Windows Genuine Advantage is Microsoft's way of telling you that they believe you are running an illegal copy of Windows. The Windows Genuine Advantage plug-in checks for a number of system ‘flags’ to determine if you are running a legitamite or authorized version of Windows. Starting in June of 2006 Microsoft automatically pushed out a Windows “update” that installed this check mechanism on your PC. This automatic installation occurred only if you had Windows’ Automatic Updates enabled.
Starting in June of 2006 Microsoft automatically pushed out a Windows “update” that installed this check mechanism on your PC. This automatic installation occurred only if you had Windows’ Automatic Updates enabled. Alternatively, you may have tried to download Internet Explorer 7, or one of Microsoft’s other new applications that force you to download the Genuine checker if you want to download those new applications.
Microsoft offers users with “non-genuine” versions of Windows installed a number of ways to get a legit copy of Windows XP. One way is to remit a proof of purchase, the “Windows” CD that came with your computer, and file a statement with the details of where and how you got it and Microsoft will provide you with a free, legitamite copy of Windows XP. The only caveat is that the pirated copy you have must clearly have been professionally produced.
If the used computer you purchased or inherited came with a copy of Windows XP pre-installed and you don’t have a CD for it, your only choice is to basically buy a fully licensed version. You can buy the Windows XP Home Edition license for $99.00USD or the XP Pro Edition is $149.00USD. The Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP that Microsoft gives you for this includes a net-new 25-character Product License key and a Product Key Update app allows you to update your pirated copy of Windows with a legit version.
You could pick a copy up at your local computer store, but the deal from Microsoft is a much better value. If you end up picking up a copy locally, there’s really no way to update your existing installation with the the one you just purchased…you’re looking at a format and reinstall unfortunately. The other option of course is to go through Microsoft's site and purchase a software key. They will send you a program to upgrade the counterfeit version to a legit version.