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WU "alternate" validation no longer works

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#1
j3schmidt

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Note: this is NOT a "warez" topic but a discussion of alternate non-IE browsers and M$' disregard for users of them.


As I'm sure most of you know, some updates downloaded from Microsoft (as in directly from their site) require a certain "validation" process to ensure that the user is running "genuine Windows." Most often that process occurs automatically when using Internet Explorer as it is a "native" part of the operating system. But since the infamous "browser wars" of the late 1990s (not to mention the now-legendary developments by MSFN's own Nuhi, nLite and vLite), IE is no longer considered as much an integral component for surfing the Internet as it once was. Today we have Firefox and its numerous open-source derivatives (Pale Moon, Waterfox, Lunascape and even browser/media-player hybrid Songbird), Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera and numerous others. There are even non-graphical browsers such as Lynx which have been around since before the World Wide Web got into full swing. Windows 7 even allows you to "turn off" IE as a component in the Add/Remove Programs control panel. And Microsoft began allowing an alternative, albeit slightly more cumbersome, validation process for users of non-IE browsers.

Well, all of that seems to have changed, unfortunately. Just yesterday I went to download an update for a freshly re-installed XP on another laptop, from a Windows 7 x64 computer (the XP laptop has a fried network controller and cannot connect to the Internet, but everything else works fine). On my W7 PC I had "turned off" IE in Programs & Features > Add/Remove Windows Components, for the numerous security concerns I still have about IE (and also on principle -- if I had the time to learn Linux I would dump Windows entirely, now that M$ is entirely focused on W8 and there doesn't look like there will be a W7 SP2). Normally I use either Firefox or Opera, or 64-bit FF forks Waterfox and Pale Moon. Tried to download an update requiring validation, and guess what: no go.

I downloaded the Genuine Update program and attempted to open it, but I got an error:

This version of Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool is no longer supported. Please download the newest version and ensure that your system clock is accurate.


Well, I updated my clock, even restarted the Windows Time service and updated the clock again (in the taskbar date/time applet). I also tried running the program in compatibility mode for both XP SP3 and XP SP2. (Neither worked, so I figured W2K was a hopeless shot.) I wasn't aware there was a "newer" version; turns out there isn't, but that M$ apparently no longer supports the "old" WGA program and basically requires IE to download updates requiring validation. Let me issue a disclaimer that my Windows IS genuine; it came with the computer, and I don't have any other OSes on my hard drive other than in VMs. And as it turns out, I'm not the only one having this problem. I Googled the error message and got not one, not two, not even three, or four, but five results at the top of the page:


I refuse to re-enable IE, but fortunately I have W7 Professional and XP Mode in Virtual PC, which I was then able to use to download the pesky update (the lone WGA-required one, KB939683, on boooggy's WMP site). I just thought I'd give people a head's up as to M$' return to iron-fist tactics to control user choice with regards to security in their OS -- and to alert people of this issue who may have either removed IE in nLite/vLite or "turned it off" via Add/Remove Windows Components. A user in one of those threads posted that he has a European "N" edition that didn't have IE installed by default -- the response of the forum tech was

Go back to the original page using IE as default browser and try again - you should NOT use the Alternative Validation route


I thought the whole point of that EU settlement with M$ was to remove the "dependency" on IE in the "N" editions. Not only must you use IE to download the update, but it has to be set as default.

But the response was basically the same in another thread (not sure about the "N" edition here, but the user appears to have a British -- EN-GB -- version of Windows):

For the umpteenth time in the past four days...

You MUST use IE for validation.

Allow it to become default - you can always switch it back later


"For the umpteenth time in the past four days" -- nice attitude there from the tech. How about the EU admonish M$ for exclusionary monopolistic practices "for the umpteenth time since 1995"? (I wouldn't count on the U.S. doing so since Citizens United established that Billion-Herr Gates is just as much of a "person" as his much-maligned software company.)

I hope I'm not the only one irked by this. As I said above, if I didn't require M$ products for compatibility, and had the time to learn Linux, I would burn all of my M$ discs (as in literally burn them in an incinerator) and switch to Ubuntu. But even though the dirty "W" word is taboo here, I have to say that for those without the "luxury" of switching to other products, this is the kind of user squelching that causes fed-up consumers to resort to the infamous Swedish meatball site. Wouldn't be surprised to see the validation updates on some unmentionable DMCA-prone Voldemort board if M$ continues practices like this. :realmad:


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#2
dencorso

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it's possible to download the files using a little "trick". You need to use the "confirmation links", ex.

Original: http://www.microsoft...s.aspx?id=30617 (requires validation)
Confirmation: http://www.microsoft...n.aspx?id=30617 (no validation required)

This way you can download the updates for all languages except ARA and HEB. If you check the URLs for 2732052 on the Win2k updates list you can see how they should look like for the other languages. You only need to change the ID number at the end of the URL.



#3
j3schmidt

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it's possible to download the files using a little "trick". You need to use the "confirmation links", ex.

Original: http://www.microsoft...s.aspx?id=30617 (requires validation)
Confirmation: http://www.microsoft...n.aspx?id=30617 (no validation required)

This way you can download the updates for all languages except ARA and HEB. If you check the URLs for 2732052 on the Win2k updates list you can see how they should look like for the other languages. You only need to change the ID number at the end of the URL.


