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Another 'unauthorised change to Windows' problem!! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    My son has a Dell PC, bought in January 2008, with a Dell OEM version of Vista Home Premium.

    Yesterday it started to throw these unauthorised change to Windows problems and will not let the PC use the Microsoft Update site.

    Following hints on this forum I used the Diagnostic tool and it looks (because there are no entries in the File Scan Data section (see below) as if it is in 'Mod-Auth' Tamper state because of an In Memory problem.

    So it is probably an incompatible program - that doesn't surprise me because he is an architecture student and uses the most bewildering array of programs for CAD, design and rendering.

    Questions:

    1) Could someone take a quick look at the log (below) and confirm my suspicions.

    2) If we delete the offending program will Vista return to its normal (ie authorised) status or do we need to do something else?

    And an observation:

    I guess this problem only happens to a small percentage of the people running Vista - but as there are millions and millions of them that small % is still quite a big number. The carnage that results from installing a program that is not fully compatible with Vista is a sledgehammer to crack a nut (let it be said here that the programs he has installed all run OK) and the nut really seems to be more about protecting MIcrosoft revenue than helping the consumer.  If you can't find a way of doing that without causing this chaos for genuine customers - don't do it at all!  Fortunately I am pretty good at computers, and many of my neighbours come to me for help - but if this happened to any of my neighbours they would be completely at a loss and incapable of following the instructions you provide on resolving 'Mod-Auth' Tamper issues.

    -------------------------------------------

    Diagnostic Report (1.7.0095.0):

    -----------------------------------------

    WGA Data-->

    Validation Status: Invalid License

    Validation Code: 50

    Online Validation Code: 0xc004d401

    Cached Validation Code: N/A, hr = 0xc004d401

    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-F4GJK-KG77H-B9HD2

    Windows Product Key Hash: iJAth4TbScMi8HdcPurlASXdEkw=

    Windows Product ID: 89578-OEM-7332157-00204

    Windows Product ID Type: 2

    Windows License Type: OEM SLP

    Windows OS version: 6.0.6001.2.00010300.1.0.003

    CSVLK Server: N/A

    CSVLK PID: N/A

    ID: {42ED9B73-FFD1-4437-A842-0412AEFAF9B1}(3)

    Is Admin: Yes

    TestCab: 0x0

    WGA Version: Registered, 1.7.69.2

    Signed By: Microsoft

    Product Name: Windows Vista (TM) Home Premium

    Architecture: 0x00000000

    Build lab: 6001.vistasp1_gdr.080917-1612

    TTS Error: M:20081024092135423-

    Validation Diagnostic:

    Resolution Status: N/A

     

    WgaER Data-->

    ThreatID(s): N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    Version: 6.0.6001.18000

     

    WGA Notifications Data-->

    Cached Result: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    File Exists: No

    Version: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    WgaTray.exe Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    WgaLogon.dll Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

     

    OGA Notifications Data-->

    Cached Result: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    Version: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    WGATray.exe Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    OGAAddin.dll Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

     

    OGA Data-->

    Office Status: 100 Genuine

    Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 - 100 Genuine

    OGA Version: N/A, 0x80070002

    Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    Office Diagnostics: 025D1FF3-282-80041010_025D1FF3-170-80041010_025D1FF3-171-1_025D1FF3-434-80040154_025D1FF3-178-80040154_025D1FF3-179-2_025D1FF3-185-80070002_025D1FF3-199-3

     

    Browser Data-->

    Proxy settings: N/A

    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; 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>{42ED9B73-FFD1-4437-A842-0412AEFAF9B1}</UGUID><Version>1.7.0095.0</Version><OS>6.0.6001.2.00010300.1.0.003</OS><Architecture>x32</Architecture><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-B9HD2</PKey><PID>89578-OEM-7332157-00204</PID><PIDType>2</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-1351893628-2635918308-4021485963</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>Dell Inc.</Manufacturer><Model>Dell XPS420                  </Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>Dell Inc.</Manufacturer><Version>A03</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="5"/><Date>20080102000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>7E303507018400FA</HWID><UserLCID>0809</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>GMT Standard Time(GMT+00:00)</TimeZone><iJoin>0</iJoin><SBID><stat>3</stat><msppid></msppid><name></name><model></model></SBID><OEM><OEMID>DELL  </OEMID><OEMTableID>B9K    </OEMTableID></OEM><BRT/></MachineData><Software><Office><Result>100</Result><Products><Product GUID="{91110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003</Name><Ver>11</Ver><Val>63FECC8B8786DDC</Val><Hash>obb0/jtweNQ4TlXqKwBLD1GUA8k=</Hash><Pid>70145-750-1333182-57035</Pid><PidType>1</PidType></Product></Products><Applications><App Id="15" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="16" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="18" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="19" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="1A" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="1B" Version="11" Result="100"/><App Id="44" Version="11" Result="100"/></Applications></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

     

    Spsys.log Content: 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

     

    Friday, October 24, 2008 10:34 AM

Answers

  • Hello Peter,


    Windows Vista is in what we call a 'Mod-Auth' Tamper state.  There are 2 types of Mod-Auth tampers.

