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  • Question

  • Stacy, I think I'm thankful for your post but the remedy just scared heck out of me.

    I bought this Dell 2 years ago with XP on it with an upgrade to VISTA when it would come out around Feb. 07.  That occurred and I'm sitting here fat, dumb and happy up until last week.  Qualify my heartache, I use this expensive pad and pencil predominately for Quicken and email and to check what movie is playing at the local theatre.  An occasion book from Amazon and an occasional vacation reservation.

    Last week I get emails in my Junk folder saying that I'm using an invalid copy of VISTA and I need to reply with my Product Key to prove what I have is valid, otherwise the version will be greatly reduced.  Now I've been buying windows and other Microsoft programs for over 20 years at the physical address I've lived at for 30 years so I'm thinking this Junk email is a scam trying to get my personal info.  I go onto the MS download updates and try that, no problem.  But things started to go wrong such as my desktop wallpaper disappears and remains black.  I keep getting these email warnings.  And finally I get this little warning on the bottom right corner of my screen that states: Windows VISTA (TM) Build 6001 This copy of Windows is not genuine.

    So I give up, hit the validate button in the Junk email and type in my product key.  It comes back saying all is well and appears to go back to normal operation.  Except the little disclaimer sentence I just referred to above continues to stay in the bottom right corner of the desktop and now I'm gettin Junk emails saying: welshman57 we have your personal information.

    What is going on here?  Has my computer been attacked by me giving out my product key?  How do I get that "not geniuine" statement off of my desktop?

    And one final blurp of frustration I request from Microsoft.  I buy a car, oven, furnace, telephone, tv, etc. I want it to work trouble-free for 10 or more years.  Can't you guys make an operating system for the home owners that just does their banking, trip planning and store purchases without having to buy a new operating system every 3 years and go through hell dealing with all of the associated problems they seem to have?

    • Split by Stephen Holm Tuesday, November 11, 2008 5:58 PM Splitting post
    Sunday, November 9, 2008 9:30 PM


All replies

  • Carl,

    It's likely that your unfortunate decision to click on the link in that phishing email has resulted in a breach of security on your computer.

    In order to restore peace of mind, my advice would be to backup your personal data and then use the Dell-provided Vista DVD to do a clean installation of Vista on your computer.  Be sure to use a top quality fully updated antivirus program to scan your personal data files before you restore them to the computer.

    Do your daily computing tasks using a Standard User account, rather than a computer administrator account.  DO NOT disable User Account Control.  Password-protect all user accounts.

    In the future, DO NOT click on links in phishing emails.
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Monday, November 10, 2008 5:03 PM
  • Good Morning Carl,

    We are sorry to hear about your recent situation. Please follow Dan's guidance. Should you ever experience any future problems plese call our PC Safety line at 1-866-PCSAFETY or 1 (866) 727-2338.  This phone number is for virus and other security-related support free of charge. It is available 24 hours a day for the U.S. and Canada.

    Detailed information including selecting various regions for support can be located at:


    PC Safety & Security Websites

    Cleaning a Compromised System:


    KB129972 - Computer viruses: description, prevention, and recovery


    Windows Update:


     Microsoft Security Central: 

    http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.mspx .  

    Windows Live OneCare:


    Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner:


    Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC):


    Microsoft Security at Home:


    Security Guidance Center:

    http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/support/computer-security-overview.aspx - BulletinsAndAlerts

    PC Safety and Security is important. The best way for eradicating malware infections is to re-image your computer. It may provide you with a better peace of mind overall. Please take the time and review the websites. There is a wealth of information for protecting families while using the computer. Thank you again for contacting the Genuine Advantage forums.  Hopefully the additional information c an provide you with informaiton so this will not happen again.

    Take Care Carl.

    Stephen Holm, MS
    WGA Forum Manager

    Stephen Holm
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Tuesday, November 11, 2008 6:05 PM
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 6:05 PM