muBlinder User Guide : v3.61
Windows Genuine Advantage
Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program has two components, which are called Notification and Validation.
WGA Notification is the notorious 'spyware', introduced by Microsoft in April 2006. After suffering a PR disaster following the use of Critical Updates to install Notification onto our computers, Microsoft began to back-pedal on Notification, even going so far as to produce a bulletin on how we could remove this 'critical update' from our computers if we were unable to appreciate the benefits it bestowed. Eventually, in February 2007, Microsoft started to release new, slightly more friendly, versions of its Notification tool. At the end of August 2008 Microsoft introduced a nastier version of the Notification tool. This changes the desktop background colour to black and places a larger 'permanent' transparent non-genuine notice immediately above the taskbar. The user can change the theme/background colour, but the tool will reset it to black every hour. After downloading the tool, the user has the option of not installing it, but the best advice is still that you should not download the Notification update from the Microsoft Updates website if you are offered it, but mark the checkbox that you do not want to be reminded of it again. Note that Microsoft will accept your decision to 'hide' the Notification tool only until a new version is released. You will then be offered the new version, so be alert. It should be very easy to spot. All previous versions have been labelled as Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474). The new EULA gives Microsoft permission to install any extension/addition/update to the tool without further permission from the user. If you have installed the Notification tool, then it is easy to either remove it or disable it. The Notification tool offers no benefits to the user.
WGA Validation has been around for much longer, and Microsoft has been steadily tightening its grip on the downloading and installation of non-critical updates and other software. You must have the Validation tool (ActiveX), preferably the up-to-date version, installed on your computer. If you are prompted to install the latest version of the WGA Validation ActiveX when you visit Microsoft Update or Download Center, always accept it. You cannot use Microsoft Update or download programs such as WMP11 from their Download Center unless you have the Validation tool installed. This is a mandatory condition imposed by Microsoft on XP users, irrespective of the validity status of their Product Key. Once the Validation tool is installed, blind it using muBlinder. Many files are also protected by WGA Validation at installation. This includes version-specific releases of Service Pack 2, as well as some popular applications such as WMP11. If you need Service Pack 2 then read this guide.
What is muBlinder?
muBlinder (Microsoft Update Blinder) is an application that blinds Microsoft Update's WGA Validation and allows you to view, choose and install all available updates. In addition, you are able to download programs from the Microsoft Download Center that are protected by WGA Validation. In case you have installed the WGA Notification tool, muBlinder allows you to get rid of the inconveniences imposed on the user whose system is deemed to be non-genuine.
In addition, muBlinder can help you install applications that contain WGA protection. This is done using external blinders (plugin patches) stored on our server. You can even create and upload your blinders for others to use!
muBlinder does not need to be installed on your computer. It can even be placed on, and run from, a floppy disk or flash memory stick.
The current version is muBlinder v3.61.
muBlinder is intended for use by those who already own a Windows OS licence but might be experiencing difficulty getting updates due to corrupt DLLs or other problems. It is not intended to be used on, or to help in any sort of way in the use of, pirated or otherwise unauthorized versions of any Windows OS. By using this software you declare that you legally own a licence to use the Windows OS on which the software will be run.
Can muBlinder be used at all Update sites?
muBlinder is designed to work at the Microsoft Update site, and it will also work at Windows Update, since both sites use WGA Validation to check your computer. The Office Update site uses a different activeX, OGA, which muBlinder is not designed to handle. This means that you are unable to use muBlinder at the Office Update site. Note that most Office updates, including all critical ones, will be offered at Microsoft Update, and can be downloaded from there using muBlinder. For any Office updates not available at Microsoft Update, and all Office add-ons that are protected by OGA at Download Center, we offer a request service.
Where can I obtain muBlinder?
Do I need additional software to use muBlinder?
If, when you try to open muBlinder, you receive the message shown in the image below,
you need .NET Framework v2.0 installed. Download it here.
How do I use muBlinder?
Unzip muBlinder to its own folder and run it. Should you ever wish to remove muBlinder, simply delete the muBlinder.exe file and its folders. It is not installed on your computer.
When you run muBlinder.exe for the first time you are presented with the EULA. After acceptance of the EULA, the file ICSharpCode.SharpZipLib.dll and a data folder will be placed inside the muBlinder folder. Inside the data folder, three sub-folders will be created.