     

    1) A critical system file was modified On Disk - What this means is that the file, located on the hard drive, and was modified in some way. This can be caused by a malicious program (malware) or by manual file modification (by a user of the system). There is also a very small chance that an Update may fail in mid-update and cause this type of issue. As a safety mechanism, Updates are made so that if they fail, they roll back any updating that was done before the failure, but there is an off-chance that the roll back did not occur.

     2) A critical system file was modified In Memory - What this means is the file itself (on the hard drive) is un-modified, but the code, from that file, running in the system, was modified in some way and is usually caused by a running program that is incompatible with Windows Vista.

     Because there is No Mismatched files listed under the "File Scan Data-->" line of your Diagnostic Report, your issue is an In Memory Mod-Auth and therefore caused by an incompatible program. This means there is a program install and running that is trying to access parts of the OS that Windows Vista does not allow which by definition means it is incompatible with Windows Vista.

     In addition to why a Tamper occurs, it's also important to understand how Windows Vista detects the Tamper event. There is a Service that runs in Windows Vista that detects a Tamper to a Critical System file. But this Service runs randomly, so if you were to install an incompatible program and run it, Windows Vista (most likely) would not immediately enter a Tamper State and it could take some time for the Tamper to be detected. The important point to note is that the moment Windows Vista detects the Tamper, you know that the program that caused the tamper, is currently running.

     Below I have provided a number of steps to help you identify the program that is causing the tamper:

     The following Knowledge Base (KB) article may help you confirm that you do not have any of the programs known to cause this type of issue.

     

    KB931699 - Error message when you use Windows Vista: "An unauthorized change was made to your license"

     http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931699/

     
    Second, in your Microsoft Genuine Diagnostic Tool (MGADT) report above, you can see the line that starts with 'TTS Error:' followed by a bunch numbers: M:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx- This is the Tamper Time Stamp and it breaks down like this:

     

    (Year)       (Month)      (Day)      (Time in 24format)      (Millisecond)

    M:2008      10                24              0921                            35423- 

    Now that you know the time of the tamper, you can now try to connect that time with a program.

     1) Login to Windows Vista and select the option which launches an Internet Browser

    2) Type into the browser address bar: %windir%\system32\perfmon.msc and hit Enter

    3) When asked if you want to Open or Save this file, select Open

    4) In the left hand panel, click Reliability Monitor

    5) Then click System Stability Chart above the date 10/24.  

    6) Below the chart, in the System Stability Report section look at the report titled "Software (Un) Installs for 10/24/2008.  

    7) Look for any program that shows "Application Install" in the 'Activity' column.

    8) Since the process that detects tampers runs randomly, it can take up to 3 days for the process to detect the tamper and set Windows Vista to a Tamper State. Because of this, please repeat steps 5) through 7) for the dates 10/23/2008, 10/22/2008, and 10/21/2008.   

    This could tell you what programs were installed on or around the Tamper date and should help you narrow down the possible programs that could be causing the issue. Unfortunately, if you installed the program (say) on 09/01/2007, but you didn't run (and, hence, prompted the tamper state) till 10/24/2008 , this process may not be helpful.  The removal of any application you may have installed recently could go a long way to troubleshooting these issues as well since it may fall outside of the 3 day time frame described above.

    Note: Since everyone has different programs installed on their computer, it is extremely hard for support to figure out what program is causing the problem, but if you still need assistance in identifying the Incompatible Program, please create a no cost support request at the following link below:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52029



    Thank you for visiting the Genuine Advantage forum.



    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager


    Stephen Holm
    • Edited by Stephen Holm Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:53 AM changes
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:53 AM
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:50 AM

All replies

  • Hello Peter,


    Windows Vista is in what we call a 'Mod-Auth' Tamper state.  There are 2 types of Mod-Auth tampers.

