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I have a valid, legal license, and I don't want to pay again. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I received Windows XP Pro when I bought a new IBM T40 laptop from IBM in November, 2003.  The original CoA for Windows XP Pro is still affixed to my laptop, but apparently the key doesn't work as it should because this installed version of Windows is something called Windows XP "Corporate" as vs. Windows XP "retail."  (Per IBM; I don't really understand the details.  They say it's something in the license agreement between IBM and Microsoft.)

    In January, 2006, I removed a VPN client from this machine using Windows Add/Remove Programs.  Removing that VPN client corrupted the TCP/IP stack, causing my VerizonWireless WWAN card not to be able to connect.  After working for several weeks with VerizinWireless, they finally threw up their hands and told me to do a repair install.  Since IBM does not distribute Windows media in a form that supports a repair install, I called IBM for support.  The IBM technician agreed with the recommendation to perform a repair install, and I used a borrowed CD to perform that repair install.  The repair install did not fix the corrupted TCP/IP stack, so IBM used its platinum support to involve Microsoft, and with Microsoft's help, we were able to rework a Server 2003 KB fix to reinstall the TCP/IP stack on this machine.  Ref: SRX060124600736.

    Now to the crux of this post; performing the repair install with a borrowed CD apparently corrupted my valid license information.  So, for several reasons, I believe I should receive a complimentary "Genuine Advantage" Kit.  First, performing a repair install *should not* corrupt the existing valid and "genuine" license status of my existing copy of Windows.  Second, Microsoft should not have license agreements with IBM or anyone else that impairs the end user's ability to use all of the maintenance and support functions Microsoft builts into Windows. 

    Have I tried to help myself?  Yes.  IBM has provided several keys they claim are "new and valid," but I can't get them past this Windows Genuine Advantage process.  So, either something is broken in Windows Genuine Advantage, or in the Microsoft WGA test and validation tools, or both.  Yecchhh!  But in any case, I need help to get this situation off the dime.  These new nag messages are *overkill*!!!.  

    I am perfectly willing to work with someone from Microsoft to get my "new and vaild" keys from IBM through whatever magic process will get me back to a "valid" state, but I have no idea who to contact at this point.  I'm hoping someone from Microsoft will read this post and take the initiative to refer me to someone in Microsoft who can help.  I promise not to waste youf time with a discussion of how silly this all is!  It's obvious other posters are doing a good job of that.

    Thanks very much!!!

    Friday, June 2, 2006 9:34 PM

Answers

  • Dan (of IT Associates),

    I just wanted to let you know that I have achieved a resolution for this problem, am now "activated," and no longer "counterfeit."  To get to this point, I opened an email incident, per your suggestion, above.  The Tech Support folks basically made me do all the same things you suggested all over again.  OK.  Then they asked me to forward the CD Key from my COA.  OK.  That's it; very little value add.  Hmmm...   I have no idea if the Tech Support folks can validate that key, but the very next response was to have me call the Activation Center and ask them issue a new "confirmation number."  I expected that call to be a full fledged inquisition, but they never even questioned me on how I got to them.  They asked for machine type/model, manufacturer, how many machines the XP system was installed on, etc, then issued a new "confirmation number."  And that was that.  Given the complexity and draconianism around this process, I found that resolution somewhat too simple.  My, perhaps overly simple minded, interpretation is that the Activation Center just "overrode" the old "confirmation number" to make it all work. 

    My takeaway lessons here are that this process is far too complex, and that by far the majority of innocents have neither the time, the patience nor the technical skills to work through the current process to a successful (no cost) resolution, as I have.  I think most people pay Microsoft another $149 bucks and go away unhappy.  I question Microsoft's business practices logic around all this, and I can't imagine that it enhances the desire of most people to do business with Microsoft.  I know if I had an alternative, I would certainly "jump ship."  Oh, well. 

    Thanks for getting me pointed in the right direction.

