Published on August 6, 2006 By werewolf In Personal Computing
I went to MS update to get all the new updates for my daughters Dell laptop. The way it looks is that I can only do the Windows Update thing is by installing that stupid WGA app. I've heard horror stories that WGA has reported factory laptop installs of XP are invalid and shut the whole machine down. That's not good. I have turned off auto update on her machine.

On the other hand, some of those updates are probably needed (she is going to be in a fairly secure environment, nat enabled routers, software firewalls, AV software, etc) but there are some updates which improve the OS if I remember correctly.

Anyhooo, has anyone with a Dell laptop, or I guess any new name-brand laptop, had any problems with the WGA. If so, were they easily fixed?

What's the general consensus of WGA around here. There should be lots of folks who have been exposed to it I would think.

on Aug 06, 2006
I run a Dell Inspiron 9300.

It had the 1.6 Ghz Pentium M stock processor, and I upgraded it myself to the 2.0 Ghz Pentium M.

I have not had any issues with WGA running on either processor, so I would venture to say your daughters machine should be fine.

The reports from Microsoft indicated that a very small percentage of the computers that had been flagged as invalid were actually inaccurate.

The bigger question mark seems to be the Office version of WGA currently being tested by a select group of people returning invalid data.

You might consider testing it before she goes off to college to verify that she won't have any issues.

I have spoken with a couple people who were running copies of Windows XP from a site license (and should not be), and they indicated that they received a message that they could not be validated for updates, but their computers still ran. I suggested that maybe they go to the local PC store and purchase a copy of Windows XP to solve the issue, to which I received a look like that was out of the question. I suppose it all depends on your priorities.

For my part, I have no issue with the WGA control being installed, it just takes an extra 30 seconds or so to scan the system.
on Aug 06, 2006
update manually , pick custom and simply untick the wga tool if youre worried(this works in the UK not sure about the States).

If it returns a false poistive just phone MS and get them to sort it, if they can't phone dell ,you paid for windows in the sale price.
on Aug 07, 2006
Never had any problem with WGA. You shouldn't really have to worry about it unless the Windows version isn't legal.
on Aug 07, 2006
How many laptops do you suppose have been sold with XP pre-installed?

How many legitimate reports have you seen (not heard second-hand) of laptops being disabled by WGA?

Do the math.
on Aug 07, 2006
The real problem with WGA was that in its original form, it called home EVERY DAY!
This has been changed but it sure looked like big brother was looking to see what I do with my comp.
Treat the customer like a pirate.....
BTW, I am not a pirate.
on Aug 09, 2006
thanks folks for your input I certainly appreciate it. There has been a lot of talk about this in some of the tech newsletters lately. Just wondered what the 'real' world experience has been.

on Aug 09, 2006
I personally use Firefox as my main browser. Of course you cant access the Microsoft Updates site using Firefox. However there is an extension for Firefox called Windiz Update. This add-on will take you to the Windiz site and download and install the updates for you, just like Microsoft's site does. The other good thing about it is that it has never even offered to allow me to install the WGA files and has worked without a hitch every week. Check it out, I think you may enjoy at least having this alternative.
on Aug 09, 2006
My only browser is firefox, has been for a while. I use IETab to do the windows update thing.
on Aug 10, 2006
I was on a tech site that had a writer get a pirate copy of win XP, and he couldn't get WGA to ID it as counterfeit! Here is the link I got from /. Link
on Aug 12, 2006
I just went through a zdnet article and the accompanying 'discussion'. I must say I am quite reticent to install the WGA on my daughters new Dell laptop...and I hate that. I should be able to do all this without having to worry about MS deciding my OS is not legal.

on Aug 12, 2006
You could look into autopatcher. Their message board is hosted at Neowin.
on Aug 12, 2006
hmmm, I've never heard of this. Thanks for the link BakerStreet. It looks interesting.
on Aug 12, 2006
Well, that was interesting.

Probably should have just waited until the August Full came out. I thought I could just do the April full and then the July update. Wrong.

Thanks for the link on that though Bakerstreet. It's a very handy way of doing updates.
on Aug 14, 2006
August Full is out now. I think they have the update, too if you already did the other months.
on Aug 16, 2006
yup, got that one for my daughters machine. Nice to see you can opt out of the wga . Since that update there has come news that one of the patches can break IE. That's pretty much the reason I don't use the auto update. The patch is kb918899. The only recourse at the moment is to call MS support for the fix. They plan to patch their patch someime 'soon'.