locked
Mom's laptop suddenly thinks it's "not genuine" even tho it is; other weird problems ensue! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I set up my mom's laptop for her almost a year ago, I did a clean install of 64 bit windows home premium & activated it myself. Now a couple of days ago, after all these months of running fine, she's suddenly getting notifications that "windows isn't genuine".  Windows is in fact genuine. The "activation status" in computer properties just says "status unknown" & lists the product id as unknown also.

    Trying to check for updates, etc that should make windows validate itself fails with an error code which unfortunately I forgot to write down.

    After installing & running the "windows activation update" thingy, it came up saying that windows "wasn't genuine" because it was "missing files" (?!) but didn't say what files were missing. It also suggested that malware may have destroyed these files. My mother is an old lady using her laptop to run a home business, not some over-hormonal 17-year-old surfing "teh pronz" & downloading "teh warez" from sketchy urls. In other words, she's pretty low on the "malware risk" scale. The only risk of malware, that I can think of, would be from facebook. I have tried to teach her good online security practices, but who knows, maybe she had a "senior moment" & clicked a bad link on FB.

    Trying to update microsoft security essentials definitions also caused an error (also forgot to right down) but a quick scan of the computer came up clean, as did a scan w/ malwarebyte anti-malware.

    I when I tried to create a restore point it, wouldn't make it & came up with "transient error" 0x800423f3

    I also downloaded the MGA diagnostic tool, but when I clicked "copy" it came up with (quelle surprise) another error! "Failed to create output files, hr=0x800706b5" when i tried to use the snip it tool for a screen shot it also would not run.

    But a portable screenshot app on my usb did work:

    <I uploaded a screen shot here but couldn't post with it since my account isn't "verified" yet>

    I also took screen shots of the other tabs if you want to see them, tho only 2 can be uploaded per post, apparently & if you want more proof, I can take a photo of the CoA key on the machine when I get home & upload that later, too.

    Please note: the "activation" options don't appear in the computer properties screen & trying to use "slui.exe 4" resulted in an error that stopped the exe from running.

    I'm currently getting more antimalware tools to use on this in case it is a virus or something, but any help would be appreciated in id'ing/resolving any non-malware problem that may be occuring. Or at least to help me convince windows it's genuine again once I have removed any malware that may be on it.

    I would really like to have to avoid anything drastic here such as re-installing windows completely. I have held off trying a system restore until I have more answers here. The most recent (and only) restore point is from a "critical update" on 10-6-2013, which is also the date MsSecEss says it's definitions were last updated. So windows knew that it was genuine four days ago apparently, but within the last day or so has begun suffering an existential crisis.

    Maybe it has watched "Carnival of Souls" one too many times?

    ...Oh well, at least my sense of humor is still functioning...

    Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:16 PM

Answers

  •  

     

    This can result from mistakenly setting the System32 folder and its contents to 'Read Only' status.

     

    Open Windows Explorer (Computer)

    Navigate to the C:\Windows folder

    Find the System32 sub-folder and right-click on it

    select Properties

     

    Clear the 'blob' from the 'Read-only (Only applies to files in folder)' box by clicking on it until it's plain white.

    Click on Apply.

     

    Make sure that the radio button for 'Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files' is set, and click OK.

     

    Accept the Administrator prompt. After a couple of seconds, you'll be told there is an  error - click on the 'Ignore all' button.

     

    Wait for it to finish - it could take a couple of minutes.

     

    OK out, and exit Windows Explorer.

     

    Reboot twice

     

    Post a new MGADiag report.



    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Sunday, October 13, 2013 12:57 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • To properly analyse and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the report produced by the MGADiag tool
    (download and save to desktop - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 )
     Once saved, run the tool.
    Click on the Continue button, which will produce the report.
     To copy the report to your response, click on the Copy button in the tool(ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your response.
      - **in your own thread**, please

    Please also state the Version and Edition of Windows quoted on your COA sticker (if you have one) on the case of your machine (or inside the battery compartment), but do NOT quote the Key on the sticker!
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/howtotell/Hardware.aspx

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/e82268c3-d5a3-48c7-a711-3a7fb44abf4e/account-verification-required-to-be-able-to-post-links-and-graphics?forum=genuinewindows7

     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Friday, October 11, 2013 10:17 PM
    Moderator
  • Let me clarify what happens when I click the copy button in the mga tool:

    *click copy*

    *error dialogue box pops up*

    *click "ok" on error box to dismiss it*

    *click copy again*

    *same error box pops up again*

    *repeat ad nausium*

    *swear at computer*

    I checked the verification thread & see I'm ok to post images now.

    Here are the 1st two tabs of the mga tool:

    I will post the rest also: I hope the screen shots can give you the info you're looking for. Obviously if I could just copy the output normally I would. This is really the best I can give you.

