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Frustrated with legal copy on my Dell Laptop RRS feed

  • Question

  • This process is like the police pulling over an entire freeway because some people may be speeding, then making everyone prove they were not speeding.

    I own a Dell 9100, purchased legally from a legal Dell VAR. I have read a number of threads here and I think I understand the issues presented in my MGA report, but I can't figure out why this has been dropped in MY lap as MY problem. GO after the VAR, if you think they are doing something illegal.

    Here it is. I am open to any reasonable suggestion that does not include the phrase "go purchase a completely new copy of XP Pro" which I already have!

    Diagnostic Report (1.5.0540.0):
    -----------------------------------------
    WGA Data-->
    Genuine Validation Status: Blocked VLK
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-647DF-WXH72-QKY7J
    Windows Product Key Hash: fbabZc/mx9XFjAkjns5Ijite9lE=
    Windows Product ID: 55274-648-8637434-23421
    Windows Product ID Type: 1
    Windows License Type: Volume
    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro
    Download Center code: QY45X89
    ID: 645d5e86-8f11-4033-a652-4e6484931476
    Is Admin: Yes
    AutoDial: No
    Registry: 0x0
    WGA Version: Registered, 1.5.540.0
    Signature Type: Microsoft
    Validation Diagnostic:

    System Scan Data-->
    Scan: Complete
    Cryptography: Complete

    Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: 3
    Cache refresh Interval: 2101 seconds
    Extended notification delay(non-genuine): N/A
    Extended notification delay(un-activated): N/A
    All disabled: N/A
    Reminder reduced: N/A
    File Exists: Yes
    Version: 1.5.540.0
    Signatue Type: Microsoft

    OGA Data-->
    Office Status: 114
    Office Diagnostics: 77F760FE-275-80070002_7E90FEE8-171-80070002


    Friday, June 30, 2006 3:31 PM

Answers

  • Both your copies of Office and Windows are non-genuine and are using volume license keys that are not slated for retail sale.

     

    Do you have a COA on the Dell PC? Is the COA for XP Professional?

     

    -phil liu

    Friday, June 30, 2006 8:46 PM

All replies

  • H8,

    Please post FULL output of diag program.  Thanx.

    • Proposed as answer by Lori Dionne Sunday, December 20, 2015 10:31 PM
    Friday, June 30, 2006 3:55 PM
  •  H8inMSRightNow wrote:
    This process is like the police pulling over an entire freeway because some people may be speeding, then making everyone prove they were not speeding.

    On a side note, if you replace "speeding" with "drinking and driving" you have what are called sobriety checkpoints, which are very popular with the public and the police.

    Just a comment.......

    Friday, June 30, 2006 3:57 PM
  • Hi and thanks for the quick response (and analogy correction). I guess I am in the minority here, huh?

    Here is the full output of my text, as requested:

    Diagnostic Report (1.5.0540.0):
    -----------------------------------------
    WGA Data-->
    Genuine Validation Status: Blocked VLK
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-647DF-WXH72-QKY7J
    Windows Product Key Hash: fbabZc/mx9XFjAkjns5Ijite9lE=
    Windows Product ID: 55274-648-8637434-23421
    Windows Product ID Type: 1
    Windows License Type: Volume
    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro
    Download Center code: QY45X89
    ID: 645d5e86-8f11-4033-a652-4e6484931476
    Is Admin: Yes
    AutoDial: No
    Registry: 0x0
    WGA Version: Registered, 1.5.540.0
    Signature Type: Microsoft
    Validation Diagnostic:

    System Scan Data-->
    Scan: Complete
    Cryptography: Complete

    Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: 3
    Cache refresh Interval: 154 seconds
    Extended notification delay(non-genuine): N/A
    Extended notification delay(un-activated): N/A
    All disabled: N/A
    Reminder reduced: N/A
    File Exists: Yes
    Version: 1.5.540.0
    Signatue Type: Microsoft

    OGA Data-->
    Office Status: 114
    Office Diagnostics: 77F760FE-275-80070002_7E90FEE8-171-80070002

    Browser Data-->
    Proxy settings: N/A
    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Win32)
    Default Browser: C:\PROGRA~1\MOZILL~1\FIREFOX.exe
    Download signed ActiveX controls: Prompt
    Download unsigned ActiveX controls: Disabled
    Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Allowed
    Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe: Disabled
    Allow scripting of Internet Explorer Webbrowser control: Disabled
    Active scripting: Allowed
    Script ActiveX controls marked as safe for scripting: Allowed