     

    1) A critical system file was modified On Disk - What this means is that the file, located on the hard drive, and was modified in some way. This can be caused by a malicious program (malware) or by manual file modification (by a user of the system). There is also a very small chance that an Update may fail in mid-update and cause this type of issue. As a safety mechanism, Updates are made so that if they fail, they roll back any updating that was done before the failure, but there is an off-chance that the roll back did not occur.

     2) A critical system file was modified In Memory - What this means is the file itself (on the hard drive) is un-modified, but the code, from that file, running in the system, was modified in some way and is usually caused by a running program that is incompatible with Windows Vista.

     Because there is No Mismatched files listed under the "File Scan Data-->" line of your Diagnostic Report, your issue is an In Memory Mod-Auth and therefore caused by an incompatible program. This means there is a program install and running that is trying to access parts of the OS that Windows Vista does not allow which by definition means it is incompatible with Windows Vista.

     In addition to why a Tamper occurs, it's also important to understand how Windows Vista detects the Tamper event. There is a Service that runs in Windows Vista that detects a Tamper to a Critical System file. But this Service runs randomly, so if you were to install an incompatible program and run it, Windows Vista (most likely) would not immediately enter a Tamper State and it could take some time for the Tamper to be detected. The important point to note is that the moment Windows Vista detects the Tamper, you know that the program that caused the tamper, is currently running.

     Below I have provided a number of steps to help you identify the program that is causing the tamper:

     The following Knowledge Base (KB) article may help you confirm that you do not have any of the programs known to cause this type of issue.

     

    KB931699 - Error message when you use Windows Vista: "An unauthorized change was made to your license"

     http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931699/

     
    Second, in your Microsoft Genuine Diagnostic Tool (MGADT) report above, you can see the line that starts with 'TTS Error:' followed by a bunch numbers: M:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx- This is the Tamper Time Stamp and it breaks down like this:

     

    (Year)       (Month)      (Day)      (Time in 24format)      (Millisecond)

    M:2008      10                24              0921                            35423- 

    Now that you know the time of the tamper, you can now try to connect that time with a program.

     1) Login to Windows Vista and select the option which launches an Internet Browser

    2) Type into the browser address bar: %windir%\system32\perfmon.msc and hit Enter

    3) When asked if you want to Open or Save this file, select Open

    4) In the left hand panel, click Reliability Monitor

    5) Then click System Stability Chart above the date 10/24.  

    6) Below the chart, in the System Stability Report section look at the report titled "Software (Un) Installs for 10/24/2008.  

    7) Look for any program that shows "Application Install" in the 'Activity' column.

    8) Since the process that detects tampers runs randomly, it can take up to 3 days for the process to detect the tamper and set Windows Vista to a Tamper State. Because of this, please repeat steps 5) through 7) for the dates 10/23/2008, 10/22/2008, and 10/21/2008.   

    This could tell you what programs were installed on or around the Tamper date and should help you narrow down the possible programs that could be causing the issue. Unfortunately, if you installed the program (say) on 09/01/2007, but you didn't run (and, hence, prompted the tamper state) till 10/24/2008 , this process may not be helpful.  The removal of any application you may have installed recently could go a long way to troubleshooting these issues as well since it may fall outside of the 3 day time frame described above.

    Note: Since everyone has different programs installed on their computer, it is extremely hard for support to figure out what program is causing the problem, but if you still need assistance in identifying the Incompatible Program, please create a no cost support request at the following link below:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52029



    Thank you for visiting the Genuine Advantage forum.



    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager


    Stephen Holm
    • Edited by Stephen Holm Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:53 AM changes
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:53 AM
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:50 AM
  • Hello Stephen

    Thanks for the reply..but I need to follow up.

    You say that an InMemory Mod-Auth tamper state is caused by an incompatible program that is installed and running.

    So if one were to reboot the computer and not run any programmes that were installed recently would you expect the tamper state to disappear until the offending program is run again?

    Because at the moment when the PC is rebooted and the diagnostics run it shows what I sent you as the log yesterday.

    So that refers me back to the second question I asked: If one uninstalls the offending program and reboot does Vista then revert to its proper authorised status or does one have to wave some other magic wand over it?

    Finally, while I accept that you cannot have a complete list of programmes that cause this, surely someone somewhere is maintaining some kind of a list of programs you know that cause it - like the people you who run the support that you refer people to?

    Peter
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 6:51 AM
  • Bump
    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:22 PM
  • Hello Peter,

    I will inquire if there is a list of programs. This is why we provide the above guidance for rectifying what a customer may be experiencing. Have you performed the steps I posted and if so did this resolve what you are experiencing with the In Memory Mod Auth? 


    Thank you,

    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager
    Stephen Holm
    Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:34 AM