    Thursday, June 8, 2006 2:16 PM

All replies

  • Poppabear,

    Step 1 is to run this diagnostic tool, click on Validation, click on Copy To Clipboard, then post the report in a response to this thread.  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

    Friday, June 2, 2006 10:31 PM
  • Dan,

    Thanks for the pointer.  I didn't know about this tool.

    Here's the output the tool produced:

    WGA Diagnostic Data (1.5.0530.2):
    --------------------
    Genuine Validation Status: Blocked VLK
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-K9GX8-WYM46-QR8CR
    Windows Product Key Hash: 8zd+Pc/USe6qYHlmCOOa6Z3LUcQ=
    Windows Product ID: 55274-646-9431855-23444
    Windows Product ID Type: 1
    Windows License Type: Volume
    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro
    Download Center code: 4JTDBL4
    ID: 3ca55a8c-328a-45b7-b97c-fbfdf5fd7b99
    Is Admin: Yes
    AutoDial: No
    Registry: 0x0
    WGA Version: Registered, 1.5.532.0.
    Signature Type: Microsoft.
    Validation Diagnostic:

    Scan: Complete
    Cryptography: Complete

    Office Status: 100
    Office Diagnostics:

    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

    Office Details: <GenuineResults><MachineData><UGUID>3ca55a8c-328a-45b7-b97c-fbfdf5fd7b99</UGUID><Version>1.5.0530.2</Version><OS>5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro</OS><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-QR8CR</PKey><PID>55274-646-9431855-23444</PID><PIDType>1</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-1389975600-1941867619-934195606</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>IBM</Manufacturer><Model>237372U</Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>IBM</Manufacturer><Version>1RETDOWW (3.20 )</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="33"/><Date>20060227000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>E6AE3907018400DC</HWID><UserLCID>0409</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>Eastern Standard Time(GMT-05:00)</TimeZone></MachineData>   <Software><Office><Result>100</Result><Products><Product GUID="{90510409-6D54-11D4-BEE3-00C04F990354}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Visio Professional 2002 [English]</Name><Ver>10</Ver><Val>B2AA26E4C5005B6</Val><Hash>q18RUv0r/5sWDmTu2sNEzxoHOUs=</Hash><Pid>54079-640-1563794-16598</Pid></Product><Product GUID="{91110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0050048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office XP Professional</Name><Ver>10</Ver><Val>611C547D9BC331D</Val><Hash>pL34w8mjyPm46A7uMew+ubJOMC4=</Hash><Pid>54186-752-7530382-17569</Pid></Product></Products></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 3:21 PM
  • Poppabear,

    The diagnostic tool is showing that the CD you used to do the repair reinstallation was that of a Volume Licensing (VL) edition of XP (Line 6) and that the Product Key (PK) used to install it is a Blocked Volume Licensing Key (VLK).

    VLKs are blocked by MS at the request of the orginal owner of the key, possibly because the key was lost, stolen, or misused.  MS may block a key if it notices a pattern of abuse, ie, more installations that they key is good for.

    The good news is that it is a virtual certainty that the laptop was properly licensed when you go ti from IBM, and that it is still licensed to run the version and edition of Windows on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA).

    Step 2 is to look on the computer to tell us about the COA.  Tell us:

    1.  What edition of Windows XP is it for, Home, Pro, or Media Center?

    2.  Does it read "OEM Software" or "OEM Product" in black lettering?

    3.  Or, does it have the computer manufacturer's name in black lettering?

    4.  DO NOT post the Product Key.

    Since we know the installed XP is a VL edition, if the COA is for XP Pro, other posters have had reasonably good luck using the following key updater/changer tool:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=50346&clcid=0x409.  When it asks for the Product Key, type in the PK on the COA.  In some cases the system files in the installed VL copy of XP have been damaged or cracked to the degree that the tool cannot repair them.  In such case, you will have other options to choose from, such as using the IBM supplied recovery solution to do a complete clean installation.

