Windows XP-based computers might be marked as non-genuine when incorrect or corrupted data.dat file is present

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Article ID: 926333 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

A Microsoft Windows XP-based computer might start to fail the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation process, or the Windows XP-based computer might be reported as being non-genuine.

CAUSE

This behavior might be caused by an incorrect Data.dat file or by a corrupted Data.dat file in the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data folder.

Note By default, the %ALLUSERSPROFILE% folder is the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users folder. However, this location might be a different folder in your installation of Windows XP.

RESOLUTION

You must remove the Data.dat file from the Windows XP-based client computer. The Data.dat file will be updated correctly during the next validation.

Steps to update the WGA Data.dat file on a single computer

Manual steps to update the WGA Data.dat file on a single computer

To update the Data.dat file manually, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to the computer that is experiencing the problem by using an account that has administrator credentials.
  2. Delete the Data.dat file from the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data folder.
  3. Visit the following Microsoft Web site to confirm that the computer is reported as genuine:
    http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/validate.aspx
  4. Click Start, click Run, type wgatray.exe /b, and then click OK.

    Note The wgatray.exe command might not be available on your computer. This command is available only on computers that have Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications installed. If the wgatray.exe command is unavailable, it is not an error. Go to the next step. For more information about Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    905474 Description of the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications application
  5. Restart the computer.

Automated steps to update the WGA Data.dat file on a single computer

To perform an automated update of the Data.dat file, follow these steps:
  1. Visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012
  2. When you are prompted, click Run to run the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool.

    Note Depending on your security settings, you might be prompted several times to confirm that you want to run the tool.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. On the Windows tab, click Resolve.
If this method does not work, use the instructions in the "Manual steps to update the WGA Data.dat file on a single computer" section.

Steps to automatically update the WGA Data.dat file on multiple computers

The following sample script is a simple .cmd script. To run this script on multiple Windows XP-based client computers, use Group Policy, Microsoft Systems Management Server, or other tools that are available in your environment. Use the best method for your environment to distribute the script. To run this script individually, you must run the script as an administrator.

To create this script, open a new .txt file, and then paste the following script text in the new file. After you create the file, rename it by using a .cmd file name extension.
Script text
@ECHO OFF

IF EXIST "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data\data.dat" (
ECHO Deleting data.dat
attrib -R "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data\data.dat"
DEL "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data\data.dat"
)

IF NOT EXIST %WINDIR%\system32\WGATray.exe (GOTO END)
ECHO WGA Validation in progress. 
WGATray.exe /b

:END
ECHO Done

Properties

Article ID: 926333 - Last Review: January 7, 2008 - Revision: 4.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Starter Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage
Keywords: 
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