Well, looks like there is trouble in Vista Paradise….paint me surprised.

The WGA nightmare continues with oddball issues with validation even when legitimate programs are install such as the 9Dragon game. I was almost afraid to think about installing software that itself requires validation and how many ways this can go wrong. Especially if like in Ed Bott’s article today, the software apparently makes some system level things that Vista didn’t like….badly! As noted by Ed, some of the blame is with Acclaim, but certainly not all of it. Some of the blame rests rightfully on the operating system vendor, Microsoft. Ed’s picture of the install that ‘appeared’ to go normally with the game.

And it’s not the first time a validation ‘glitch’ (must read for any Vista user or those wishing to upgrade) has happened with Vista (or even XP for that matter). And this certainly is not the first time this was brought by Ed and many others including yours truly and this was months ago. In this article by Ed, he states,

As it turns out, that was just the tip of the iceberg. A quick scan of Microsoft’s Windows Vista Validation Issues forum turns up many similar examples, with users who paid for a retail key being told that their copy is “no longer genuine” and that the key is in use.

And this,

The offenders included PC Tools Spyware Doctor (updating to the most recent version fixes the issue), Trend Micro Internet Security and PC-Cillin Anti-Virus (the issue goes away if you install version 14.56 or later), and nProtect GameGuard.

NOTE: nProtect GameGuard is used in the 9Dragon game noted earlier.

Much more information in Ed Bott’s article. This problem isn’t going away any time soon so those using Vista or thinking of upgrading to Vista, need to be aware of it.

So what are technical newbies getting their first computers, or inexperienced users who maybe for the first time run into this supposed to do about this? How do they get it fixed? How much time do you have to fix it before ‘reduced functionality mode’ kicks in and options are limited drastically?

All that and more are discussed in Ed Bott’s articles listed above, Dwight Silverman’s article, Adrian Kingsley’s article and gallaries (1, 2) and the Microsoft Vista Validation Issues forum.

And what if your kids are using the computer and you are not when this happens? Will they know what to do? Will they realize the ramifications of waiting to tell Mom and Dad about it?

This type of shift in policy, difficulty in fixing problems, and DRM enabling will definitely make me wait for the next version of Windows … as long as they don’t continue this crap in that version. Especially with Steve Ballmer already talking of ‘stepping up anti-piracy measures‘ which can only be bad news for all XP and Vista users!

And things like this from another article by Adrian Kingsley:

Contained in the article is Microsoft’s justification for banning the least expensive versions of Vista (Home Basic which retails for $199 and Home Premium which goes for $239) from being virtualized.

Lately Intel and rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. have built virtualization-friendly hooks directly into microprocessors. The goal was to make virtualization work better, but Woodgate [Scott Woodgate, a director in Microsoft’s Vista team] argues that the move created a security flaw — essentially that malicious programs can run undetected alongside an operating system.

Woodgate said Microsoft considered banning virtualizing all versions of Vista entirely. But ultimately, he said, his team decided that the most technically savvy users, or people in companies with tech support, probably could handle Vista in virtualization programs, while home users should be steered away. [emphasis added]


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