    ----------

    I already said I have 64-bit win 7 home premium on the machine. This is the version id'd in both the computer properties & printed on the CoA sticker.

    I would think that I would know what version I installed & activated, yes? And I said this machine has been activated & running fine for some months now, yes? And if I had tried to activate windows home premium with a coa key for a different version I would've been unable activate it in the first place, yes? And if the coa key was for the professional or ultimate version, I naturally would've preferred to install the matching version with more functions, rather than the simple home premium version, yes?  Logic is fun, yes?

    ----------

    Now, after spending yesterday running various lengthy anti-malware scans, the machine appears to not have any! Which is good on the one hand, but on the other it doesn't resolve what's causing this "not genuine" problem...or it means that it's a virus so new it doesn't have a definition yet...urgh.

    I did get a bit more info out of my mom, apparently a game she has on her computer had recently been having a recurring glitch in the main menu which made the program freeze up & become unresponsive. This required using ctrl-alt-delete to bring up task manager to shut the program down. She then said that she noticed it only did this when she had sticky notes open on the desktop. So I guess it was a graphics conflict, but maybe these malfunctions messed up something internally? I wouldn't really expect a game glitch to mess with system files, but perhaps it caused some other malfunction that did. I'm especially suspecting these glitches as a cause of the "not genuine" messages since my mom told me that the first "not genuine" message popped up the other day right after she shut the game down with task manager.

    (geez ma, maybe you could've, I don't know, mentioned that in the first place? *eyeroll*)

    But then, when I saw the "critical update" restore point & asked her if she downloaded/installed that update, she said "I don't know. A thing just popped up with something about an update & I clicked on it to close it."

    me: "well what did it say about it? that it had been detected? that it was downloaded & ready to install? that it had been installed? that it couldn't be installed? what?"

    mom: "I don't know, I just remember it said 'update' & something else."

    me: *facepalm*

    Anyways.... so I hope the screenshots can help, getting detailed info from my mom has been a bit like pulling hens' teeth. When I finally saw one of the not genuine messages yesterday in the bottom right-hand of the desktop, it said it's "build 7601". My mom told me about seeing this message, but did not include the build info when she did...another hen tooth!

    Since the virus scans have come up clean thus far, I might try that sys restore after all, maybe it would at least fix some of the errors; like the one that won't let me copy the mga tool report. I'm also looking into how to do a repair from the install disc. Doing a backup on the files scattered all over mom's laptop is only slightly less undesirable of an experience as slamming my face into the wall, but it seems to be an inevitable necessity, nonetheless.


    • Edited by SnarFoo Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:25 PM typo haha
    Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:23 PM
  • Tabs 3 & 4:

    Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:29 PM
  • Which part of

    "(ignore any error messages at this point),"

    did you not understand?

    The output is still copied to the clipboard - and can still be pasted in your reply.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:29 PM
    Moderator
  • And tabs  5 & 6:

    Again, sorry about having to just give you screenshots; the mga tool truly wouldn't copy for me! Very annoying!

    Edit: looking at the screenshot I realize I should've tried running the slui.exe mentioned, to see if it would give me the error text. I was going to do that yesterday, but I was quite tired & forgot to do it!

    • Edited by SnarFoo Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:37 PM
    Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:32 PM
  •  

     

    This can result from mistakenly setting the System32 folder and its contents to 'Read Only' status.

     

    Open Windows Explorer (Computer)

    Navigate to the C:\Windows folder

    Find the System32 sub-folder and right-click on it

    select Properties

     

    Clear the 'blob' from the 'Read-only (Only applies to files in folder)' box by clicking on it until it's plain white.

    Click on Apply.

     

    Make sure that the radio button for 'Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files' is set, and click OK.

     

    Accept the Administrator prompt. After a couple of seconds, you'll be told there is an  error - click on the 'Ignore all' button.

     

    Wait for it to finish - it could take a couple of minutes.

     

    OK out, and exit Windows Explorer.

     

    Reboot twice

     

    Post a new MGADiag report.



    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Sunday, October 13, 2013 12:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi, haven't had much time online since your last reply.  I reset the system32 folder & everything's been working perfect since! As soon as I rebooted the 2nd time I went to the computer properties & saw that windows was recognizing itself as activated & valid again & there have been no more errors! Thanks for the help! This was driving me crazy trying to figure out what was going on, I would have never thought of checking the file permissions for the system folders, & I'm not sure how this got set to "read only" in the first place! Thanks again!
    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:55 PM
  • That sort of thing can come from either bad advice, from malware, or from a transient system glitch which flips a single file into read-only status. It's simply easier to reset the whole folder tree than to attempt to find the file concerned.

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:40 AM
    Moderator