Validation

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) !!

NEWS Flash :  Microsoft Announces the end of all Support for SP1 on Oct 10, 2006  ! !

Download SP2 from http://www.softwarepatch.com/windows/xpsp2.html

*** so if you plan on sticking with SP1 make sure to get all recent updates "before" Oct 10

Infocellar is not a proponent of pirated software !!  We are, however, a proponent of "household licenses" - where a single license can be used for every machine in the home.  Since very few vendors offer that - many people use pirated software without even wanting to.  A lot of people have 3 or more PC's in their home, and to purchase separate copies of not just Windows, but all the other software necessary to run a machine (antivirus, anti-spyware, Office, Graphics apps, utilities, etc)  becomes prohibitively expensive.  The average home with 3 machines could spend well over $10,000 for software alone !!  And that figure keeps growing, since updates are a necessary part of computing.  Even worse, instead of selling software with a keycode that once you buy it . . . it's yours - now you have to buy "subscriptions" to software (for example antivirus and some anti-spyware packages).

 

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  .  .  .

"muBlinder"

muBlinder is one WGA workaround that has worked for many people - the thread on this is 40 pages long and is full of posts from users who it worked for, and who it did NOT work for:

http://www.p2plife.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=320&st=0  

 

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:

http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/catalog/en/default.asp

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:

  1. go to the manual update site
  2. list ALL of the updates
  3. sort all the updates in the catalog by date
  4. estimate the last time you updated Windows, and download all update files dated "since your last update"
  5. open Windows Explorer, locate the newly downloaded files, and run each file to install the updates

 

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:

http://www.softwarepatch.com/windows/index.html

 

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:

  1. install every update since your Full version was installed
                    OR
  2. download and install the latest full, and any updates since then - then after that DO NOT SKIP any monthly updates !!!

 

What is included  .  .  .

For Example - Autopatcher June 2006 includes the following:

Windows XP SP2 - Critical Updates


KB873339: Security Update for Windows XP
KB885835: Security Update for Windows XP
KB885836: Security Update for Windows XP
KB886185: Critical Update for Windows XP
KB887742: Critical Update for Windows XP
KB888113: Security Update for Windows XP
KB888302: Security Update for Windows XP
KB890046: Security Update for Windows XP
KB890830: Malicious Software Removal Tool v1.17
KB890859: Security Update for Windows XP
KB891781: Security Update for Windows XP
KB893756: Security Update for Windows XP
KB896358: Security Update for Windows XP
KB896422: Security Update for Windows XP
KB896423: Security Update for Windows XP
KB896424: Security Update for Windows XP
KB896428: Security Update for Windows XP
KB899587: Security Update for Windows XP
KB899589: Security Update for Windows XP
KB899591: Security Update for Windows XP
KB900725: Security Update for Windows XP
KB901017: Security Update for Windows XP
KB901190: Security Update for Windows XP
KB901214: Security Update for Windows XP
KB902400: Security Update for Windows XP
KB904706: Security Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB905414: Security Update for Windows XP
KB905749: Security Update for Windows XP
KB908519: Security Update for Windows XP
KB908531: Security Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB911280: Security Update for Windows XP
KB911562: Security Update for Windows XP
KB911564: Security Update for Plug-in do Windows Media Player
KB911567: Cumulative Security Update for Outlook Express for Windows XP
KB911927: Security Update for Windows XP
KB912919: Security Update for Windows XP
KB913580: Security Update for Windows XP
KB914389: Security Update for Windows XP
KB916281: Cumulative Update for Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2
KB917734: Security Update for Windows Media Player 10 for Windows XP
KB917953: Security Update for Windows XP
KB918439: Security Update for Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2

 
Windows XP SP2 - Recommended updates

KB319740: Update for Windows XP (v5)
KB831240: Update for HighMAT support in the Windows XP CD Writing Wizard
KB884020: Update for Windows XP
KB884883: Update for Windows XP (v8)
KB885222: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB886677: Update for Windows XP
KB886716: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB888240: Update for Internet Explorer 6
KB888656: Update to enable DirectX Video Acceleration of Windows Media Video content in WMP 10
KB889527: Update for Windows XP (v3)
KB889673: Update for Windows XP
KB891122: Update for DRM-enabled Media Players
KB893357: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB894395: Update for Windows XP
KB895181: Fix for MPEG4 videos in Windows Media Player 10
KB896344: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB896427: Update for Windows XP (v3)
KB896626: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB897663: Update for Windows XP
KB898458: Security Update for the Step-by-Step Interactive Training Application (v6.1.22.4)
KB898461: Update for Windows XP
KB898900: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB900485: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB902344: Update for WMDRM-enabled Media Players
KB903234: Update for Windows XP
KB904412: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB904942: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB906569: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB907865: Update for Windows XP
KB908521: Update for Windows XP
KB909520: Microsoft Base Smart Card Cryptographic Service Provider Package
KB910437: Update for Windows XP
KB912452: Update for Windows Media Player 10
KB913538: Update for Windows XP
KB916595: Update for Windows XP
KB917821: FIX: For WMA9 voice codec memory leak
KB918005: Update for Windows XP (v2)
KB918093: Update for Windows XP
KB918766: Update for Outlook Express 6.0 on Microsoft Windows XP (v2)
KB919071: FIX: For VMR9 in Windows XP