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 3:35 PM
  • Dan,

    The COA bears the edition: :Windows XP Professional 1 - 2 CPU;"

    The COA does not mention "OEM Software" or "OEM Product;" rather, it bears the manufacturer's name: "IBM Corporation," (and contains an IBM p/n and has a barcode and scanner code.)

    No, no Product Key posted, of course.

    I will try the key tool now, and post result.

    Thanks for the help!

     

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 3:53 PM
  • You're welcome!

    I have my fingers crossed.

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 3:58 PM
  • Dan,

    NG.

    The tool ran downloaded and "scanned my system."  Then it prompted me for the key, and I entered the key printed on the COA sticker.  It thought for a while, and then it said it "changed the key, but with warnings."  The warning was that it was "not able to automatically activate."  

    Then it said to reboot, so I did.  When the system restarted, it thought for a long time, and the nag for counterfeit code was gone, but then gave me the same error "warning."  Then I tried manual activation over the internet, but the key it found was all zeros.  Then I manually entered the key from the COA sticker, and hit "retry," but produced yet another "incorrect key" message. 

    Did I mention what a pain all this is over a fully valid and legally licensed copy of Windows XP Pro?!

    Any additional suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 6:41 PM
  • Poppabear,

    The only suggestion I have at this point is pretty lame, which would be try again, maybe the utility will do better the seond time around.

    Other than that, and other than if any of the MS guys monitoring the forum have any ideas, sounds like its time for a free email support incident:

    http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?Gprid=9860

    EDIT:  And there is always the option of offloading files and doing the IBM recovery.....

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 6:54 PM
  • Up until that last edit, Dan, I had convinced myself you were a very bright and helpful guy.  That last edit wasn't very consistent with that view.....    Hmmm....   ;-)  

    I won't share my thoughts on IBM business practices in this forum, but suffice it to say, I question the efficacy of the recovery model.  It seems to me that their approach disrespectrs the value of the work that accumulates on any machine over time.  In any case, you know perfectly well how long it takes to rebuild a complex system.  It would take hundreds of hours of my time to reinstall this system, all my applications and the related data necessary to get it back to where it is today.  If I had had an HD crash, I'd have no choice.  But an HD crash is fate.  This is a situation intentionally caused by Microsoft, and I think I have a right to expect Microsoft make it right.  I don't blame them for trying to protect their intellectual assest, but the current Genuine Advantage implementation is not thoroughly throught through and tested, apparently error prone, and excessively draconian.  Why would I want to lose my system's availability and the value of my personal productivity for many days when, in fact, I already bought and paid for for a legal, valid end user license?  

    The above not meant as a rant.  But this is pretty damn frustrating and annoying!

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 7:48 PM
  • I have a legal license as well. However, due to some hardware problems with a very new hardware technology, I've had to do several windows reinstalls. Now in their infinite wisdom they assume my windows license is not valid. It does not surprise me one bit (and yes, this IS a rant, a fuming one at that) that microsoft has no reservations about completely halting someone's hard work on the microscopic chance that they are not using a legitimate license.

    As a previous poster said, it is frustrating and annoying. What's more, it is in my opinion offensive and unethical in the extreme (but I don't think the word "ethics" is in the microsoft vocabulary). I shell out well over $100 for an OS and I have professional technical work to do, which has ground to a halt because of their paranoia.

    I'm sick of it, and I would imagine there are plenty of people who would just "crack" their OS to continue getting their work done rather than wait for the snail-pace response from microsoft that may or may not resolve the issue. As far as I'm concerned, they now owe ME money for causing me to have to put all my work on hold. Therefore I would feel justified in doing anything necessary to get this to continue working.

    Completely nauseated by this intrusive gluttonous activity on their part.

    Dan

    Sunday, June 4, 2006 9:50 PM
  • Daniel 0000,

    Windows Genuine Advantage does not limit the operation of the operating system, so if you are having difficulty installing windows, you may be experiencing an activation problem.

