How to Fix Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Error

By Deborah Cohn

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is a Windows XP application that automatically checks to validate that the computer is using a licensed version of the XP operating system. If it can't validate that the version is a licensed copy, an error message incessantly prompts the user to install a licensed version.Some users are reporting that WGA has been tagging perfectly legal copies of Windows as illegitimate, and the constant validation prompts are irritating. Microsoft is aware of this issue and is working on a fix. In the mean time, disgruntled users can remove the WGA notification screen manually by editing their registry.

Things You'll Need

  • ComputerWindows XP

Step 1

Make sure all data on your computer is backed up. This is advised anytime you are making changes to a computer's system. It's an important precaution.

Step 2

Shut down your computer.

Step 3

Reboot in safe mode by holding down the F8 key when you turn the computer back on. You'll be given the option to boot in safe mode. Choose that option.

Step 4

Open the Start menu at the bottom left corner of your screen and select "Run." A command prompt window will open. In the command prompt window, type "regedit." This will open the registry editor.

Step 5

Back up the registry in case of error. Find the registry editor's menu. Click on "File" and "Export." Under Export Range, select "All," and save to a folder that you can locate easily.

Step 6

Once your registry is backed up, search the registry editor for a folder called "wgalogon." Delete this folder and close the registry editor.

Step 7

Search your Windows for any other files that start with "wga" and delete them.

Step 8

Restart your computer normally and you'll never receive a WGA notification again.