 
Components

.NET Framework 1.1 (+SP1)
- KB886903: Security Update for .NET Framework 1.1 SP1
.NET Framework 2.0
Microsoft Journal Viewer 1.5.2316.0 (only in Full)
Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (KB907265)
MSN Messenger 7.5.0324 (only in Full)
User Profile Hive Cleanup 1.6d
Windows Installer 3.1 (v2)
Windows Media Player 10.0.3802
Windows Media Connect 2.0 (only in Full)
Windows Messenger 5.1.0701 (only in Full)
Windows Script 5.6 for Windows XP (v5.6.0.8825)
- KB917344: Windows Script 5.6 Security Update for Windows XP SP1 and SP2
Windows Update v6

 
WGA (Optional!)

Windows Genuine Advantage
WGA notifications tool

 
Add-ons

'Royale' Theme (only in Full)
5x Screensavers (only in Full)
Adaptec ASPI
Bootvis 1.3.37 (only in Full)
Copy Profile Tool
Delete Microsoft Java VM tool
DirectX Control Panel applet
Google Toolbar 3.0.131.0 (only in Full)
IE spell 2.2.0(only in Full)
PowerMenu 1.5.1
Remove Windows Messenger tool
Macromedia Flash Player 8.0.24.0 for Internet Explorer (only in Full)
Macromedia Flash Player 8.0.24.0 for Mozilla, Firefox, Opera and Netscape (only in Full)
Macromedia Shockwave Player v10.1.1.16 (only in Full)
Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP (only in Full)
Microsoft Windows User State Migration Tool v2.6.1
Official Windows XP PowerToys (only in Full):
- Alt-Tab Replacement
- CD Slide Show Generator
- ClearType Tuner
- HTML Slide Show Wizard
- Image Resizer
- Open Command Window Here
- Power Calculator
- SyncToy v1.2
- Taskbar Magnifier
- Virtual Desktop Manager
- Webcam Timershot
Startup Control Panel 2.8
Sun Java 1.5.0_07 (only in Full)
TweakUI 2.10
TweakUI Control Panel applet
Wallpapers (only in Full):
- AutoPatcher Wallpaper
- Delete Win9x style wallpapers option
- Delete default WinXP wallpapers option
- New Wallpapers (x16 at last count)
Windows Uptime Tool
 

 

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 Here for 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.

 

Summary

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.  

Infocellar Commentary:

While understandable due to the millions of pirated copies of Windows. 
This whole "validation" thing is very insidious . . . as if they are  tracking you . . . and they are, of course.  This may frighten you into skipping the download, or perhaps even closing your web browser altogether !!  Even though you are probably just one of the masses, running completely legit Windows.

Microsoft has brought the world the most useful software ever written - and for that we are eternally grateful.  They could have thrived and been a lynchpin for other vendors to thrive.  But as you probably recall - instead, they thrived while forcing small companies out of business with bully tactics, and undercutting hundreds of software companies by crowbar'ing utilities into Windows with no option to leave them out (i.e. Internet Explorer).  They monopolized the software industry and now have an unwritten policy to dominate all competitors, and destroy those that get in their way.  They get through their court battles with a slap on the wrist, and continue on . . . while their lawyers serve one purpose - to tell them how far they can go without being shut down by the regulators.  It is a sad commentary indeed.  

Now comes "validation", and it is more of the same - greed.  Why should we all be subjected to this for every download we ever request from here to eternity?  One word . . . MONEY !!  This multi-billion-dollar company is so worried about losing a few bucks, that they feel the need to put millions of users through this validation process repeatedly, as these same users are continually forced to download fixes and upgrades for stuff that Microsoft overlooked.

The Worst Part - is that if you simply buy a new PC, or your machine dies and you must buy a new one - you must then BUY A NEW COPY OF WINDOWS !!!  You previous version, bought and paid for by you - is now worthless.

 

Microsoft Validation Sites

Microsoft Genuine Downloads FAQ
 

How to Tell

  1. Windows Validation Assistant

  2. MS Office Validation Assistant

  3. 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:

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.