Windows Genuine Advantage : The ‘Frankenbuild’ monster – Microsoft Dips Their Customer’s in Shit Again!

Update: Please read this update as well – Rob
Microsoft updated the Windows Genuine Advantage Code and broke the Windows Vista installation for thousands of Beta Testers.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a number of attempts at workarounds for Vista product activation. As of now there are at least two distinct workarounds that have worked to some degree, but I’m sure there are more on the way. One of these workarounds we have affectionately named “frankenbuild” because it involves cobbling together files from an RC build and with an RTM build to create a hybrid that bypasses activation. The other workaround involves the use of some virtualization technology and our practices for activating larger business customers.

I’m not sure what they are thinking? Even if someone was running a “Frankenbuild” – why do this now? Why not wait until after Vista is commercially available to consumer before breaking the backs of the very users Microsoft gained so much free feedback from during the Beta process?

We hope that this action will help get the message out that pirating Windows Vista will have real consequences and will, in turn, encourage people to check before they buy.

No – sorry – I am not “pirating Windows Vista” – I got Windows Vista from you, Microsoft. I got my Product ID from you as well. I am not running any modified Vista software – I haven’t hacked anything in the Registry or modified any binaries with a Hex Editor.

You are welcome, Microsoft – for all the time and effort I put in to making your Windows Vista product as stable and responsive as you could make it. You are welcome for the numerous times I had to reformat and re-install new Beta Versions. You are welcome for the time I spent on the phone with your Developers, and they were debugging my Windows Vista installation. You are welcome for the good reviews I’ve given, including my “Ten Reasons to Buy Microsoft Vista” post which gets a lot of hits.

And thank you, Microsoft, for dipping my in shit again. Just when I thought you finally “got it”.

And the really sad thing – my free copy of Vista and Office 2007 are both supposedly in the mail and on their way here. But I won’t run this crippled piece of crap operating system that used to be a fully functioning and useful Windows Vista while waiting for you to send me my free copy so I can enter a new damn product key.

No, I can’t wait for that – not while I have this Ubuntu CD sitting right here, begging to be used.

Again, thanks for the shit-dipping, you dip-shits.


Source: Windows Genuine Advantage : The ‘Frankenbuild’ monster


  1. oh and by the way i’ve been waiting for my rc1 vista to stop working and it has not. seems m.s’ right hand does’nt know it’s left hand is doing

  2. ❓ if we use ubuntu linux are’nt we suppose to give charitable contributions to charities of choice for carmas sake

  3. I can understand the frustrations of putting in a lot of work into something just to get slapped in the face at the end. (anyone here married??) So now it seems its finally time to dump the old hag and pick up a new one. Welcome to Linux. I used MS Windows from version Windows 3.1 until Windows XP up until about a year ago when I completely used Linux as my only OS. I’ve dual booted for a few years and tried different distros but was never able to completely switch to Linux until Ubuntu came out and I have to say I wish I’d found it earlier.

  4. Thanks John – I’ve added the Beryl Project of my list of things to look at!


  5. Go with Ubuntu (or some other popular GNU/Linux dist). I went from WinXP to Ubuntu and I’m very pleased.

    Also a lot of great free apps like, Amarok etc…

    If your into bling bling check out the Beryl Project, Who needs Vista or OS X bling?

  6. Paul – I considered a Mac. I haved used them before (and actually helped bring the first Mac Wireless LAN product to market – the Digital Ocean Grouper).

    But I want a tablet. I am typing now on a tablet. But I want a Mac tablet. I’ve always been partial to pen-driven systems – from Microsoft Pen for Windows in the early 90’s to working on the first Apple Newton with WLAN, CDMA, GPS, backlighting, etc – I’ve enejoyed the pen input method. It workes for me in so many ways – like capturing thoughts. I find it much easier and quicker to capture an idea with drawings than I do with text.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. Apple releases a Tablet and I buy it. As soon as I can.


  7. Hi Guys

    I also dumped Microsoft, but I went the way of the Mac. I did try and enjoyed Ubuntu, but I simply wanted to not have to worry about command lines and tweaking things. After more than 10 years as an IT support professional, I switched in August and will never ever be using Windows again. When asked by a PC user what OS to use, I recommend Ubuntu over and over again. It’s a wonderful OS and has an excellent support base.

