GenuineCheck for Windows 2000

Since August 2012 Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool (GenuineCheck.exe) no longer works at all on Windows 2000. The tool is still available for download and Microsoft Download Center still uses the tool for validation when using browser other than Internet Explorer.

Now when you try run GenuineCheck.exe, you get one of these error messages:
"This version of the Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool is no longer supported..."

"Code not available. The validation code could not be obtained. This may be due to technical difficulties, or you may be running an unsupported operating system..."

At the moment the only known workaround is to use Internet Explorer and to install the Genuine Windows Validation ActiveX component.

As Microsoft in their infinite wisdom decided not to support Windows 2000 anymore with their Genuine Windows Validation Tool (GenuineCheck.exe). I decided to host the last Windows 2000 compatible version of GenuineCheck.exe in here.
Genuine Windows 2000
This version of GenuineCheck.exe (Signed 21 March 2008) still works with Windows 2000, but sometimes when you run it, it will show a message "This version of the Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool is no longer supported. Please download the newest version...". If you get this message, just ignore it and run the tool again and it should work.

So why GenuineCheck no longer work on Windows 2000?

When you try to run the latest version of GenuineCheck from explorer, you get an obscure error message like this: "GenuineCheck.exe is not a valid win32 application." Normally this error means that the file is somehow damaged, but not on this case. You can get other obscure error messages as well when running from other applications.

Usually incompatibilities are caused by the use of new APIs that doesn't exist on older systems, but this is not the case with GenuineCheck. There are no incompatibilities in GenuineCheck that would actually prevent it from working on Windows 2000.

The only reason that GenuineCheck doesn't work on Windows 2000 is that Microsoft intentionally blocked the use of the tool on older Windows versions by setting the required subsystem version too high in the executable's PE header. This method is normally used in system critical components of Windows, but lately Microsoft have made considerable effort to push it on all applications in order to get users to upgrade to newer version of Windows.

© Pasi Ruokola 2006 - 2016