Known Issues

WGA affects legitimate MS customers differently

Following an April 16
Top Story
on the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) copy-protection scheme, Windows Secrets heard from several readers who have — to put it mildly — a range of opinions.

Several readers couldn’t pass Microsoft’s WGA validation, despite having purchased Windows legitimately, while other readers have had no bad experiences and defend the testing system.

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Call to learn whether your Dell or HP is covered

You can’t rely on the information you find on some vendor Web sites to determine whether your overheating notebook qualifies for a free repair or replacement.

In a case recently publicized by Windows Secrets, you would need to contact the company’s tech-support staff directly to find out whether your system is covered by a special extended warranty.

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WGA blocks some updates on legit Windows PCs

Readers refute Microsoft’s assertion that Windows Genuine Advantage isn’t required to receive all patches for the operating system.

Even worse, WGA blocks some security patches from being installed on PCs running legal copies of Windows that the Microsoft validator falsely identifies as pirated.

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Microsoft responds on patches to Windows users

Conficker is a nasty worm whose design demonstrates a level of sophistication beyond that of your everyday, run-of-the-mill malware.

Fortunately for those of us who keep our Windows systems up-to-date, the odds of being infected with Conficker are minuscule.

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WS ‘contribution model’ lauded by biz journal

Windows Secrets has always encouraged as many people as possible to get the paid version of our content by not charging a fixed fee.

Instead, we allow anyone to make a contribution of any amount, whatever they feel it’s worth, allowing people of modest means as well as those more well-off to receive the information.

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Readers dubious of suites, want to mix and match

The tremendous response to our request for your opinion on the best approach to securing your PC gives us much to ponder as we prepare the next Security Baseline update.

Many readers feel that security suites stink, and best-of-breed is the only way to go — but, unfortunately, what’s “best” for one PC can be disastrous for another.

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Norton security suite’s top rating questioned

Readers beg to differ with the reviews of top tech magazines that recently named Norton Internet Security 2009 the best security suite.

Whether the security apps are from Symantec, McAfee, or some lesser-known vendor, our readers point fingers at them as the source of many performance and connectivity problems.

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Site owners stung by SiteAdvisor rating errors

McAfee’s SiteAdvisor security service leaves some Web developers scratching their heads over inconsistencies in its green-yellow-red ratings.

The company’s promises of more-frequent reviews of its site classifications are welcomed by site owners struggling to win SiteAdvisor’s approval.

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CNN/Octoshape, SiteAdvisor stories make waves

Our two most-recent Top Stories — on’s use of the Octoshape peer-to-peer service and on the reliability of McAfee’s SiteAdvisor security service — generated quite a response among the media as well as from readers.

As you’ve seen in this week’s Top Story, McAfee is reacting to our report by clarifying the process used to generate and update SiteAdvisor ratings.

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