    Paul R, Tamworth, Australia

  8. Casey – thanks! I have a way to go before I tackle running Windows Apps, but it’s cool to see I can.


  9. Two years ago I tossed microsoft and MOST windows apps out on the pile. Ubuntu made it to my home and I haven’t looked back.

    Oh, and if you want some ‘bling’, here’s a windows game running on my compiz’d Ubuntu rig. (The lower fps there is due to me shoving anti-aliasing and anistropic filtering through the roof to test performance….and its still working.

    Welcome to a better world! 🙂

  10. Thanks everyone for the links and suggestions – I am currently moving data around in preparation for installing Ubuntu. Of course, Vista will only run for an hour now before it closes all my application and shuts down – oh joy! I just want to get my documents out of Vista, then I’m zapping it!


  11. This post has made it to a couple of the Ubuntu blogs. 🙂

    I would also like to say “Come on over”. The forums are a great source of information and should be able to tackle just about any problem you have.

    Now GNU/Linux is not the best choice for all and you must remember it comes with its own issues as well. If your a person who likes to tinker and learn it should be a good fit. Once you get past the initial learning curve you can have a nice, stable and free (as in beer) OS.

    I currently have it on 5 PCs in my home.

  12. Eddy Pronk says:

    Between 1998 and 2004 I have wasted many hours on the Windows platform while trying to switch to Linux. I wish I would have invested all that time in learning about Linux instead. The introduction of Vista is a nice moment to switch since it is the start of phasing out Windows XP anyway. Go for it!

  13. Buffalo Soldier says:

    Welcome to the club. Here’s a list of where to go to for help:

  14. Hi there! ^_^

    This page got mentioned on the Ubuntu Sounder mailing list ( and so I surfed in; I would highly recommend installing Ubuntu: I’ve been using it for almost two years now and have been so happy with it that I finally got rid of my Windows XP partition earlier this year (when Google released Earth for Linux :). Give Ubuntu a try; you can file bug reports on open source software and your computer won’t call you a thief 😉 Here are my notes; they should help you set up your system:

    Then come explore; I did a search for “TRS-80” in the Synaptic Package Manager and came up with three distinct package hits; partial descriptions:

    scottfree “ScottFree reads and executes TRS-80 format Scott Adams data files.”

    xmess-x “XMESS is an emulator for various consoles and computing systems, sharing a lot of codebase with the MAME project.”

    xtrs “xtrs is an X-based emulator for the Tandy/Radio Shack line of Zilog Z-80-based microcomputers popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s.”

    I think that last one is the one mathew was talking about; here’s the full description:

    emulator for TRS-80 Model I/III/4/4P computers

    xtrs is an X-based emulator for the Tandy/Radio Shack line of Zilog Z-80-based microcomputers popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It features cassette, floppy, and hard drive emulation, timer interrupt emulation, file import and export from the host operating system, support for most of the undocumented Z-80 instructions, and a built-in debugger. Real floppy drives can be used, and, if an OSS-compatible sound driver is available, application-based sound can be played and real cassettes read and written directly through the sound card or via WAVE files. Several hi-res graphics cards are emulated and, in Model 4/4P mode, mice are supported. There is also real-time clock, sound card, serial port, joystick, and CPU clock speedup emulation.

    xtrs requires ROM images from the original machines. The ROMs are copyrighted by Radio Shack and are not freely licensed. (Exception: in Model 4P mode, a freely licensed boot ROM included with this package can be used to boot a Model 4 operating system from a diskette image.)

    BTW, I too would be more than happy to help you with an install if you need 🙂

    P.S. The forum thing sucks; yet another reason to try Ubuntu: 🙂

  15. silentdis says:

    I would like to take a moment to personally invite you to the Ubuntu community.

    I made the switch myself 4 months ago and haven’t looked back 🙂

  16. Anonymous Superhero says:

    Afaik, nobody is going to send you a key. In Connect, you go to Request Product Key under your Vista/Longhorn beta section and select Vistal Ultimate/Business RTM.

  17. Mathew – you gotta be shitting me? A TRS-80 emulator?

    That would be great fun. As far as Ubuntu – I am fine installing and using Linux for every dat stuff… but when it comes to teaking it for new drivers, etc – I may just ask for help.

    Thanks much!