    File Scan Data-->

    Other data-->
    Office Details: <GenuineResults><MachineData><UGUID>645d5e86-8f11-4033-a652-4e6484931476</UGUID><Version>1.5.0540.0</Version><OS>5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro</OS><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-QKY7J</PKey><PID>55274-648-8637434-23421</PID><PIDType>1</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-1606980848-1390067357-839522115</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>Dell Inc.</Manufacturer><Model>Inspiron 9100                   </Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>Dell Inc.</Manufacturer><Version>A06</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="3"/><Date>20050308000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>22693907018400F2</HWID><UserLCID>0409</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>US Mountain Standard Time(GMT-07:00)</TimeZone></MachineData>      <Software><Office><Result>114</Result><Products><Product GUID="{90170409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003</Name><Ver>11</Ver><Val>5EA9C3672EB0500</Val><Hash>GZD+9sfb5ecL3RxyV4F75a86u2M=</Hash><Pid>72079-640-0000106-55360</Pid></Product><Product GUID="{90110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}"><LegitResult>114</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003</Name><Ver>11</Ver><Val>59D1605114E3500</Val><Hash>vfZmaSmFPIYrLWTcZSZErUQg+Fo=</Hash><Pid>73931-640-0000106-57007</Pid></Product></Products></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 


    Friday, June 30, 2006 8:06 PM
  • Both your copies of Office and Windows are non-genuine and are using volume license keys that are not slated for retail sale.

     

    Do you have a COA on the Dell PC? Is the COA for XP Professional?

     

    -phil liu

    Friday, June 30, 2006 8:46 PM
  • Hi and thanks for the quick reply. Yes, I have a COA label on the bottom of my laptop and it matches the Dell branded copy Win XP Pro CD that came with my PC. My copy of Office XP Pro was purchased at the same time and in the same manner, so I am not sure why it is not ok. I have the CD from Dell for Office as well.
    Friday, June 30, 2006 9:09 PM
  • Does the COA product key match the one displayed in the tool output above?

     

    If not, this will help http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=420092&SiteID=25

     

    -phil liu

    Friday, June 30, 2006 9:43 PM
  • Hi and thanks again for the quick response.

    My COA sticker and Dell CD DO NOT match the report. I used the link and download to change my key and it reported that this was an invalid key for my computer.

    Is it possible that a hard drive upgrade a couple years ago is the beginning of this problem?

    Thanks
    Friday, June 30, 2006 10:46 PM
  • Is the Product Key for Windows XP Pro or Home?

     

    -phil liu

    Friday, June 30, 2006 10:56 PM
  • XP Pro - thanks
    Saturday, July 1, 2006 12:17 AM
  • H8,

    Right now, your Dell Inspiron 9100 laptop computer has a Volume Licensing edition of XP Pro installed (Line 7), and that installation was done with a now-blocked Volume Licensing Key (VLK) (Line 2).  VLKs are blocked by Microsoft at the request of the original keyholder for such reasons as the key was lost, stolen, compromised, misused, or expired.  Also, MS may have blocked the key if it notices a pattern of misuse, ie, more installations of XP using that key than authorized.

    As a rule, VL editions of XP should not be sold to individual consumers.  Businesses, schools and gov'ts normally use VL editions for flexibility in installing many computers.

    This is why you were seeing the "software counterfeiting" messages on your computer, because the current installation of XP is an unauthorized installation.  Same with the Office installation, nongenuine.

    It is certainly probable that when the hard disk was replaced, the technician doing the job used a bench copy of XP and Office which have turned out to have had their Keys blocked for the reasons above.  They should have used the media you received with the computer, or genuine Dell media.

    The key updater/changer utility is intended update Product Keys in order to avoid a clean installation, but as you reported, that does not seem to be working for you.

    At this point, to get genuine you will have to perform a clean installation of your original XP Pro and Office.  If shipped after mid July 2004, this can be done very quickly by using Dell PC Restore by Symantec.  To get more details, go to support.dell.com, and enter your Service Tag # in Slot #1 and Reinstall Guide in Slot #2.  Dell PC Restore by Symantec is a destructive reimaging of the computer, so be sure to offload or otherwise back up user data.

