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The WGA Validation Library is also included in the Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 and validate the Windows installation whether it is legitimate or not.
The program will stop working after 30 days once it failed the validation process.
The Active X control checks Windows 2000 Professional licenses as well.
WGA also advertises the latest service pack, Service Pack 3, for Windows XP, which requires manual intervention to disable.
WGA consists of two components: an installable component called WGA Notifications that hooks into Winlogon and validates the Windows license upon each logon and an Active X control that checks the validity of the Windows license when downloading certain updates from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update.
WGA Notifications covers Windows XP and later, with the exception of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
The information is then used in the WGA Library to check for overuse of license keys.
As of version 7, Internet Explorer no longer requires the user to pass a Windows Genuine Advantage test in order to download or install the software.
According to Microsoft themselves, it is legal to run Microsoft Windows without Windows Genuine Advantage.
However, since non-critical Windows updates are not presented by Automatic Updates, installation of WGA is required for installation of such non-critical updates, which are only available through Windows Update or the Microsoft Download Center.
This behavior however has been removed in Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista in favor of prominent notices on systems believed unlicensed.
When a user installs Windows Genuine Advantage, an Internet Explorer add-on is installed labeled "Windows Genuine Advantage".