  18. I’m of the same mind as davidwb. I help people out for free with Mac or Linux problems; with Windows, I tell them they’re on their own.

    If you want help switching to Ubuntu–or pretty much any other Linux distribution–I’d be happy to answer questions and try and sort out any issues you run into. If you happen to pass through Austin, I could even help you with the install.

    P.S. There’s a neat TRS-80 emulator for Ubuntu. Re-live those glory days!

  19. Hash – thanks for the support. What really sucks about this – and what really pisses me off, is that I have been a fairly staunch defender of Microsoft for two decades. I haven’t excused them from everything – but I’ve always given them time to explain their side – I’ve always been wiling to engage with them in an open forum. This time though they just shut the door on me. On Vista, and now on the forums.

    I know MS doesn’t care if I am friend or foe to them. I won’t be a meaningful foe to them – but I knwo I have been a meeningful friend – I see how many times they have linked to my positive posts on Vista. I know they have BENEFITED from both my assistance in testing Vista, and the positive posts.

    For them to step to this level of censoring me – for no real apparent reason – just baffles me.

    And thanks for the comment on Scoble’s blog – and for the links to yours. Now it’s all about being vocal about this – and communicating my experience not just to my readers, but my customers, and their customers. Perhaps I can’t affect Microsoft’s bottom line tomorrow – but over time I might. They certaionly seem to be encouraging me to do just that.


  20. Rob,

    Welcome to the true side of Microsoft. As other posters here have said Microsoft doesn’t give a flying fark about people like us. They make their $$ from volume licensing and have enough paid shills in the media (Enderle, Ou, Carroll, et. al) to drown out the dissenting voices. This is truly an evil company, but the problem is that till something like this happens individually to people they don’t realize how ugly this disgusting despicable monopoly is.

    There comes a time when Microsoft has crossed that psychological “screw you” line just so many times that you don’t give a crap about “the next best thing” that comes out of their door. I got myself out of this abusive relationship 5 years ago after having gone through all the iterations from DOS to XP/SP2. One fine day I decided I just had “had enough” and walked out of the MS world. And I have never once looked back. You can do it too.

    I plan to link to your blog on mine and quote you on it – with attributions of course. Hope you don’t mind.


  21. It was a Beta build. I have not received my “free” key yet. Oddly enough – MS says I am getting three keys – one for beta testing, one for spending so much time interacting with their developers, and another for taking part in some surveys and training.

    But I don’t have those keys – and others have told me not to expect them until Vista ships for consumers.

    So I am in limbo now… with a CPP key (three of them actually) that don’t do me any damn good!

    Thanks for the comment.


  22. Rob, if you were beta testing Vista and submitted some bugs you should have received a free RTM copy of Vista and a key. Is that the key that got WGA’d? Or was it a beta build?

  23. davidwb – thanks for the post. Yeah – if I was never disillusioned before, I certainly am today.


  24. I don’t have to capitulate. Others, maybe. I am very comfortable in Ubuntu – if I am driven that way.


  25. Bob Jones says:

    They’re not going to listen to any sort of well-reasoned complaint, they honestly believe they’re in the right on this one.

    Microsoft cares more about money than customer experience, they feel that they’ve got you over the barrel and threats of switching to Linux not-withstanding you’re going to capitulate eventually.

    Microsoft has become an aimless bloated husk that churns out mediocrity because they don’t have to do any better, they steal because they can and they treat their customers like criminals because if you’ll put up with Windows there’s not much more they can do to you.

  26. Why did Microsoft do it? Because the company can. Because despite all the oversite and pretense at change the company is still run by the same bunch of pirates, intellectual property thieves, and immoral scum. Because when all is said and done, making another couple dollars is more important than a happy customer. Which is why I stopped giving my hard earned cash to Microsoft 3 years ago and why I no longer, in any way shape or form support their products. Have a problem with your Linux distro? I’m here for you. Your Mac acting up? I’ll be right over. Windows is acting up? Gee, that’s too bad. I’ll talk to you later.

  27. Bob – yeah, I know. I have alternatives. But now it’s not about making a change – it’s about making a statement. I have no idea why MS has reacted this way – but I intend to push it until I find out.


  28. Bob Jones says:

    Why not use the operating system that has inspired Vista so much instead of a copy or a copy of that copy.