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Removing cracked version of Vista and replacing with legitimate version RRS feed

  • Question

  • I inherited a computer that had a cracked version of Vista on it. I am trying to install a valid version of Vista, but whenever I try to install it, there is a product code automatically inserted as I am never asked for mine. I did tell it to format the hard drive and even installed a completely new hard drive, formatted it and got the same result. Once it boots up, it has a product code already in the system (not a legitimate one).

    If I try to change the product code, it will not accept it. If I try to activate the product code already in there, it gives me an error that the licensing service is turned off. If I try to manually start the licensing service, it is always turned off by attempted activation.

    I have read about some cracks that modify the BIOS to insert the cracked code, so I flashed the BIOS with a downloaded BIOS rom from the motherboard manufacturer, then reinstalled Vista, re-formatted the drive during the install, but had the same result. It never asks me for the product code and there is always one there when it boots up. It also says there are 3 (not 30) days until activation is necessary.

    I really want to get this old crack off my computer and get it working, but have run out of ideas.

    The computer is a home built with an ASUS P4P800 motherboard.

    Any help?

    Thanks.
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 6:47 PM

Answers

  • Hello CounselSteve,

    Based on the info available, the only logical conclusion is that the Vista DVD you are using is also a nongenuine Vista DVD.

    How else would a nongenuine installation of Vista get onto a bare metal hard disk drive?

    Please visit www.howtotell.com as a first step in evaluating your Vista materials.

    Also, tell us about the CoA you have (but don't post the product key), and post the mgadiag report (click the Copy button in the utility, then paste into your response here) generated by this utility:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Friday, September 11, 2009 8:33 PM
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:45 PM

All replies

  • Assuming you have a "Full License" edition of Windows Vista, open the BIOS and set the DVD drive as the first bootable drive.  Insert the Windows Vista DVD in the DVD drive and reboot.  You should now be able to boot from the Windows Vista DVD.  When the setup menu appears, select the option to delete all partitions on the hard drive, then create a new partition and proceed to install Windows Vista.


    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 6:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the response. I do have a full licensed version, however, I have done what you suggested at least 3 times. Nothing seems to make a difference. As I said, I even installed a new hard drive to try it, with the same result.

    Any other suggestions?
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:02 PM
  • Hello CounselSteve,

    Based on the info available, the only logical conclusion is that the Vista DVD you are using is also a nongenuine Vista DVD.

    How else would a nongenuine installation of Vista get onto a bare metal hard disk drive?

    Please visit www.howtotell.com as a first step in evaluating your Vista materials.

    Also, tell us about the CoA you have (but don't post the product key), and post the mgadiag report (click the Copy button in the utility, then paste into your response here) generated by this utility:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Friday, September 11, 2009 8:33 PM
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:45 PM
  • It is my understanding that the "crack" that may have been used, embedded itself into the BIOS. I have a genuine Vista installation disk. Please re-read my original post as to how the crack got there in the first place.
    Friday, September 11, 2009 2:24 PM
  • Hello CounselSteve,

    Our gig here is the Windows end of the equation.  We can help you find resources that will help you to evaluate your materials, we can analyze the mgadiag report, we can offer effective solutions for most issues, and we can refer you to higher level Windows and Office support if the nature of the issue would take a long, drawn out message board exchange.

    We can help you eliminate (or confirm, as the case may be) the possibility that the root of the problem lies within your Windows.

    We are not going to be able to help you dissect your BIOS to look for embedded malware.  One of the best hardware sites I know of is Tom's Hardware, if any non-hacker forum is going to be able to help with the embedded BIOS crack, they will.
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Friday, September 11, 2009 2:47 PM
  • It is my understanding that the "crack" that may have been used, embedded itself into the BIOS. I have a genuine Vista installation disk. Please re-read my original post as to how the crack got there in the first place.

    No, OEM computers (built by large computer companies) come preinstalled with an OEM SLP key.  That key tells Vista, "Hey Vista,  I'm a OEM SLP key, go check the Bios and see if that OEM Bios flag is there...if so, self Activate".

    That 'Crack" is a program that Mimic the OEM Flag so Vista thinks it's on a OEM computer.  The crack does nothing to the actual Bios of the computer.

    But, that crack can be intergated into the install process and then burned onto a DVD, which is what I believe occured in your case.

    One option you may try is install that copy of Vista, click the "Start" button, right click "Computer" and select "Properties". At the bottom of the windows that comes up, click "Change Product Key" and enter the one you believe is a Genuine Key.  Note: if that key came with that suspicious Vista DVD (the one that installs Vista without asking for a Product Key), I wouldn't be surprised if that key is just random digits put there just for looks.

    Anyways, please know that, in this forum, we are really limited in our ability to support issues that occure before Vista has been installed.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help,
    Darin MS
    Friday, September 11, 2009 8:30 PM
  • thankx for the info :D
    Tuesday, October 6, 2009 5:36 PM