Find out if the Windows product key is legit

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 10, 2006
Updated • May 6, 2013

Microsoft introduced Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) just a month ago to Windows XP systems . Once installed it checks if the running Windows XP version is genuine. If it's not the it's showing annoying popup messages that inform the user about it. It's Microsoft's decision that only popups are being displayed to the user, but the company could change that in the near future to more drastic actions.

WGA is installed using Windows Updates, it copies three files to your system.

  • \WINDOWS\system32\WgaLogon.dll
  • \WINDOWS\system32\WgaTray.exe
  • \WINDOWS\system32\LegitCheckControl.dll

There are reports on the Internet that legit versions of Windows XP are sometimes identified as not genuine so that users of those systems receive the popup notifications as well. Microsoft released a program that checks wether your Windows XP key is legit or not. You can download the Microsoft Diagnostic Tool from the Microsoft homepage.

If you key is not valid you have the following options to fix the problem asap. (Besides calling Microsoft asking wha'´s wrong of course.):

Option 1. 

  • In Windows Explorer, go to Tools > Folder Options. Then, go to View > Advanced Settings and uncheck “Use simple file sharing. Hit OK. Now, let’s change the permissions for WgaLogon:
  • In the Address bar, type (without quotes) “%WinDir%\system32″ and hit enter.
  • Scroll down to WgaLogon.dll, right click on it, pick Properties. Go to Security.
  • Hit the Advanced button, uncheck the Inherit box at the bottom, hit the Copy button, then hit OK. Now we have a local copy of the ACL which we can modify.
  • Go through each listed user/group and remove the “Read & Execute? permission for that file, leaving the “Read permission as-is.
  • Hit OK to apply the permission changes and close the file properties dialog. Restart the machine. You can now turn “Use simple file sharing back on, if you want.

Option 2. 

Clear the file C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data from all data and make it read only. Restart Your Computer.

Option 3.

If you have another windows XP key (maybe because you have received another one from Microsoft or the retailer who sold you the PC after you have complained to them about the issue) you can change the key by using Microsofts Key Update Tool.

Option 4.

There are ways to uninstall the wga files. This is only a temporary solution, next time you run windows update it's likely to be installed again. (source)

  • run > regedit, search and delete all references to WgaTray.exe
  • start in safemode and remove the infection by deleting the file WgaTray.exe in c:\Windows\System32, placed there by the second greediest Corporation in the World (Intel holds the enviable no1 spot). (B. Gates III is best known for spying on his customers.)
  • restart your computer

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. ochieng said on May 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I hve windows7 ultimate but no key. any help for Windows7 activation key and How to i stop bihourly shut-down on windows7 Ultimate?

    seroiusly waiting

  2. jake said on September 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    can you please send me a valid 25 digit product key please thanks jake

  3. Marquee said on September 22, 2006 at 8:02 am

    Great help, I don’t mind admitting that I have several personal machines running copies of MY original version of XP Pro (I have legitimate XP Pro software on each of my business machines), I consider it reasonable that I should be able to use a single copy of XP on each machine that I own in the same way that I can play a music CD on the various CD players I own. I am sure the music industry would love to follow Microsofts methods and force us to buy a separate CD for every CD Player, (they already got away with making us buy the copyright several times over for the same album as the recording media formats developed). It seems that Microsoft are determined to increase Bill Gates’ obscene personal fortune even more by pursuing the goal of making their software increasingly more difficult to copy. Has no-one at Microsoft ever wondered how they got so big despite the huge number of duplicate copies, could it be the very fact that it was so easily copied that made Microsofts operating system become the worlds standard and made them what they are.

  4. doris said on June 14, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    Great tips, I had troubles with the file wgalogon for a while now although my version of windows xp is legit. (preinstalled when I bought my notebook). Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) seems to bother people with legit windows xp versions sometimes.

    Don´t know why. Option 1 did help me, just removed the execute permissions from wgalogon.dll and had no troubles since..

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.