    Saturday, July 1, 2006 12:57 AM
  • ok, now I am officially stumped. I used an external backup drive to copy my computer for safety. I inserted my Dell-branded, COA-sticker-matching, WinXP Pro disk into my laptop, re-partitioned the HD and installed my ORIGINAL OS onto my PC. It failed again:

    Diagnostic Report (1.5.0540.0):
    -----------------------------------------
    WGA Data-->
    Genuine Validation Status: Blocked VLK
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-647DF-WXH72-QKY7J
    Windows Product Key Hash: fbabZc/mx9XFjAkjns5Ijite9lE=
    Windows Product ID: 55274-648-8637434-23109
    Windows Product ID Type: 1
    Windows License Type: Volume
    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro
    Download Center code: DKJRD85
    ID: 795918f6-5c73-41b8-8762-25f7d19a95b2
    Is Admin: Yes
    AutoDial:
    Registry: 0x0
    WGA Version: Registered, 1.5.530.0
    Signature Type: Microsoft
    Validation Diagnostic:

    System Scan Data-->
    Scan: Complete
    Cryptography: Complete

    Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: N/A
    Cache refresh Interval: N/A
    Extended notification delay(non-genuine): N/A
    Extended notification delay(un-activated): N/A
    All disabled: N/A
    Reminder reduced: N/A
    File Exists: No
    Version: N/A
    Signatue Type: N/A

    OGA Data-->
    Office Status: 109
    Office Diagnostics: B4D0AA8B-467-80070002

    Browser Data-->
    Proxy settings: N/A
    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Win32)
    Default Browser: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
    Download signed ActiveX controls: Prompt
    Download unsigned ActiveX controls: Disabled
    Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Allowed
    Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe: Disabled
    Allow scripting of Internet Explorer Webbrowser control: Disabled
    Active scripting: Allowed
    Script ActiveX controls marked as safe for scripting: Allowed

    File Scan Data-->

    Other data-->
    Office Details: <GenuineResults><MachineData><UGUID>795918f6-5c73-41b8-8762-25f7d19a95b2</UGUID><Version>1.5.0540.0</Version><OS>5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro</OS><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-QKY7J</PKey><PID>55274-648-8637434-23109</PID><PIDType>1</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-2052111302-1563985344-725345543</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>Dell Inc.</Manufacturer><Model>Inspiron 9100                   </Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>Dell Inc.</Manufacturer><Version>A06</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="3"/><Date>20050308000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>21633107018400F2</HWID><UserLCID>0409</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>US Mountain Standard Time(GMT-07:00)</TimeZone></MachineData>   <Software><Office><Result>109</Result><Products/></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

    Ideas?

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 12:01 AM
  • Hi - no. It is all silver with blue lettering.

     

    APPLICATION

    Already Installed on your Computer

    For Reinstalling Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition SP2

    XXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

    The "Dell" logo and website are below the hole and the info above is on top of the hol and centered.

    At left of the hole is "The software is already installed on your computer. Only use this CD to reinstall the software"

     

    Does this help?

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 2:05 AM
  • H8,

    Let's look at a file on the CD.

    In Windows Explorer, navigate to the i386 folder on the CD and locate the setupp.ini file.

    There will be two lines of info in the file, like this:

    [Pid]
    ExtraData=796674736977656D7A622E385892A4
    Pid=55274270

    Can you post the second line?  The second line of this file on an XP CD will be copied as the first part of the long PID string that is found under the "Registered to" section on the general tab of the system properties dialog box (r/c My Computer, click Properties).

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 2:17 AM
  • ok - here is the second line of that file as requested.

     

    Pid=55274270

     

     

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 2:37 AM
  • H8,

    It has been my experience with Dell CDs that the last three characters of the PID value is always OEM.

    The fact that the CD you have is installing a Volume edition of XP, and the fact that the PID value is not OEM, is all pointing to the possibility that the CD you have is a counterfeit, possibly a doctored copy of a Volume Licensing CD dressed up to look like a Dell CD.

