Sunday, July 20, 2008

How to Geek

An excellent resource for novice and expect alike.

How to disable Windows Genuine Advantage Notification

"The “Windows Genuine Advantage Notification” (KB905474) cannot be uninstalled by Add/Remove Program in Control Panel by default, contrary to the claim in the knowledge base article. To enable the removal of KB905474 WGA Notification tool, follow the below steps:

Note: It seems like it’s not possible to uninstall WGA Notifications from Add/Remove Program. Cobolhacker has details on why KB905474 cannot be uninstalled. Suggested steps to “uninstall” are search and delete all WgaTray.exe and WgaLogon.dll files in your boot drive (if you using search, check the “Search system folders”, “Search hidden files and folders” and “Search subfolders” checkboxes), delete all the register keys in the following tree: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\WgaLogon, and to remove the entry from Add/Remove Programs list, delete the registry key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Uninstall\WgaNotify. With uninstallation, WGA Notifications will try to install again next time.

1. Click on Start.
2. Click on Run.
3. Type in regedit in the Run text box.
4. Click OK or press Enter.
5. In Registry Editor, browse the the following registry key branch:

6. On the right panel, modify the value of NoRemove (by right clicking on the key and choose Modify) to 0.
7. Exit the Registry Editor.
8. Re-launch the Add/Remove Program, and Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications (KB905474) is now removable.

Prevention is always better than cure. So the best to avoid the the KB905474 Windows Genuine Advantage Notification application to be automatically downloaded and applied by Automatic Updates is to disable Automatic Updates. Go to Automatic Updates in Control Panel and disable it by selecting Turn off Automatic Updates, or if you still want to receive the critical patches from Microsoft, select Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them or Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them. Remember to uncheck (deselect) Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474) when prompted to install any updates.

If you have already install the WGA update, you can use the hacked/cracked version of LegitCheckControl.dll (newer version suggestion by tyler) to remove the annoying nagging message. (For old version) But Windows Update will still ask you to install it since it’s a newer version which is 1.5.526, unless there is newer version of cracked LegitCheckControl.dll available. You may however try to “up” the version of hacked LegitCheckControl.dll yourself by using the following method:

1. Get the patched/hacked “LegitCheckControl.dll” from the internet (e.g from link above or any file sharing service)
2. Install Resource Hacker if you still don’t.
3. Open both (original in Windows/System32 and hacked version) “LegitCheckControl.dll” files with Resource Hacker.
Go to “Version Info”, replace the version info of the patched File with the version information from new original LegitCheckControl.dll.

BLOCK “StringFileInfo”
BLOCK “040904B0″
VALUE “CompanyName”, “Microsoft Corp.”
VALUE “FileDescription”, “Windows Genuine Advantage Validation”
VALUE “InternalName”, “LegitCheckControl”
VALUE “LegalCopyright”, “Copyright © 1995-2004 Microsoft Corp.”
VALUE “LegalTrademarks”, “Microsoft® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.”
VALUE “OriginalFilename”, “LegitCheckControl.dll”
VALUE “ProductName”, “Microsoft® CoReXT”
VALUE “FileVersion”, “1.5.0526.0?
VALUE “ProductVersion”, “1.5.0526.0″
VALUE “PrivateBuild”, “Built by gacald on WGA-FILE-SVR.”

BLOCK “VarFileInfo”
VALUE “Translation”, 0×0409 0×04B0
4. Save File.
5. Put the modified version of hacked LegitCheckControl.dll in Windows/System32 folder, replacing the original from Microsoft.

Beside, WGA Notifications tool is also reported to be able to be bypassed by emptying (deleting the contents of) the data.dat in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data as detailed here.

If you disable Automatic Updates, you can always download any updates from Windows Update or Microsoft Update using the hacks and tips from here and here. If you are prompted to mandatory must install KB905474, the above tricks should disable the checking of existence of KB905474 notification application. Again, remember to deselect the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474) which will listed in High Priority section and selected for you by default.

Note: Visit the a more tidy article on how to bypass and disable the WGA with various tricks and hacks or a host redirect method to make Windows genuine permanently."