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Reply to topic   Topic: You can Install Service Packs witho WGA

Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 31
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 22 Aug '06 23:53    Post subject: You can Install Service Packs witho WGA Reply with quote

I think I read somewhere on Microsoft Downloads that you cannot post direct links to any of their downloads...I don't know if that applies to only software or if it applies to patches and updates, too.

If someone knows for sure, I will gladly post some links here.

But it's easy to find if you know the text to search for...I stumbled on one of the links after spending hours downloading every security patch, which is the only thing you can download w/o WGA (besides wicked, wicked old stuff).

Service Pack 2:

  1. Go to http://www.microsoft.com
  2. Click the "Downloads" link on the left
  3. Click the "Windows Security and Updates" link in the "Downloads Categories" section
  4. Search for "Windows XP Service Pack for IT Professionals" (actual title is a little longer, but that's enough search words to find the exact link

Service Pack 1a:

  1. Still in the "Windows Security and Updates" section
  2. Search for "Windows XP Service Pack 1a Checked Network Install"

If you can tell me about the links/illegal just to post links to software, or updates, too, then I will decide if I can post the link.

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Joined: 15 Oct 2005
Posts: 3056
Location: Hilversum, NL, EU

PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug '06 0:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not so happy with this post, I shall remove it.

Quite OT, and when you have a legal version of XP then you can just download all you want.

The Apachelounge is not a place for tips about bypassing WGA.

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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 31
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug '06 22:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steffen wrote:
Quite OT, and when you have a legal version of XP then you can just download all you want.

I am sorry, but you are mistaken.

You must have WGA installed to download anything but security patches if using the Windows Update section, it doesn't matter if you have a legal version of Windows or not.

This was not OT, it directly related to being able to set up the newest version of Apache and PHP because of the need for SP2 to install the correct C++ Redistributable (or .NET framework, which I don't need), in order to use your module.

WGA does not simply check for valid Windows upon download attempts, it actually spies on users' habits and "phones home" once a week (it used to be every boot). This is illegal. No one is required to download WGA. There was no clause in the EULA when you bought Windows saying you must consent to monitoring in order to use the software you purchased, and Microsoft cannot legally have such a clause.

I don't know if you live in the U.S. or not, but companies cannot use clauses/contracts to "override" the law. Private companies cannot make their own law, it doesn't matter if the subject is lemon laws, warranties or anything else. Federal law is always the law, and then state law applies on top of that.

My question was, if Microsoft has a "policy" prohibiting links back to its software downloads, whether it has a similar policy prohibiting links to its update/patch downloads? There is no such claim on its other pages. I assume, since you did not directly answer, that you don't actually know. (As an aside, I wonder about the few companies that prohibit links to their pages, what basis they are claiming to say that? I think they just want to force people into reading all their content instead of going directly to the page they want. Copyrights apply to creative works, not short excerpts, references to, or how to find/buy...a link isn't even an "except".) Regardless, I did not want to post a link here without knowing their "policy".

These are freely-available, PUBLIC downloads, but unfortunately you have to be familiar with Microsoft's (poorly-designed) website navigation to know that these downloads on Microsoft.com are found under "Downloads -> Windows Security & Updates" and that you have to specifically search for the "service pack 2 for IT professionals" versions to get the download that does not require WGA...and that it's a little bit bigger than the regular version.

Now, the following may be considered OT to my original post, but not to where you were leading...

It is against the law to perform surveillance of a person without due cause (evidence of criminal activity) and a search/wiretap warrant, and this is only done by law enforcement agencies or by companies hired by law enforcement agencies. With the exception, you can be monitored at work, or while using work equipment/services.

Private companies cannot simply monitor people in the belief that it will somehow catch criminals in the mix. You have apparently bought the Microsoft line that only criminals mind being put under surveilance. (And people complain about Homeland Security monitoring email for terrorists! Rolling Eyes )

Also, you must know that criminals hack and reverse-engineer at will. They will always have the financial incentive to commit crimes, and Microsoft the financial incentive to reduce competition from other software vendors, as long as they feel like no fine is high enough to deter them.

Microsoft's WGA monitors what software you have installed on your computer (and not just Windows software). According to security and networking experts who have attended some early conferences and planning sessions on so-called "trusted computing", these are some goals of "Trusted computing":
  • For every computer to have a CPU with a permanent, unique, unremovable ID number that can be traced directly to the computer's purchaser.
  • To prevent computer users from having complete control over the configuration of their computer (in effect, like running a "virtualization" program, where you do not see the "real" inner workings of your computer, if not in the how).
  • To require all software installed on a Windows machine to be tested and certified by Microsoft. This will surely hurt the little guy who can't pay Microsoft the fee for being "Windows-approved" or whatever they end up calling their program.

As for WGA, Microsoft is currently being sued/criminally investigated in several countries, not just the U.S. I think Microsoft feels like no fine will ever really hurt them. If the criminal charges in other countries are formally filed as criminal, maybe they will stop feeling so above-the-law. You really need to read up on this. It seems like, here in the U.S., our law enforcement is slow and lazy in suing and procecuting software companies who break the law, but they're catching up.

I am alarmed that you equate or insinuate the equation of refusing to be illegally monitored by a private party with criminal activity. Being in IT, you should be aware that (regardless of your personal views on being monitored) the line companies like Microsoft spout, "only criminals care", is hogwash, and that many people care, most especially people who actually know what is going on inside their computer.

For the record, I own, and have always owned, legal versions of Windows. I dealt with all the problems with ME and XP Home, and recently bought a 2nd hard drive so I can make several partitions as I switch from Windows to Linux, so I don't lose productivity. I'll always need to use Windows, anyway, for testing and IT learning, but I hope I can eventually move all Windows versions to non-Interent-connection computers networked together for testing.

I was finally able to backup, reformat, and reinstall everything using both hard disks and get a (relatively) reliable and secure system (joke) when I got XP Pro from school. Schools pay a yearly liscense fee and are allowed to distribute software to students enrolled in certain programs. The program director or other specified authority (in our case, the lab supervisor), along with the requesting student, are required to sign and date a form for each software distribution. Then the formal request goes to another department where they use special equipment to make a copy from the school's master and produce a product key on the new copy that is directly tied to the school's liscence and the student's name. I get the software only after it is passed back to the lab supervisor.

Some of the masters are older than the lab software itself (which is not exactly new), so the labs have XP with SP1 and the masters don't even have SP1.

So Microsoft has my name and the school I attend, directly tied to the product key for each and every peice of Microsoft software I own, which I must register like every other user in the world. Suffice to say, Microsoft has more info on me than on the average user, who can always register his copy with the name "Joe FakeUser" or whatever.

Users in the U.S. should be aware there are non-WGA-enabled downloads available on Microsoft, you just have to know that they are there for you.
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