    Please have a good look at the linked page, it shows you counterfeit materials at several levels of sophistication:  http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/en/counterfeit.mspx

    Nevertheless, I think your computer could still be properly licensed to run the edition of Windows on the COA, which is XP Pro.  Navigate to http://support.dell.com and in Slot #1 enter the computer's service tag #, and in slot #2 select original system configuration, then look on the list to see which XP shipped with the computer.  If it says XP Pro, then I think if you acquired a genuine Dell XP Pro reinstallation CD it would put down a legitimate installation of XP Pro and you would be fine.

     

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 3:14 AM
  • Contacted Dell and they are sending me the complete set of disks that came with my laptop originally.

    While I appreciate your time and expertise in resolving this matter, someone please remind me why I am having to do this? It seems the only benefactors are those who make money doing tech support. Microsoft has gained nothing, Dell has gained nothing, and the end user (remember the end user?) has wasted three to five days of computer down time in order to reassure MS that he is indeed a legal holder of a license to use their product.

    I was very wrong in using the speeding analogy in my earlier post as you were wrong equating the potential harm from drunk driving with software licensing. Maybe I should have used the example that this process is akin to the police pullling over an entire freeway to check if all the driver's have their licenses and registration. No-one would agree to that, would they? Yet the government certainly has the right to the fees generated, just as MS has the legal right to payment generated from legal purchases of their software.

    This entire process has been a colossal waste of my time - thanks MS for protecting your license with Draconian measures.

     

     

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 3:21 PM
  • H8,

    I didn't intend to compare the potential for harm from drunk driving to that of software mislicensing in my analogy, and I don't see how that could be reasonably inferred from what I wrote.

    Nevertheless, I am glad your situation appears to be close to a resolution.

    It is a shame when people are cheated out of something, like when counterfeit currency cheats you out of $100 or counterfeit software cheats you out of the time spent to correct the problem and money (in your case a nominal fee to have discs sent out).

    I would hardly call the Notifications program Draconian measures--the function of the computer was never impaired, your computer would have continued to receive security related critical updates, and the loss of nice-to-have downloads from MS might have gone unnoticed by you.

    And as you originally posted, MS should go after the VAR for their transgresssion, but MS can only do that if you give the them evidence and the information needed by filing a piracy report.

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 4:21 PM
  • Dan, if I may,


    First software activation, then WGA. What next?

    H8 makes a good point which you seem to have missed - why should the end user be inconvenienced so much (reinstalling the whole operating system and spending a few days sorting out the problem) because of a problem that is essentially Microsoft's. The analogy H8 gave with the police pulling over drivers to check they have correct documentation seems to describe the situation best - the police have it perfectly within their rights to do that, but they don't because a) it would be a massive inconvenience (to themselves and citizens) and b) it would make them very  unpopular (although Microsoft aren't actually a government law-enforcement agency). But in this case, Microsoft seem to have (arrogantly) chosen to ignore the inconvenience caused to the end user, who is after all a customer that is not forced to use Microsoft products; they can easily take their business elsewhere.

    It seems like the biggest problem here is with counterfeit OEM software - but surely some of the blame here lies with MS too. Perhaps if they did not 'licence out' (can't think of a better way of putting it) its OS to PC manufacturers to put on their disks, then they would have a much better way of controling OS sales. But then MS would lose licensing money.

    Dan, you say that 'the function of the computer was never impaired' – clearly different people have different ideas about what 'impaired' means! Software that cannot be removed by legitimate means and constantly bugs one to purchase a licence sound quite inconvenient to me! (and it's another executable service which is taking computer resources away from the user) Plus, you mention extras - but I would argue that most people aren't bothered by such fripperies; they want the PC to just work.

    Of course, no-one is arguing that MS doesn't have the legal right to do stuff like this. But what people are saying is that, a) this is unlikely to actually put off the professional pirates who are illegally copying MS software and b) that this whole process is incredibly confusing and inconvenient to the user, who is after all a customer, and deserves to be treated better, and as I've said, MS can no longer assume that they can do whatever they like to customers and not be worried by the competition.

    So all I'm saying is - MS need to re-think their attitude to their customers. Frankly, most of the posts from MS employees on this forum have been extremely patronising and always assume the moral high ground, instead of actually puttting the needs of its customers over its profits (which honestly must be big enough anyway).

    Yours,

    W.
    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 6:55 PM
  • Walafrid,

    H8's Dell laptop computer was licensed to run the copy of Windows XP Pro that was preinstalled by Dell.  The evidence of that is the Certificate of Authenticity for XP Pro he said was affixed to the computer.

