Microsoft, in a rather brilliant move, has released an update that checks your OS serial against a list of known leaked serials (corporate edition keys, etc). If your serial matches one of them then it puts a darling little message on the bottom right hand of your login screen, and also a system tray icon that nags you to buy a genuine copy of windows.
It will also pop up a dialog that says “This copy of Windows is not Genuine”
“This copy of Windows is not genuine and you have not yet resolved this issue. This computer is no longer eligible to recieve select security upgrades from Microsoft.
To protect your copy of Windows, you must click Get Genuine now.”
Every so often a little balloon will pop up that says “You may be a victim of software counterfeiting.” Below that it will say “This copy of Windows is not genuine. Click this balloon to resolve now.” If you’re working on a system that has this running it gets annoying in a hurry. What the time interval between pop-ups is, I don’t know, but I imagine it’ll drive most people to buy a legit key after a while just to get the thing to shut up.
Fixing the popup is easy enough.
Reboot to safe mode. Open up HijackThis and scroll down to the selection that says “020 – Winlogon Nofity: Wgalogon – …” select that, and click fix checked.
You can also go and delete the actual executable that nags you. The full path to it should be (for most installs) C:\Windows\System32\wgatray.exe.
Reboot after this. No longer should you get the popups and that nagger as you log in should not show up either.
Instructions for Windows 7
The easiest way to fix the issue in Windows 7 is to use the ChewWGA tool that I’ve located. You can download it from here: http://Chew7.co.cc/– UPDATE: Looks like that site is down now. For the time being, you’ll just have to search for it unfortunately.
UPDATE #2: Alrighty, since all the versions that everybody seems to find are .rar’s that have been password-protected for some retarded reason, I’ve provided a free and clear .zip here.
UPDATE #3: HAL7600 has superseded ChewWGA. Use it instead.
UPDATE #4 [10/11/2011]: HAL7600 is no longer maintained. Furthermore, Windows Activation Technologies latest Windows Update KB971033 disables Windows 7 activation cracks by using dynamic signatures as well as “calling home” to Microsoft servers to check up on the system every so often.
- Load the control panel and open up Programs and Features, then click on View installed updates
- Scroll down to the Microsoft Windows section, and locate KB971033. If it is installed, select it, right-click and then click on Uninstall. Reboot your system.
- If you’ve used any previous Windows 7 Activation cracks, then download and run WAT Fix. [If you've not previously loaded an activator you can skip this step] This will restore Windows 7′s activation files and settings to their original defaults that way Windows Loader has a standard setting/file set to work from (instead of trying to crack files that have been already modified in unknown ways by other activation cracks). WAT Fix will scan the system and restore any modified files, after this is completed it’ll reboot the system.
- Download and run Windows Loader. When it’s complete, reboot your system to make sure that it no longer pops up the non-genuine nag window and that your desktop doesn’t have the nag text at the bottom-right hand corner.
- Run Windows Update and hide KB971033 so that it doesn’t attempt to re-install itself in the future.
Close all the apps that you have open, run the program, and then click “Apply”. One virus scanner incorrectly identifies it as some kind of virus because of the compression that it uses, but I’ve tested it on 3 different machines (including my main Windows 7 Ultimate test machine) and it is clean.
Note: I am NOT condoning software piracy! If you have jacked your copy of Windows then it’s time to buy one!