Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Notifications is an anti-piracy system set up by Microsoft that comes only with Windows XP and Vista. When logging on to a non-genuine Windows system, a message will appear that reads: "This copy of Windows is not genuine. You may be a victim of software counterfeiting." The user will then be given two options: "Get Genuine" or "Resolve later." Choosing the second option will allow the start-up to continue on to the desktop but warning messages will continue to pop-up in the system tray. These warnings can get really annoying. Fortunately there is a method that could disable the constant appearance of the warning messages.
- Run Windows Task Manager. This is an operating system application that gives detailed information on your computer's performance, its running programs, and ongoing processes. The quickest way to launch this program is by simultaneously pressing the following keys: Ctrl + Alt + Del. The Windows Task Manager window will open up.
- End the 'wgatray.exe' process. Pull up the Process tab on the Task Manager window. This will show a list of all the processes currently active on your system. Look for 'wgatray.exe' on this list, highlight the item by clicking once, and then click on the End Processes button found at the bottom of the window.
- Restart Windows in Safe Mode. Shut down the computer wait a few seconds then turn it on again. As soon as it starts booting, keep tapping the F8 key until the Windows Advanced Options Menu appears. On this screen, choose the Safe Mode option and press enter. The start up will continue on to the desktop and your whole system will now be in Safe Mode state.
- Delete the WgaTray.exe file. To find the file, click on the following in sequence: My Computer - Local Disk (C:) - WINDOWS - system32. The system32 folder will contain a lot of files and folders. Look for WgaTray.exe and delete it. If it's not there then it could be in the folder labeled 'dllcache' which is also inside the system32 folder.
- Delete the WgaLogon folder located in the Windows Registry. Launch the Registry Editor utility by moving up one step into the WINDOWS folder and looking for regedit.exe. Double-click on this file to run the utility program. On the left pane of the Registry Editor window is a file tree. Navigate through this file tree in this sequence: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -SOFTWARE -Microsoft - WindowsNT - CurrentVersion - Winlogon - Notify. Under the Notify folder you should see the WgaLogon folder. Click once to highlight and press Delete. Close all the programs and restart the computer. The WGA Notifications warning messages should stop showing up.
Still the simplest way to avoid the hassle of bypassing WGA Notifications and taking out the constant warning messages that come with it is to go through the validation process. Genuine Windows software has the advantage of being more secure and available for updates.