    I have no idea from whom H8 purchased his computer.  I have no idea when the Volume Licensing Edition of XP Pro was installed on the computer.  I feel pretty confident in saying that it was NOT on the computer when it left the Dell factory.  I do know that, as of the moment he ran the diagnostic utility, there was an unauthorized installation of XP Pro Volume Licensing edition on the computer.

    The problem is H8's problem.  It is unfortunate that his computer has unauthorized software on it, but it is not Dell's problem because they did not put it there, and it is not Microsoft's problem because they did not put it there.  My guess is that the VAR from whom H8 purchased the laptop is the guilty party, since they seem to have been the source of the bogus CD that was given to H8.  On the whole, you could say H8 came away from this unfortunate incident relatively unscathed; the board is full of people who paid unscroupulous merchants top dollar for XP and got nothing to show for it; H8 will get genuine reinstallation CDs from Dell for a nominal fee.

    The situation is very much like that of counterfeit currency.  Once the currency is flagged as bogus, the person last holding the currency is the one that gets cheated.  Sure, the person is mad at the bank or shopkeeper who recognizes the bogus bill as counterfeit and confiscates it, but reasonable adults will get over their anger and realize that the one who cheated them is the one who gave them the bad bills in the first place.  Likewise, reasonable adults should recognize that they are not being cheated by MS but by the ones who pawned off the counterfeit software as genuine and collected the money.

    I would argue that MS is supporting customers who are stuck with nongenuine installations of XP.  In many cases the corrective action does not involve spending one cent; if the situation is that an unauthorized installation of XP Pro Volume License edition has been installed on a computer authorized to run XP Pro, just running the Key Updater utility often solves the problem.  In cases where there never was legitimate software installed on a computer, the price for a WGA Kit is offered at a 50% discount from the normal retail price for the software.  In cases of high-quality counterfeits, MS replaces the software for free.  I have never heard of any government anywhere that would replace a high-quality counterfeit currency note with a real one.  The Notifications program is designed first and foremost as a public awareness tool, because as local police departments have learned, a very effective way to foil counterfeiters is to alert the general public that there are bogus bills in circulation.

    Your analysis of the source of bogus XP installations is 100% backward.  IMO the  least likely license to be pirated is the major manufacturer OEM license because of System Lock Preinstall technology plus the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to the computer chassis.  IMO the most likely license to be pirated is the Volume License because it has no Certificate of Authenticity and is the choice of the unscroupulous computer assemblers to install on their newly built computers sold to both small businesses and consumers alike.  But as the old saying goes, it takes two to tango, so there has to be a buyer who is willing to believe the unscroupulous merchant who says, "If you don't need a real CD you can save $50."  With WGA and Notifications, that decision is coming home to roost.

    I stand by my statement regarding the function of the computer not being impaired.  The resources you speak of are a drop in a bucket.  In fact I don't think that either WGA or the Notifications tool run all the time, I think they are called, they do what they have to do, and they go.

    I agree that this is a delicate subject.  I have already posted that I would have used a much different approach for the Notification of a possibly nongenuine installation, one that added an additional screening step to get a second opinion on a possible nongenuine installation.  The way it was presented looked way too much like MS was trying to hustle you for a fast $99 or $149.

    I disagree that customers are being treated without respect here on the forum.  In a different post I explained that I personally take two approches depending upon which forum I am posting in and the attitude of the original poster.  When someone comes into a post with guns blazing, I have no qualms about returning the broadside.  As for the official MS employees, I find them to be remarkably level headed and respectful.  I would like to see examples of the patronizing you see.

    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 9:06 PM
  • Dan,


    Thank you very much for your thoughtful answer (and I mean that sincerely). I fully appreciate that Microsft has itself in an awkward situation, and that it does have a legal right to combat piracy. But, as you point out, there were probably things that most of us would have done differently in terms of presenting this to the public - it looked very much like MS was trying to make quick money off customers, and took the guilty-until-proven-innocent approach, which is probably what has ruffled the feathers of so many people on this forum.

    As I explained on another thread, please forgive me for assuming that you were a Microsoft employee. I now understand that you are a member of the public, giving your own time to address the issues people are having. However, will you then forgive me for suggesting that at times some of your own posts seem just a little brusque? Of course, it's notoriously difficult to communicate tone effectively on a forum like this, but I find that it's far too easy to come across as if one thinks that no-one else can be right but oneself. (Like, for example, when you state boldly that my 'analysis of the source of the bogus XP installations is 100% backward' - there's really no need to be so blunt). But that's probably irrelevant because I'm likely to come across that way too.