When you run muBlinder it contacts our server. It opens with the About screen. In the top right corner is a drop-down box so that you may select from the available languages. The Message of the Day allows us to communicate important information to muBlinder users.
Under the Validation tab, read the information at the top and then look at the contents of the box at the bottom. This is a report on the status of the file LegitCheckControl.dll, which is located in your \Windows\system32 folder. This is the file used by the WGA Validation tool to check your status.
If you do not have the WGA ActiveX validation tool installed on your computer, then you should see the message in the image below. You must have this ActiveX, preferably the up-to-date version, installed in order to use muBlinder. Install the ActiveX by visiting Microsoft Update by clicking on the Go To Microsoft Update button, which you will notice is active. Microsoft will insist on installing the WGA Validation tool before allowing you to inspect updates. Alternatively yoy can install the WGA Validation tool by visiting this page and clicking on the Validate Windows button in the left column. Having installed the ActiveX by one of these routes, you can then blind it using muBlinder.
If you have the version of Microsoft's WGA Validation tool on your computer that muBlinder v3.61 was designed to work with, then you should see the message shown in the image below.
If you now click on the Enable button at the top of the screen, your status should change to this.
Note that the Go to Microsoft Update and Go to Download Center buttons are now active. By clicking on the relevant button, the muBlinder browser will take you either to the Microsoft Update site or to Download Center.
If you have an older version of the validation ActiveX on your computer, you will probably see a message like that shown in the image below, depending on the version you have installed. It may be possible to force a replacement by clicking on the button at the top of the screen that is labelled Enable. Microsoft might not accept this forced replacement, and you will be instructed to download the up-to-date ActiveX when you visit either the Update site or Download Center. Do this and then deal with the new ActiveX as described earlier in this section.
Under the Notification tab you can inspect your Notification status in the bottom box.
If you do not have WGA Notification installed on your computer, then you should see this under the Notification tab.
If you have the Notification tool installed on your computer, and it has not been dealt with, then you should see this under the Notification tab.
If you need to deal with Notification, you have a choice of two methods. Method 1 is recommended. If you use Method 1, you should see something like this.
How can I configure muBlinder?
The configuration settings for muBlinder are available under the Settings tab. The first time you view the settings screen it should look like this.
By default, muBlinder will check for an updated version every time it is run. You are recommended to leave this setting checked. If you do uncheck the option you can, at any time, check manually for an update by clicking on the Check button.
By default, muBlinder will check your status for Both Validation and Notification at Windows Startup. muBlinder will run for just a few seconds while it conducts the check, then it will close down. muBlinder does not run in the background. If you make any change(s) to this section, you must click on the Save button to effect the change(s).
By default, muBlinder alerts you with this warning every time you close it.
The object is to remind you that you must not close muBlinder while any downloaded updates from Microsoft Update are still being installed on your computer. You can easily disable this warning, by unchecking the box, if you prefer.
In the Backup Options section, only click on the Restore button if you want to remove the blinding of the WGA Validation tool and restore it to its original form.
How do I install protected software such as WMP11?
Use the muBlinder browser to visit the Microsoft Download Center. muBlinder will blind WGA Validation so that you may download the installation file for the software you would like to install. Save the file to your hard drive. For most software, the installation file will be a self-extracting executable that, if you try to run it, will initiate the software's in-built WGA Validation. To prevent this, you must not try to run this executable. Instead, you must extract the contents of the executable to its own folder using WinRAR or WinZIP or equivalent ( you can right-click on the executable and choose an extract option) and then run an appropriate blinder. If the installation file for the software is a .msi file, then no extraction is needed, or indeed possible. Use an appropriate blinder and follow all instructions carefully. Now see below to read all about blinders and how to use them.
Is it safe to accept programs such as Internet Explorer and WMP11, offered as "updates" by Microsoft?
The latest version of Internet Explorer is IE8, which is not protected by WGA, either at download or installation. It is safe to accept this program if it is offered as an update. For a program such as WMP11, which continues to be protected by WGA, do not accept it if it is offered as an update.
Using muBlinder, go to Download Center for WMP11. Download and save the file to your hard drive. Do not run the file you downloaded. Use the appropriate blinder to install the program (see next post).