Recently Microsoft launched Windows Genuine Advantage, a tool that prevented the installation of various Windows add-ons on non-genuine (i.e. pirated) copies of Windows. Originally this was an ActiveX control that only worked in Internet Explorer but since then a plugin for Firefox has been released which will allow Firefox users to validate their copies of Windows in the same way that Internet Explorer users can at present.
The plugin is simple to install – you’ll probably need to be an administrator to do it, unless you run Firefox from a local profile or something. The bad news is that it doesn’t always work.
Thankfully there’s a workaround. The package you download is actually a glorified .zip file, so all you need to do is open it in a program like WinRAR or WinZip and extract the contents somewhere. You’ll then have 3 files: npLegitCheckPlugin.dll, nsILegitCheckPlugin.xpt and PluginInstaller.exe. PluginInstaller.exe is no use to us, so you can discard it.
Close Firefox, then copy npLegitCheckPlugin.dll to your Firefox plugins folder, which will probably by C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins.
Then copy nsILegitCheckPlugin.xpt to your Firefox components folder, which is usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\components. Now, relaunch Firefox and you should be ready to go.
What’s more, you can use this method for other browsers like Netscape and Mozilla, and probably even Opera, though I haven’t tried them yet. If you do, you may have to change the user agent of the browser to Firefox – in Mozilla and Netscape, type about:config in the address bar, then right click somewhere and select ‘New’ followed by ‘String’. Call the value ‘general.useragent.override‘, click OK, and then type ‘Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:184.108.40.206) Gecko/20060111 Firefox/220.127.116.11‘ to give it the Firefox 18.104.22.168 for Windows XP user agent.
The details for this came from the PluginDoc web site, which has links to almost all browser plugins available for Firefox. There’s a lot out there.