    Consumer licenses for XP allow an unlimited number of activations within the framework of the EULA.  XP's activation system will suspend activation using a Product Key if there are too many activations done over a given period of time.  If this is the case, XP's activation wizard will display a localized phone number that you can call to discuss the situation with an activation rep.  From what I have been told, by those who have called, most people are taken care of in 5 minutes or less.

    Monday, June 5, 2006 4:19 AM
  • You said:

    "MS may block a key if it notices a pattern of abuse, ie, more installations that they key is good for."

    So if the original disk wanders and gets used by others, the original purchaser is punished.  Having a resident college student, that may be what happened to me.

    Seems MS should be sophisticated enough to NOT punish the purchaser who originally activated the copy.

    Phil
    Monday, June 5, 2006 12:33 PM
  • I purchased a custom built PC approximately 15months ago.

    I have updated windows XP several times through Windows update and there has never been a problem.

    Up until a week ago, there were no problems running the system, then all of a sudden I am informed that my copy of Windows is not genuine.

    I have the Product key, when trying to re-install the version of XP i am told that the version on the PC is a more updated version and cannot be over-written.

    The system is still running but i get constant reminders that my copy of xp is not genuine and that i have to pay for a genuine prodauct key.

    I have run the diagnostic tool. here are the results:

    WGA Diagnostic Data (1.5.0530.2):
    --------------------
    Genuine Validation Status: Blocked VLK
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-RKPW3-8QVT3-7K6JT
    Windows Product Key Hash: fZj/y7+Mnigv57t1VDP3tCe7m38=
    Windows Product ID: 55274-650-3454221-23017
    Windows Product ID Type: 1
    Windows License Type: Volume
    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro
    Download Center code: L8GS7Q4
    ID: 291c868e-00fa-4591-bdcb-b67bb4bbce40
    Is Admin: Yes
    AutoDial: No
    Registry: 0x0
    WGA Version: Registered, 1.5.532.0.
    Signature Type: Microsoft.
    Validation Diagnostic:

    Scan: Complete
    Cryptography: Complete

    Office Status: 102
    Office Diagnostics:

    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

    Office Details: <GenuineResults><MachineData><UGUID>291c868e-00fa-4591-bdcb-b67bb4bbce40</UGUID><Version>1.5.0530.2</Version><OS>5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro</OS><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-7K6JT</PKey><PID>55274-650-3454221-23017</PID><PIDType>1</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-789336058-1644491937-839522115</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>ECS</Manufacturer><Model>M848A</Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>American Megatrends Inc.</Manufacturer><Version>07.00T</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="3"/><Date>20010402000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>E88C3E6F0184A06F</HWID><UserLCID>0809</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>GMT Standard Time(GMT+00:00)</TimeZone></MachineData>   <Software><Office><Result>102</Result><Products><Product GUID="{91120409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003</Name><Ver>11</Ver><Val>4F9A12AF9DAD930</Val><Hash>rFo9/3uI8DuoZMcsjuh3cV/tQTo=</Hash><Pid>70141-152-7692461-56714</Pid></Product></Products></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

     

     

    A little help would be appreciated as i would rather not have to pay twice for a product.

     

    Monday, June 5, 2006 1:44 PM
  •  Phil Wheeler wrote:
    You said:

    "MS may block a key if it notices a pattern of abuse, ie, more installations that they key is good for."

    So if the original disk wanders and gets used by others, the original purchaser is punished.  Having a resident college student, that may be what happened to me.

    Seems MS should be sophisticated enough to NOT punish the purchaser who originally activated the copy.

    Phil

    Phil,

    The quote you posted from me was in response to a Volume Licensing (VL) situation, which is different from the scenario you are speaking of now.

