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Windows Client Update, July 20, 2006: Dealing with Windows Genuine Advantage

- Dealing with Windows Genuine Advantage

- "Your Mailbox is Full"


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- Dealing With Windows Genuine Advantage
- "Your Mailbox is Full"
- Editor's Note: Calling all Windows IT Pro innovators


- Microsoft Announces Vista Compliance Plans


- Tip: Prevent Windows from automatically playing media files
- Featured Thread: "I'm looking for software that will--"
- Featured white paper, Web & live events, announcements


- CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner 3.2
- Tell Us About a Hot Product, Get a Best Buy Gift Card!


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==== COMMENTARY ====

by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Dealing with Windows Genuine Advantage: Validation

I’ve been getting a steady stream of questions about Microsoft’s “Genuine Advantage” policy and the download validation that's currently required for many updates and downloads from the Microsoft Web site. I’m not going to get involved in the argument about Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), and if you want to learn more about Microsoft's concerns about software piracy, see its Web site: . Rather, I'd like to address how to make validation go smoothly.

Both the Windows OS and the Microsoft Office application suite currently require, or will soon, verification of the legality of your copy of the OS or suite before updates and patches can be applied. If you would like to “pre-validate” your copy of Windows or Office, you can run the Windows and Office Validation Assistants, which can be found at

Each Assistant will install its own ActiveX control, which it uses to verify the validity of your installed software. Microsoft would like you to take some additional steps to further assure the validity of your copy of the software, but passing the validation test is the most important step for the end user.

If you're having problems getting the validation to run due to security settings or the configuration of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) (the validation must be run from IE, not your favorite alternative browser), you can go to There, you can run the diagnostic tool, which will walk you through the steps necessary to correct any configuration problems it might find.

"Your Mailbox is Full": Another spam episode

On a different topic, I’ve often written about my ongoing battle with spam, but I hadn’t run into any major problems until recently. Last Monday morning, I received a couple of messages on one of my backup email accounts telling me that my primary email account was bouncing messages with a “mailbox is full” message. A check of that account showed an empty Inbox, but the last mail I had received on the account was from the previous Friday evening.

The culprit turned out to be my primary spam filter. I had taken a brief vacation the previous Thursday and Friday, and while I was gone I received enough spam to completely fill the 50MB mailbox quota on my ISP’s server. After the mailbox filled up, I couldn’t even delete the spam, which was why my automated routines hadn’t cleared the backlog. I had to ask my ISP to increase the quota so that I could delete the accumulated messages. Given the thousands of spam messages my client-side spam filters deal with monthly, I was somewhat surprised at how much garbage my ISP was trapping. It reminded me, however, of how important my antispam measures are.

Editor's Note:

Calling All Windows IT Pro Innovators!

Have you developed a solution that uses Windows technology to solve a business problem in an innovative way? Enter your solution in the 2006 Windows IT Pro Innovators Contest! Grand-prize winners will receive airfare and a conference pass to Windows and Exchange Connections in Las Vegas, November 6-9, 2006, plus more great prizes and a feature article about the winning solutions in the December 2006 issue of Windows IT Pro. Contest runs through August 1, 2006.

To enter, click here:


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by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Announces Vista Compliance Plans

Announcing its plans this week to ensure that Windows Vista complies with various antitrust laws around the globe, Microsoft made it sound like it was willfully doing the right thing. But the truth is, Microsoft is being forced to make these changes by regulators in the US, Europe, and other locales. Still, it's interesting to see which concessions the software giant is willing to make to ensure that Windows Vista isn't delayed further.

"Our goal is to be principled and transparent as we develop new versions of Windows," said Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith. "These voluntary principles are intended to provide the industry and consumers with the benefits of ongoing innovation, while creating and preserving robust opportunities for competition. The principles incorporate and go beyond the provisions of the U.S. antitrust ruling."

Microsoft is calling these changes "Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition." Yes, seriously. Rather than step through the entire list, let's highlight the most important concessions:

- Computer makers are free to add any software to PCs that run Windows, and promote non-Windows operating systems, and applications.

- Computer makers and users can easily change default applications like Web browsers and media players to non-Microsoft choices. Likewise, computer makers can remove access to default Microsoft choices all together if they wish.

For more, see this URL:



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Tip--Prevent Windows from automatically playing media files

When Windows finds you're using a removable media device, such as a USB hard drive, on a Windows XP computer, Windows will scan the device and attempt to automatically play media files it finds. This isn’t a concern if you're using a small USB flash drive, but with a 100-plusGB hard drive used to store media files, Windows will scan the entire drive when you connect. Canceling the scan might involve no more than clicking a button, but Windows might still take a while to respond. To prevent Windows from trying to automatically play media files, do the following:

1. Open My Computer.
2. Right-click the removable media drive.
3. Select Properties.
4. On the AutoPlay tab, configure the system to take no action when any media is loaded.
5. Click OK.

--contributed by David Chernicoff

Thread: "I'm looking for software that will--"
In the Office Tips forum, Moderator Orin Thomas answers a reader question about Outlook software:




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by Caroline Marwitz, [email protected]

CleanMyPC Software announced CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner 3.2, a utility that fixes Windows registry problems. The product declutters the Windows registry by finding and fixing incorrect or obsolete entries, such as corrupt hardware drivers, incorrectly removed software, and invalid program shortcuts, which can impede a computer's performance. It also lets you control the Windows startup process, showing you information about each startup program so that you can enable or delete programs as needed. CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner 3.2 lets you identify and eliminate Microsoft Internet Explorer's (IE's) Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) that might be adware or spyware. The product also offers a new "privacy eraser" feature, which deletes information that Windows typically keeps track of, such as cookies, cache files, and search histories of URLs visited. The feature can also erase other Windows files that might reveal users' computer activities. CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner 3.2 runs on Windows 2003/XP/2000/Me/98. Cost for a single-user license is $29.95. For more information, visit

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