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2005-05-09

 

Windows Genuine Advantage: So, did I fail the test or did the test fail?

Microsoft Monitor: Microsoft's Windows Genuine Clarification.  What I want to know is, what do I do when the test fails, not when I fail the test?

The download page for the beta-2 of the Microsoft AntiSpyware tool took me through that game in March and I never got it to work.  (The beta-2 didn’t work either, but that’s a different problem.)  Mostly, I could never figure out how to condition my software firewall and my browser, plus flip my running Tablet PC on its back so I could read the Windows XP OEM product key off the sticker all while watching different links, web pages, and whatnots fail to come up properly much faster than I could read the jillion pop-ups from my firewall.  I also treasure this “You should practice the 3P’s every day in every way, but you don’t need it with us” treatment by Microsoft sites.  (Oh great, the “1–2–3 Protect Your PC” link on the Executive E-mail page is broken. Figures.)

I only entered my product key twice and I don’t think it ever took.  I didn’t get a report, I just kept being bounced back to an earlier page in the sequence.  Oh, and there was a polite suggestion that if I was having difficulty, maybe I’d like to fess up and take the link to the page that is ready to arrange my having a legitimate copy of Windows.  That sucks.

I don’t know what that’s about, but I didn’t like it.  I don’t recall being taken through activation with this machine either, but all of my other experiences with Windows XP have been with clean installs from  retail disks.  Blocco, my Tablet PC, is my only OEM-provisioned XP machine.

And if I have a counterfeit OEM install, I don’t want no freakin’ amnesty for me, I want those guys out of business.  What I have to do to reinstall XP means really buy a new machine and rebuild on it, because of the lock-in of OEM drivers and whatnot and no Windows CD-ROM, just an OEM restore CD.  The lost cost to me in the value of my time and attention for reworking the computer with a “legitimate” copy of Windows (I have enough of those on my MSDN Professional and Universal DVDs, guys) is way more than what the computer is worth, especially one with a counterfeit sticker, if that were the actual case.

And I’m more pissed that every failure of the validation test is taken as prima facie evidence that the user is running an unlicensed system.  Is there no provision for the test failing with a valid system?  I should go see if it has gotten any better.  Am I going to have to go through this every time I run Windows Update or download some freebie add-on? That’ll suck too.

Oh, Never Mind.  OK, I went back through the drill on the AntiSpyware beta-2 download page, and it went through the Genuine Advantage check without a hitch and no-questions-asked, leading me directly to the download page after some mad browser page-shifting.  The download also worked fine (though I don’t know that it will install any more successfully than the last time).  So, uh, I guess the last time did succeed, I just couldn’t tell.  Well, uh, oh.  Still, …

Keywords: Microsoft® Windows Genuine Advantage Potentially Sucks Declares Indignant Geezer Geek

 
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