    VL is generally used by businesses, gov't, schools, etc, where a large number of upgrade licenses are needed.  (Although VL can make sense for a purchase of as few as 10-15 licenses, IME).

    The scenario you speak of would be addressed not by validation but by activation.  Here's a better quote from me from a post in this same thread: 

    "Consumer licenses for XP allow an unlimited number of activations within the framework of the EULA.  XP's activation system will suspend activation using a Product Key if there are too many activations done over a given period of time.  If this is the case, XP's activation wizard will display a localized phone number that you can call to discuss the situation with an activation rep.  From what I have been told, by those who have called, most people are taken care of in 5 minutes or less."

    Software discs and licenses should be kept from wandering, along with other valuable things like $100 bills and family pets.

    Monday, June 5, 2006 1:49 PM
  • "Software discs and licenses should be kept from wandering, along with other valuable things like $100 bills and family pets"

    I quite agree.  The other copies I have for the other two WinXP Pro machines are here.  But I cannot find this one.  I suspect it went out when I upgraded the system board last Fall (since it was stored in the box of the original board).  Since that old board was used by my stepson to build a computer for is friend, that may be where the disk went .. and the source of my problem.

    I've ordered WGA on line .. and await the Key.

    Phil
    Monday, June 5, 2006 2:52 PM
  • Dan (of IT Associates),

    I just wanted to let you know that I have achieved a resolution for this problem, am now "activated," and no longer "counterfeit."  To get to this point, I opened an email incident, per your suggestion, above.  The Tech Support folks basically made me do all the same things you suggested all over again.  OK.  Then they asked me to forward the CD Key from my COA.  OK.  That's it; very little value add.  Hmmm...   I have no idea if the Tech Support folks can validate that key, but the very next response was to have me call the Activation Center and ask them issue a new "confirmation number."  I expected that call to be a full fledged inquisition, but they never even questioned me on how I got to them.  They asked for machine type/model, manufacturer, how many machines the XP system was installed on, etc, then issued a new "confirmation number."  And that was that.  Given the complexity and draconianism around this process, I found that resolution somewhat too simple.  My, perhaps overly simple minded, interpretation is that the Activation Center just "overrode" the old "confirmation number" to make it all work. 

    My takeaway lessons here are that this process is far too complex, and that by far the majority of innocents have neither the time, the patience nor the technical skills to work through the current process to a successful (no cost) resolution, as I have.  I think most people pay Microsoft another $149 bucks and go away unhappy.  I question Microsoft's business practices logic around all this, and I can't imagine that it enhances the desire of most people to do business with Microsoft.  I know if I had an alternative, I would certainly "jump ship."  Oh, well. 

    Thanks for getting me pointed in the right direction.

    Thursday, June 8, 2006 2:16 PM
  • Poppabear,

    Glad you were taken care of.  Phew!  Best of Luck in the future.

    Thursday, June 8, 2006 3:36 PM
  • Has anyone thought of a class action lawsuit.  Some smart lawyer might be able to crack this problem.  Just think of all the lost time, lost productivity, and lost confidence in Microsoft.  Has this been covered up by Microsoft?  The only way I have been able to operate is to uninstall Norton and reinstall.  That fix is good for about three weeks and then we go through the exercise again when Microsoft insists on it's pound of flesh.  I know my software is genuine but they don't believe it.
    Friday, January 26, 2007 2:28 AM
  • Please follow this diagnostic troubleshooting procedure:

    1. Download and run the MGA Diagnostic Tool:  
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012    

    2. After running the MGA Diagnostic Tool, click
        on the "Windows" tab and then click on "Copy".

    3. Next, visit the following website and create a post in the
        "WGA Validation Problems" forum and paste the
        results of the WGA Diagnostic Data in a detailed post.
       
    http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/default.aspx?SiteID=25

    4. A WGA troubleshooting specialist will analyze the data and
        recommend an appropriate solution.

    Friday, January 26, 2007 2:43 AM
    Moderator