none
"An unathorized change was made to Windows" after installing nothing??? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been using my genuine copy of Windows Vista for almost a year now.  It seems to have crashed last night and I woke up and got this message:

     

    An unauthorized change was made to Windows

    You will no longer receive notifications, including those about your license or activation...

    Error: 0xC004D401

    Description: The security processor reported a system file mismatch error.

     

    Here are the results of my running the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool (1.7.0069.0)

     

    Diagnostic Report (1.7.0069.0):
    -----------------------------------------
    WGA Data-->
    Validation Status: Invalid License
    Validation Code: 50
    Online Validation Code: 0xc004d401
    Cached Validation Code: N/A, hr = 0xc004d401
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-CH8J8-BDJR7-GPGDV
    Windows Product Key Hash: 8Kpup27QqYu0N8Wa4vQ4GzICvVg=
    Windows Product ID: 89580-447-3413253-71888
    Windows Product ID Type: 5
    Windows License Type: Retail
    Windows OS version: 6.0.6000.2.00010100.0.0.001
    CSVLK Server: N/A
    CSVLK PID: N/A
    ID: {C063686D-FFD3-40AE-B38A-2F2F2E3A218A}(3)
    Is Admin: Yes
    TestCab: 0x0
    WGA Version: Registered, 1.7.59.1
    Signed By: Microsoft
    Product Name: Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate
    Architecture: 0x00000000
    Build lab: 6000.vista_gdr.071023-1545
    TTS Error: M:20080302081938927-
    Validation Diagnostic:
    Resolution Status: N/A

    WgaER Data-->
    ThreatID(s): N/A, hr = 0x80070002
    Version: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: N/A
    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 Data-->
    Office Status: 100 Genuine
    OGA Version: N/A, 0x80070002
    Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
    Office Diagnostics: FCEE394C-2920-80070002_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>{C063686D-FFD3-40AE-B38A-2F2F2E3A218A}</UGUID><Version>1.7.0069.0</Version><OS>6.0.6000.2.00010100.0.0.001</OS><Architecture>x32</Architecture><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-GPGDV</PKey><PID>89580-447-3413253-71888</PID><PIDType>5</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-592852785-3753130954-2206811216</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>NVIDIA</Manufacturer><Model>122-CK-NF68</Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>Phoenix Technologies, LTD</Manufacturer><Version>6.00 PG</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="4"/><Date>20070711000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>C6323507018400FA</HWID><UserLCID>0409</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>Pacific Standard Time(GMT-08:00)</TimeZone><iJoin>0</iJoin><SBID><stat>3</stat><msppid></msppid><name></name><model></model></SBID><OEM/><BRT/></MachineData><Software><Office><Result>100</Result><Products><Product GUID="{91120000-0014-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office Professional 2007</Name><Ver>12</Ver><Val>A8247E25113AF0C</Val><Hash>odg7fVCR3yTQ2XmJtNhMD4Wx6+U=</Hash><Pid>81605-902-9612746-65068</Pid><PidType>1</PidType></Product></Products></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

    Spsys.log Content: U1BMRwEAAAAAAQAABAAAACE8AAAAAAAAYWECADAgAACQa6Q2gXzIARhDs/4hWdo7Xkl9D+HKpnhDQBzCxJ7d5Bf99prKKgQDPoC8eCKePUxHIrXXUoei0+fDvX0zCybmDilyQLttVIzAKRRcmivPrarUq8i8GfGWsEGnmR0ReJ9KlWCJouxq6PAIwHwHVMfvNauSbFvmaTCDPKtQZQFIQcDXIAwFGl6D9S/GUDYecePFRKM/leS97bxOVVm9fICZUkfHdDNbo72qUqYYmAlRJO05+WV1r70w2O6Pl99gqTnSYR4j0FashTOQ1ifb1stzrqx+w3WNaAwzkNYn29bLc66sfsN1jWgMM5DWJ9vWy3OurH7DdY1oDDOQ1ifb1stzrqx+w3WNaAw=

     

    Sunday, March 2, 2008 5:20 PM

Answers

  •  

    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, was modified in some way. This can be caused by a malicious program (spyware, malware, virus) 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 Vista.

     

    Because there are No Mismatched files listed under the "File Scan Data-->" line of your Diagnostic Report, your issue is a 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 Vista does not allow which by definition means it is incompatible with Vista.

     

    In addition to why a Tamper occurs, it's also important to understand how Vista detects the Tamper event. There is a Service that runs in 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, 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 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:
     
      First, go to
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931699/ and confirm that you do not have any of the programs known to cause this type of issue.
     
      Second, in your Diagnostic 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       03         02        0819                        38927-
     -

     


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

    1) Login to Vista and select the option that 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) Click on the “System Stability Chart” above the date 03/202

    6) Below the chart, in the “System Stability Report” section look at the report titled "Software (Un)Installs for 03/02/2008 "

    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 Vista to a Tamper State. Because of this, please repeat steps 5) thru 7) for the dates 03/01/2008, 02/29/2008 and 02/28/2008

      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 03/02/2008, this process may not be helpful.  The removal of any application you may have installed recently could go a long way to troubleshooting this issues as well since it may fall outside of the 3 day time frame described above.

    Thank you,
    Darin Smith
    WGA Forum Manager
    Monday, March 3, 2008 10:19 PM