    But back to the WGA issue - whatever the technical arguments (which you have corrected me on), I still think it stands that a great deal of people see themselves as having got a very bad deal from Microsoft with respect to this and previous Windows 'enhancements' (SP2 was by no means convenient, for example.) And IMHO, I believe MS has targeted the wrong group in this crusade against piracy - it is unlikely to be the end user who has knowingly purchased illegal software, but it is them that has the inconvenience when it does. Of course, in some ways, the argument is rhetorical - how else could MS find out about illegitimate software? But I ask for your opinion - are there better ways of discovering and rooting out illegal software than this? Clearly, the activation route hasn't worked well enough, but do you think MS will continue to resort to ever more desparate measures than this? And, in addition, how far should consumers put up with this interference? After all, though we have started using government analogies, MS is not a government, just a software corporation - is it wielding too much power? Or have the conspiracists just gone to town over the merest trifle?

    With regards to resources, I imagine that you have a very powerful and well-equipped computer. But here that's not the case. Most of our computers run slower and slower with every Windows update, as more disk space is consumed and more RAM is required by system processes. While Notifications tool may not use a fantastic amount of resources, it must be true that it's one more thing to slow the computer down. And on a PC that's already quite old, an executable like the Notifications tool can easily hijack my time at the computer, which could have been used for doing something productive.

    Your currency analogy is helpful, since we are dealing with counterfeits here, but in this situation it seems almost as if the government is conducting an audit of all notes in circulation and getting people to make up the difference on fakes themselves. Indeed, you might say that here some people need to grow up and recognise that that's just the way the world works. And you'd probably be right. But the thing is that rather than it just costing the consumer £10, to replace their forged note, it's costing the computer user around £100 to get their discounted genuine copy of MS software. I'm not arguing that people should be allowed to run illegal software, of course not. But I think MS's approach, which appears to be punishing the end user and not really the pirates, has been a very bad exercise.

    The problem here also seems to be that MS's WGA software is not always reliable. You're in a position to know far more than me about this, but I find it interesting that MS has already given us a way to hack (effectively, I suppose that's what it is) when the software product key differs for the one on the documentation. And if it's true that some malcontents have already found vulnerabilities in this software, then that's simply sloppy on MS's part. The balance to this, of course, is that plenty of software has vulnerabilities that are never exploited, but one can't help saying that MS has enough holes to patch without adding more.

    As I've tried to say on the other thread about Mac/Linux (which has mysteriously vanished), my experience with OS X updates is that things really do start working better - and I'm not just saying that in a poor attempt at points scoring. My iBook is at least as fast as it was a year ago. But, sadly, the same can't be said for a Windows laptop we have, which has got progressively slower with each Windows add-on, and has had to be reformatted a few times. But no computer is perfect, we all know that, though it would be nice if MS started to make its first priority the user experience of its customers in its software (maybe we'll see that in Vista?) rather than spending its efforts here, on piracy. Like I've said before, I don't deny that counterfeit software is a real problem, but I just think it's sad that many people will come away from this episode thinking that this is MS's main priority.

    And Dan, seriously, thank you for spending the time on these forums helping people out. My experience tells me that Windows is really difficult to use at times, and we need people who know what they're talking about.

    Yours,

    W.
    Tuesday, July 4, 2006 10:07 PM
  • Just a simple question.

     

    Assuming that H8 could prove that he bought legally the laptop (with receipts or other means) could Microsoft use the WGA to flip the bits on his machine to make the Windows installation "genuine"?

    Everything was working fine in his machine, so, what's the point in forcing him to reinstall everything again?

     

    Peppeddu

    Wednesday, July 5, 2006 5:57 AM
  • Pepped,

    MS published a Key Updater utility that can do precisely that, take an nongenuine installation of XP and convert it into a genuine installation, using a correct and genuine Product Key.  The utility has to check about 6,000 OS files for validity and if too many files have been cracked the tool cannot cope and the only recourse is a clean installation.

    However, H8 wrote that he had tried the utility and it was not working for him.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2006 6:09 PM