Microsoft “Genuine Advantage”

Microsoft Security had finally had enough of being thwarted in its efforts to protect me. So, you’re not voluntarily running Windows Update? Hah, I’ll do it for you!

It may seem odd that I’ve been turning off Windows Update. As any security minded person knows, it’s very important, at least for the ordinary computer user, to have the very latest updates installed, so as to plug those zero-day entry vectors etc. However, I have an old computer, and Windows Update brings it to its knees for hours per day, even at the lowest possible level of activity. It does that by allocating huge amounts of virtual memory, plus something that I don’t know but that isn’t shown in Task Manager. In theory the virtual allocs shouldn’t matter for performance, as long as the working set is small, but Windows is decidedly not a quality OS, it’s the Volkswagen variant of an OS, so, my computer is completely and utterly unusable with Windows Update. My intention was to update directly from the Microsoft Update web site, I thought that was what it was for. However, they’d “fixed” their site that so that it couldn’t be used without turning on all of the Windows Update stuff (and what’s the point of the web site then? Jeez).

Anyway, I let Windows Update have its way. This took 8 hours, including restarts. Windows Update really sucks.

And what was the result? Well it had installed Microsoft Genuine Advantage for Office. And the “advantage” is that every time I start Word I now get the following nag-box (what an advantage!):

And since my Office installation has been activated not just once but at least twice and perhaps already three times (since “forgetting” that it’s activated is a common problem with Microsoft software), when I choose [Help → Register product…] I get:

Genuine Advantage my ass!

Addendum, the day after, NO SOUND: I now discovered that my computer has become very silent. It seems that every Microsoft update not only messes things up thoroughly and changes settings willy-nilly (it’s not your computer, it’s ours!), but also destroys something, like openfiles or netstat or ftype or whatever — the netstat thing was actually documented, it’s almost as if they’re proud of it. Attempting to open the volume control now produced a message that I have “no mixers”:

The advice offered in the box is just to make naive computer users waste some hours or days before, desperate, shelving out good $$$ to upgrade to a newer Windows version. Or, I think that is the purpose of misleading people like that. It positively lies. So I googled for others having had the same problem, found, of course, and it turned out that the Windows Audio service was stopped. Since the service was set on Automatic that should not have mattered, and it should have been running. But starting it fixed the problem, at least until it stops again! Argh! I don’t have words! At least none that I can put on the blog!


One comment on “Microsoft “Genuine Advantage”

  1. You haven’t mentioned that you need like 1 Terabyte of space to run windows update for more than 6 months. On my old pc , I had XP SP2 installed on a 40 GB hard drive . with 9 gb on the system partition. When I decided to finally give windows update a chance.

    Month 1: thousands of useless updates turn my minimal 1.5 GB installation into approx. 3 GB
    Month 2: .NET Framework 2.0 installed . (and tons of other useless updates)
    Month4: SP2 successfully updated to SP3
    Month5: .NET Framework 3.5 installed. .NET Framework 4 installed
    Month 6: “minimal installation” now consuming 8.67 GB… System Partition almost full. Installed Ubuntu 11.04 swore never to use Windows again.
    Month 7: Installed windows again , and made a ubuntu/windows multiboot. But still vowed to never get “Free Updates” Again.

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