Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) notifications occur when your computer hasn't passed the validation test. The validation test can be failed due to being sold a pirated (non-genuine) copy of XP, or because you have changed your XP product key to a software-generated key, or sometimes it just happens for no reason at all. The failed validation installs three types of notifications on your computer: one on the log in screen, one log in timer, and one balloon. It also stops updates from Microsoft and disables your ability to install IE7 and Windows Media Player 11. This solution can get rid of all three notifications, even though you will still not be able to update through Windows Update. You will not be able to download things from Microsoft that requires a valid license either.
- This process will only get rid of the notifications, and will not validate your copy of XP. It will remove the timer at the beginning of your XP log on, the white notice on the log on screen, and the annoying yellow star that appears in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- This is easier to do if you have someone reading the steps to you while you do it.
- You may need to Find Hidden Files and Folders in Windows to get to System32 manually.
- If task manager processes are moving, click the title of the "image name" row to freeze them.
- If you are having problems after this, disable the updates before rebooting.
- There is a program called RemoveWGA which does all of this for you. Just run the program, click yes, and you're done. (See External Links, below.)
- If you have problems changing files in the system32 directory, you will have to turn off System Restore. Go to "Start" -> "Control Panel" -> "System" -> "System Restore" and check the "Turn off system restore" check box.
- You will not be able to use Automatic Updates anymore; instead, you have to manually update them. In External Links, there is a program that will allow you to update any system, regardless of if it is genuine or not.
- You can also rename WgaTray.exe to WgaTray.exe.bak if you can't remove WgaTray.exe from your Taskbar. Press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to do so.
- It will be useful to have Task Manager open first before deleting WgaTray.exe
- Unlocker is a free program that can assist in removing WGA notifications.
- In case WgaTray.exe cannot be deleted, you need to do the following steps: go to Task Manager, click on WgaTray.exe then End task. In the screen that pops up do not click Yes yet. Go to System32 and delete WgaTray.exe with SHIFT+DELETE. Do not click yes on the pop-up screen where you are asked if you really want to delete. Now arrange the two pop-ups very close. Very fast (within 1 second) click yes first on the first pop-up, from Task Manager and then click yes in the pop-up from delete. WgaTray.exe is gone. If it doesn't work (you receive an error), try again, faster. It should work at least for WindowsXP.
- If you are not using a genuine version you will still receive critical updates.