View Poll Results: Are you still using Windows Update

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  • Yes, and WGA is installed and talking to Microsoft

    732 31.00%
  • Yes, but I have prevented WGA talking to Microsfot (for example using a software firewall)

    649 27.49%
  • No, I no longer use Windows Update because I don't like WGA

    563 23.85%
  • No, I never did use Windows Update, I prefer to manage my own patches

    188 7.96%
  • Wouldn't install it on a bet

    139 5.89%
  • SP2/ What's that?

    39 1.65%
  • I DO NOT have a jumpy mouse pointer with <b>Windows ME</b> and USB

    9 0.38%
  • I have a jumpy mouse pointer with <b>Windows 2000</b>

    8 0.34%
  • I DO NOT have a jumpy mouse pointer with <b>Windows 2000</b> and USB

    21 0.89%
  • I have a jumpy mouse pointer with <b>Windows XP</b>

    11 0.47%
  • I DO NOT have a jumpy mouse pointer with <b>Windows XP</b> and USB

    2 0.08%
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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    I have been following the advice from Windows Secrets Newsletter regarding dumping Windows Update and using alternatives (the recommended Shavlik's NetChkPro is installed but giving me problems, will have to check with them for support). When I checked my system, I am happy to say the WGA Notification Tool was not installed on my main computer. <img src=/S/clapping.gif border=0 alt=clapping width=19 height=23> I still have two other systems to check on, but I was wondering.... <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

    I do have the WGA Validation Tool installed on my system, does this also pose any threat as the Notification Tool does and if so, how do you remove it?

    My system has Windows XP Home SP2 installed with a 2.0 GHz AMD Athlon processor on a ASUS mobo with 1 GB RAM

    Thanks for any help

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    Using Windows Update, the WGA Validation tool is necessary - without it, you won't be able to install regular updates for Windows and Office, only critical security updates. I don't know how other tools work if WGA Validation is not present.

    The WGA Notification Tool has just been replaced with a somewhat less intrusive version, see here on AskWoody.com.

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    I find WGA convenient for selecting updates. Is there any harm in leaving it alone if I just get my firewall to block it efforts to contact the net?
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    I'm not sure, but it seems logical that WGA Validation cannot work at all if it cannot contact Microsoft. But you could try it and see what happens.

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    I didn't really consider that. I just visited the Windows Update site and it let me see and download all available updates, critical and others. I have Zone Alarm blocking WGA from contacting the Internet
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    OK, that's fine then. Good to know!

  7. #7
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    Just out of curiosity, how do you block the WGA validation tool with ZA?

    I have no problem myself; my version of WGA validation tool is from March (some 1.5 version). At the moment, I have no plans in updating it as I do not use it.

    As I do not have the later version of WGA Validation tool, I do not know if it works differently when connecting. As with other Microsoft tools, programs (MS Defender etc.) MS uses the "Generic Host Process for Win32 Services" (svchost.exe) to connect to the Internet. If the WGA Validation tool uses the Generic Host Process, it would be hard to block the tool without blocking all Internet access.

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    No - it's really very easy. When you have ZoneAlarm 'Smart Defense Advisor' ( on the Program Control tab) set to Manual (and I would always suggest this), it will alert you the first time a program asks to do something 'iffy', like contacting the Internet. You can select 'Block This Time' or 'Always block' These decisions can be reversed later. If you had Smart Defense set to Automatic, which is the installation default, you can check the Program Control, Programs tab and set it to always ask in future
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    David,
    What version of ZA do you have?
    I see no mention of Smart Defense Advisor on my program tab. ( or anywhere else )
    BOB
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  10. #10
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    Hi again Bob,
    I'm not David, and I think he should also answer since not being clear enough just mentions ZoneAlarm.

    Anyhow, I, as you can guess, do not either have this Smart Defense Advisor. I did a search at the Zone Labs site; Smart Defense Advisor seems to be introduced in the 6.5 release and furthermore included in ZA Internet Security Suite (maybe ZA PRO and some more).

  11. #11
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    David,
    OK, so this Smart Defense Advisor (SDA) has its own little set of rules. Maybe my question was not clear. What component / program is it that SDA gets upset about? What do you block with SDA in this case?

  12. #12
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    6.5 ZA Security Suite. Smart Defense Advisor has been around for several versions back. It is simply a case of ZA deciding a program is safe, from its built in rules, or asking you. In any case, on the Program Control/Programs tab you can control access it give to any program asking for connection. It is basically the same with, say, Norton, which I used to use, but I find ZA easier to use, and Tech Support actually taok to you!
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

  13. #13
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    OK, but you do not mention what program or process is asking for connection. Your explanation of this SDA is so general that it could be a description of the normal ZA program control.

    The Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool is an Internet Explorer ActiveX control, OK? So if I may reiterate my question: what component is it that you are blocking and how does it look in ZA when this happen? You have only said that you can use SDA for this and described how SDA works (similar to normal program control, i.e. rules).

    So you are saying that when you try to download something that requires a validation that works OK and no validation occurs since ZA is blocking WGA's access to the net?

  14. #14
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    The program is listed by ZA as "System32/WgaTray.exe" The point here is that at no time did I need to know that. I only needed to respond to an automatic alert that "Windows Genuine Advntage is trying to access the Internet" The name of the program was offered with details on where it was located, if I cared to query the alert for such further details.
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

  15. #15
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    Re: WGA Validation Tool (XP Home SP2)

    OK. Of course, you only needed to respond to the alert, I just asked for what program you later found responsible for the alert.

    Thanks.

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