after that. If you miss the updates for a few months don't worry - you can usually find them on bit torrents. If you miss the updates for 6 months or more then you will need to reinstall the most recent Full Version of Autopatcher.
For the actual Autopatcher downloads you will want to use one of the many "mirrors" (web servers) that store the files - or use bit torrents.
NOTE: the mirrors get the files first - and the Bit Torrents run behind. For example, in Mid-July, 2006 all the mirrors had the June Full and Update files, but the Bit Torrents on "Torrent Tracker" had April Full with 244 seeds (torrent users with that file available) - but the June torrents had only the "Update" version and only had 10 seeds for one, and 14 seeds for the other. And of those seeds, only a few may be online at any given time. You may know of a better torrent but that is the ones I am aware of.
So the best strategy (if on dial-up) is to download the latest Full Version from Bit Torrents since it is so fast - and then after that just download the updates from the mirrors. But if you are on Cable or DSL it really does not matter since the full download takes less than 30 minutes in both cases.
List of Mirrors and Bit Torrents
A reliable Mirror - http://ap.watchin.me.uk/ (abut 100 kB per sec in my own tests)
Autopatcher Bit Torrent Tracker (links to Bit Torrents) - with 200 seeds, about 450 kB per sec in my tests)
You can download it even faster using a decent bit torrent since it comes from many sources at once. You will need a torrent utility to download the files - I use "Bit Comet" but there are several good torrent readers.
IMPORTANT: there are always two files - Full and Update !! You need to download and install the full version, and then you need EVERY UPDATE AFTER THAT !!!
For example, if you install the April, 2006 Full version, and then install the June 2006 Update - you will have missed the May, 2006 Update. The June update only contains patches that Microsoft released in June - it is not retro-active and will not contain the May updates.
Case 1) installing Autopatcher for the first time - install the latest Full Version and any updates "after" that
Case 2) already have the full Version installed but missed one or more updates - you need to either:
What is included . . .
For Example - Autopatcher June 2006 includes the following:
Windows XP SP2 - Critical Updates
Windows XP SP2 - Recommended updates
What versions of Windows are Certain to be "Valid"
You would think that "any" version that you buy will be valid. However, OEM CD's . . . believe it or not . . . will not validate !! The exception is "unbranded OEM" CD's which will validate.
OEM CD's and Validation - OEM vs non-OEM WinXP - OEM can only
do a clean install or a Repair (in place) install (go
instructions) - it cannot do an "Upgrade". An OEM (Original Equipment
Manufacturer) version of Windows is one that comes with a new Computer. It
may be preinstalled or included as a CD, or both. DO NOT BUY AN OEM CD
WITH WINDOWS ON IT !!! You can install it, but you will never be able to
activate and validate. The license for an OEM version of Windows XP is
tied forever to the first computer it was installed and activated on. If you
make a major hardware change, such as installing an entirely different
motherboard, the license is no longer valid. That is one reason OEM versions
cost less... no support directly from Microsoft.
NOTE: As of February 28th 2005, all COA keys affixed to the computer case will have internet activation disabled. A mandatory phone call will be prompted to receive an override key after answering a series of questions which manually verify them as legitimate. This does not affect unbranded OEM versions purchased with authorized hardware through legitimate vendors. Branded OEM versions [I.E. Dell, HP, Gateway, etc..] purchased from eBay and other similar vendors will be affected and may lose the ability to activate the questionable copies.
Branded OEM vs Unbranded - the idea behind OEM Windows s that it comes with a PC (it is "branded"). However, for some reason you can get unbranded OEM copies (Example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102059 ) which work like the full version except that you cannot install it as an upgrade.
Well Folks . . . the party's over - for many people with 3 or 4 computers at home - and who can blame them. They just can't afford to add Windows, Office, Photoshop, and all the other software necessary these days. You are talking tens of thousands of dollars. So they get cracked versions. 90% of all computer users have pirated software loaded !!! Not to break the law - just to be able to work on a computer !!!
There seems to be no end to this. From now on (starting approx at the beginning of 2005), when you go to download or update Windows XP components, such as DirectX, Windows Media Player, etc. - you will receive the following message:
What is validation, you ask yourself ? Obviously they are trying to see if you have pirated software.
Microsoft Validation Sites
Microsoft Genuine Downloads FAQ
How to Tell
Windows Validation Assistant
MS Office Validation Assistant
how to tell via visual inspection
The Fear Factor !!
Many people are unsure if their version is "genuine" and are afraid to run the validation tool. Others know their version of Windows is pirated, but think they might be able to get through the validation process anyway - but they are also afraid to try it. In both case the fear is that Microsoft will either:
flag them and their IP address and disallow certain things in the future
collect personal info
On their Validation Assistant site, Microsoft says they do not collect any personal info. But they do not say that they do not collect any "non-personal info". So they undoubtedly flag all systems that try to validate and fail - so that when you are on the Internet and go to their site . . . they "see" you there. And who knows what they might do to your system.