Windows Genuine Advantage Notification

During the last few weeks, under the guise of a critical security update,  Microsoft has been trying to trick XP customers into installing a piece of spyware called Windows Genuine Advantage Notification. This program has nothing to do with security, and its sole purpose to is report information back to Microsoft each time you boot/login to your computer.

Even worse, this program is buggy, and I and many others have seen it upon occasion  consume 100% of the CPU when it runs. (This seems to happen when the computer can't establish a network connection right away after booting or waking from sleep mode.)

If you haven't already installed WGAN, then you can prevent its installation as follows:

1. You'll see the AutoUpdate Shield in your taskbar as follows:

shield pic

2. Click on the Shield and you'll see:

autoupdates pic

3. Select Custom Install and then click on Next, and now you'll see:

choose pic

4. Uncheck the WGAN line (note: there may be other lines; it's ok to leave them checked and let them install. Now you'll see:

hide pic

5. Check Don't notify me about these updates again; click on OK; and then click  on Close. (If there were other updates, besides the WGAN one, the window and button sequence will be slightly different than shown here, and the other updates will be installed.)

WGAN won't be installed and you won't be asked again to install it.

If WGAN has already been installed it's not that big a deal unless it's causing problems or it bugs you that Microsoft has installed a minor bit of spyware on your system. If so, I have a wga removal tool that can be used to remove it.