Windows Genuine Advantage servers failed during weekend

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Redmond (WA) – Some Microsoft customers received a huge shock this weekend after they unsuccessfully tried to validate their Windows XP, Vista and Microsoft Office products.  Microsoft says its Windows Genuine Advantage servers crashed over the weekend which inadvertently labeled genuine versions of Windows as “counterfeit”.

According to the WGA blog, the crash started on Friday night, but the problem has since been solved.  “It looks now as though the issue has been resolved and validations are being processed successfully,” in a post by Microsoft blogger “Alexkoc”.

Windows XP owners who had their copies labeled as counterfeit weren’t seriously affected because the software basically just pops up a nag message.  Vista owners, however, had a much rougher time because a failed WGA validation will disable Aero, the Windows shell and several other advanced features.  The operating system will also be forced to restart every hour.

Microsoft is now telling customers to revalidate their copies to Microsoft.com/genuine to restore the software’s genuine status.  Customers should also reboot after the revalidation to ensure that all the features have been restored.