29 July 2005

The shortest path

Microsoft released this week a compulsory patch for WinXP users. This Windows Genuine Advantage Validation locks everyone out of windowsupdate unless they install it on their pcs. It then proceeds to check that your copy of windows is legit, as well as what motherboard and hardware you own, and what other non-MS software you have installed. Why Bill Gates wants to know all that is a mystery.

Via Boingboing, a javascript workaround that only works because Microsoft's engineers left some files on their website. The workaround doesn't work anymore, sadly...

Via extended64.com, you can now use Mozilla/Firebird to access windowsupdate and bypass WGAV, with the help of certain browser plugins and scripts.

Via Pessimism Blooming, the easiest method to bypass the browser validation is to simply let windows install the validation tool, then "in Internet Explorer, go to Tools... Internet Options... Programs... Manage Add-ons... and then click on Windows Genuine Advantage and disable it. Then Windows Update works just like before."

Thank goodness IE was designed to be such a security-minded browser that add-ons like WGAV can be disabled.

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