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Lightning strike consequence RRS feed

  • Question

  • I bought an honest copy of Windows XP with my PC.   This was damaged - bypassing the surge protector via the telephone line! - by a lightning strike, necessitating the replacement of the main chip and motherboard but leaving the rest intact and, in my view, the same computer I bought.   Windows now reckons my systems software is illegitimate, and keeps bugging me about this.

    I run WinFixer and WinAntiVirus Pro, so am not too worried about system vulnerability, but I'd like to resolve the issue.   What do I do?   And how do I reach a human to discuss this?

    Saturday, August 26, 2006 4:21 PM

Answers

  •  ostreger wrote:

    I bought an honest copy of Windows XP with my PC.   This was damaged - bypassing the surge protector via the telephone line! - by a lightning strike, necessitating the replacement of the main chip and motherboard but leaving the rest intact and, in my view, the same computer I bought.   Windows now reckons my systems software is illegitimate, and keeps bugging me about this.

    I run WinFixer and WinAntiVirus Pro, so am not too worried about system vulnerability, but I'd like to resolve the issue.   What do I do?   And how do I reach a human to discuss this?

    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 to Clipboard".

    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.

     

    Saturday, August 26, 2006 7:46 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Microsoft defines a computer as (for all practical purposes) a motherboard (and ancillary components and/or circuitry).  Therefore, your lightning strike destroyed your computer and with that, the destruction of any OEM license.  But, honestly, if that is your situation, as a human being, it makes me want to vomit. I understand it, but I am repulsed by it.

    On the other hand, if your "honest copy of Windows XP" was a retail license (which I opine it was not, since you said you bought it "with my PC"--therefore an OEM license); I say, if it was a retail license, then it should install and properly verify under WGA,  though it may require a phone call to do it.  The fact that it did not verify, is, on the face of it, proof that yours is an OEM license.

    I acknowledge as a Microsoft investor, this benefits me everytime it occurs, but as a human being and one who has repaired a thousand computers over the years, it makes me sick.  I can't tell you how many "new" copies of MS OEM license I've had to throw away just because of this sick policy.  What really burns me about this policy, is that it "hits" the very people that we--Microsoft investors--NEED to maintain brand and system loyalty.

    Upshot: You will need to purchase a new retail license of Windows XP.

    rpb
    Saturday, August 26, 2006 6:06 PM
  •  ostreger wrote:

    I bought an honest copy of Windows XP with my PC.   This was damaged - bypassing the surge protector via the telephone line! - by a lightning strike, necessitating the replacement of the main chip and motherboard but leaving the rest intact and, in my view, the same computer I bought.   Windows now reckons my systems software is illegitimate, and keeps bugging me about this.

    I run WinFixer and WinAntiVirus Pro, so am not too worried about system vulnerability, but I'd like to resolve the issue.   What do I do?   And how do I reach a human to discuss this?

    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 to Clipboard".

    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.

     

    Saturday, August 26, 2006 7:46 PM
    Moderator
  • It is true that one cannot transfer an OEM license to a new machine, but the purpose of that restriction is not to prevent end users from having a malfunctioning computer repaired, and I don't understand why some people choose to interpret it that way.  The purpose of that restriction is to prevent unscrupulous system builders from offering to peel the license sticker from the case and reuse it, or simply build a new computer in the existing case to "save the cost" of a new license.  However, you will notice that this clause in the license agreement does give the consumer one "out", which is that one may replace a defective motherboard with another one of similar specifications, and still preserve their license.  It is only if a motherboard is replaced to obtain a "performance upgrade" that a new license is required.

    Since you have replaced a burned out and unusable motherboard and processor with ones of similar specifications, you can legally transfer your license to the new board.  To ensure that Windows runs properly on the replacement motherboard, I would suggest doing a full format of the hard disk, and a clean install of the operating system.

    Depending on what brand your computer is, you may or may not be asked to enter a product key.  If you are, then enter the product key on your COA/license sticker.  If not, then you have what is called a "system locked preinstall" disc, which has a shared product key built in that is only valid with the specific motherboard that originally came in the PC.  When the SLP disc is used to reinstall on the original motherboard, no activation or product key entry is required.  But when it is used to install on a new motherboard, it will see that the OEM BIOS is not present and demand that you activate within 30 days.

    In either case, when you try to activate it over the internet, it will be denied, for having an "invalid product key".  This is because product keys from large OEMs are disabled for internet activation, and shared product keys for SLP installations cannot ever be activated.  So you will need to do a telephone activation, and after telling the customer service rep the truth that you replaced a defective motherboard with one of similar specifications, they will have you change the product key to the one on your COA (if you haven't typed it in already or it wasn't accepted earlier) and then they will give you the code to type in to re-activate it.

    Monday, August 28, 2006 5:46 AM
  • Thank you, B Cohen;  this seems most helpful, and I will try to follow your kind advice.   The other guidance is also much appreciated.
    Monday, August 28, 2006 1:52 PM