Thanks for the trick, dencorso, and tomasz86 who you quoted. Still no surprise that M$ would hide this from its regular users, though. :rolleyes:

#4
submix8c

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Well, just KRUD!!!! Just tested - latest version DID work on Server 2K3 even and now DOES NOT! No matter WHAT! I even tried this. Even running the HTA by itself says "GENUINE" but the OTHER files (even those listed) do NOT!!! They have made it "obsolete"! I haven't tried it on my XP and haven't installed any Vista or Win7 yet to test so that's out (for testing).

See also this: http://www.networkwo...nd-genuinecheck

Yep, I'd say that this really stinks - Use the IE ActiveX (at the downloads) or die? Yes, it DOES work in IE6 but the GenuineCheck does NOT so what's up with that!!! (note - tested download MP10 in IE6 standard validation and it's fine.)

Seems MS is fiddling while Rome burns again (re: EU settlement).

OH WAIT - just seen the other post... DANG!!! It works! That is (excuse me, no offense to anyone...) RETARDED. Still, they've made Genuinecheck USELESS. (sigh...)

...and this is kind of "wonky" -
http://www.broadband...-Windows-Update
points to here -
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956702
Weird thing is that there is nearly NO information on this tomfoolery.

Edited by submix8c, 02 October 2012 - 08:03 PM.

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#5
tomasz86

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Thanks for the trick, dencorso, and tomasz86 who you quoted. Still no surprise that M$ would hide this from its regular users, though. :rolleyes:

Apart from the trick I'm also almost sure that in Windows XP you can avoid the validation process once you've installed Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications.

Edit: But of course it's only for IE and won't work in other browsers. In case of Win2k the only way to download these updates is to use the "confirmation" links.

Edited by tomasz86, 03 October 2012 - 07:00 AM.

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#6
submix8c

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Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications[/url].

Edit: But of course it's only for IE and won't work in other browsers. In case of Win2k the only way to download these updates is to use the "confirmation" links.

No (somewhat) and Yes. WGA Notifications is not needed, only WGA is needed. WGA Notifications supplies the same ActiveX as WGA but the Notifications adds the Tray which is useless. IE is still (sadly) necessary for Validation as shown above. Odd that they are forcing IE on a User when the OS is clearly valid (as is shown in the links given) and the same installation WAS Valid with the no-longer-useable EXE.

Please note the link I "generally" support/recommend is one of two for XP. You may, of course, prefer Autopatcher but I find it to be inconvenient for Slipstreaming (doesn't retain original dates on download) and Updates (requires unnecessary reboots/reruns) and sometimes does not keep up-to-date (even though multiple contributors). Autopatcher does, however, provide an "near ending-point" for fully updating ALTHOUGH some of MSFN member recommended sites (many links given) provide better Update Packages.

Thanks, thomasz86 and dencorso for the "tip". ;) I actually hope this doesn't "get out" as it will allow for non-legit OS installations to circumvent validation. Hmmm... wonder if anyone has tested a non-legit on this workaround. :blink: :ph34r: MS better get on the ball with this (both the non-IE check and the workaround).

edit - saved the page just in case this topic gets wiped for "some reason". :unsure:

Edited by submix8c, 03 October 2012 - 08:23 AM.

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#7
tomasz86

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I actually hope this doesn't "get out" as it will allow for non-legit OS installations to circumvent validation. Hmmm... wonder if anyone has tested a non-legit on this workaround. :blink: :ph34r:

This workaround will work on any system (including non-Windows) and browser. It's just an URL ;) As far as I know, the pirated copies of Windows XP use hacked WGA files and can access Windows Update in the same was as legit ones anyway.

MS better get on the ball with this (both the non-IE check and the workaround).

I hope not :ph34r: Like I've already said above, this is the only way to download these files under Windows 2000 as there's no WGA for it. Before you could use GenuineCheck.exe but now they can be downloaded only through confirmation links (or direct links once you know them).

Edited by tomasz86, 03 October 2012 - 10:22 AM.

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#8
submix8c

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Well, can't disagree. Fortunately the Direct Links are there and maybe should be "logged" somewhere along with any existing KB articles. Time seems to be running out. :( And thank YOU for doing so (and "collecting").

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#9
tomasz86

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Well, can't disagree. Fortunately the Direct Links are there and maybe should be "logged" somewhere along with any existing KB articles. Time seems to be running out. :( And thank YOU for doing so (and "collecting").

Direct links seem to be the ultimate source. For example, at the moment it's impossible to download Win2k updates for JPN-NEC98 using the M$ website. They're still present on the servers but you must know the URLs to download them (or use http://catalog.update.microsoft.com but not all updates are available there).

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#10
dencorso

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In any case, as time goes on and MS does nothing, I do get more and more sympathetic with the position that to have a working GenuineCheck, to allow the use of any browser other than IE, is a right MS recognized their users to have way back when, and confirmed at the agreement with the EU. So, reading every MS representative at the MS forums say "you've got to use IE" strikes me as insensitive to say the least. While I, myself do use IE8, besides Palemoon, that's my personal choice. The GenuineCheck.exe tool worked without fail for a long time, up to last month. When I 1st saw the "This version of Genuine Advantage Validation Tool is no longer supported", I imagined soon MS would release a newer version to replace it, as it has done many times before... in fact I cannot figure why in the world, at this point in time, would MS discontinue that tool at all.

#11
submix8c

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Huh! (Win7 N)
http://www.microsoft...nuine/validate/
Validate link - real cute!
THIS...

Noel D Paton replied on September 28, 2012
Currently, MS seems to have broken validation in ANYTHING except Internet Explorer 32-bit.
All other access methods result in the genuinecheck 'experience'

This thread is showing up in Google now. ;)

Edited by submix8c, 04 October 2012 - 09:40 AM.

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