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fml: an unauthorized change was made to windows RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    Yesterday I allowed MS to install updates and after it restarted my laptop and I logged in, I received the following message:

    "An unauthorized change was made to Windows. Windows has discovered a change that will result in limited Windows functionality. Use the link below to find out how to fix Windows."

    The two options to pick from at that point are: Learn more online, and Close.

    The rest of my screen is black. When I click on the Close button, it logs me off the machine. When I click the Learn more online button, it takes me to http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/nonGenuineVista.aspx?displaylang=en&Error=83&PartnerID=302&sGuid=7c085934-0a31-48d1-af5c-6582dd5e0e80&OSV=6.0.6001.2.00010100.1.0.000.00.1033&GenuineInfo=C004F027&RFM=2

    I've looked at some of the other posts, and saw a common theme was to run the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool (1.9.0011.0), and so I did. I was trying to post the output by clicking on the copy button, and I get the following message:

    "Failed to create output files, hr = 0x80070002. Please contact support."

    What information can I post that makes diagnosing the problem easier?

    Some common things I've seen on other posts:
    Validation status: invalid license
    Validation code: 50

    Product key: N/A, hr=0x80070005
    Product name: Windows Vista (TM) Enterprise
    TTS Error: M:20090803212733567-                   (I understand that this is the time of the error, but the stamp is current because I keep going through the cycle, yes, the definition of insanity)

    ThreadID(s) N/A, hr=0x80070002   (this same code show up for SO many things)



    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 3:05 AM

Answers

  • In Memory Mod-Auth resolution steps:

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

    NOTE: We have seen an increase in this type of issue and we believe it is unlikely that software writers are still making programs that are incompatible with Vista. Instead, we believe that a majority of the issues are being caused by Malware that are doing the same things (on purpose) as incompatible programs do (by accident).

     

      In addition to why a Mod-Auth occurs, it's also important to understand how Vista detects a Mod-Auth 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 Mod-Auth  State and it could take some time for the Mod-Auth to be detected. The important point to note is that the moment Vista detects the Mod-Auth, you know that the program that is causing the Mod-Auth, 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:
    2009       08        03           2127                   33567-


    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 08/03 

    6)    Below the chart, in the “System Stability Report” section look at the report titled "Software (Un)Installs for 08/03/2009 "

    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 08/02/2009, 08/01/2009 and 07/31/2009 (or around the date the issue first occurred)

      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 at some time in the past, but didn’t run it till now, 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.  

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

    Also Note: it has been found that Malware, such as Viruses and Trojans, can also be incompatible with Vista and can cause an In Memory Mod-Auth. A number of users (that were experiencing your same issue) have confirmed that a Malware infection was the cause. If you follow the above steps and cannot find a program that is causing the Mod-Auth, you may want to investigate if a Virus, Worm or Trojan may be to blame. You can contact PC Safety, which is a Microsoft group, which provides free assistance with Malware infections. I encourage you to use the ‘Windows Live Safety Scan for Windows Vista’ (http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm) before contacting PC Safety.

    PC Safety:

    http://www.microsoft.com/protect/support/default.mspx

    http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm

    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:24 PM
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:22 PM
  • On Disk Mod-Auth resolution steps:


    The core of your issue centers on the line in your Diagnostic Report that reads:

    File Scan Data-->
    File Mismatch: C:\Windows\system32\<file name>[<version number>]

     

    This means the file has been Tampered, Modified or has become Corrupt. Vista see this as an attack to bypass it's Licensing security.

    To resolve the issue, you need to either repair or replace the file with a known-good one (of the proper file version)

     

    First try repairing Windows using System Restore:

    1)    Reboot Vista into Safe Mode

    2)    Go to Control Panel

    3)    On the left hand side of the Control Panel window, Click on "Classic View"

    4)    Double-click "Backup and Restore Center"

    5)    On the left hand side of the window, click "Repair Windows using system restore"

    6)    Select "Choose Different Restore Point", Put a check in the box that says "Show restore points older than 5 days", select the restore point that corresponds to the date Before you first noticed the issue.

    7)    Click the "Next" button.

    8)    Reboot back into Normal mode

    9)    Vista should no longer be in Reduced Functionality mode

     

    If that doesn't work, we'll try doing a System Scan. The scan will look for bad Vista files and will attempt to repair them, if possible.

    1)    Login to Vista in Normal Mode (not safe mode)

    2)    Launch an Internet Browser

    3)    Type: %windir%\system32\ in the browser's address field

    4)    Scroll down till you find the file cmd.exe

    5)    Right-click the file and select 'Run as Administrator'

    6)    In the CMD window, type: sfc /scannow

    7)    Reboot twice and see if that resolves the issue.

    If neither of these sets of steps resolves the issue, my only other suggestions would be either to contact Vista support at http://support.microsoft.com or reinstall Vista.

    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:24 PM
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:24 PM

All replies

  • The error code posted when trying to validate Vista is [0x80070426]
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 3:29 AM
  • Hello fixmypc,

      At this point, we know the issue is a Mod-Auth Tamper. This means we know that something has tampered or is tampering Vista system files. This tamper can happen in two different areas: On the Hard Drive or In System Memory.

    Each type has a different fix. To figure out which type you have (and therefore which fix you need), you need two peices of information from the Diagnostic Report:

    a) The "TTS Error" line
    (which you have already provided)  

    b) If there are any Mismatched files listed.
      In the lower portion of the Diag, under the "File Scan Data-->" line, is there any Mismatch files listed (example: File Mismatch: C:\Windows\system32\Slsvc.exe[6.0.6000.16509])

    -If there are Mismatched file listed, then the issue is an 'On Disk Mod-Auth' (make sure to include the full File Mismatch line so I know which file has been modified or become corrupt)

    -If there are no Mismatched files listed, then the issue is an 'In Memory Mod-Auth'

    Once whe know the exact issue, I'll provide the proper fix.

    Thank you,
    Darin MS
     
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:28 PM
  • Hi, Darin,

    Thanks for the response. I'm looking at the diag window now, and I don't see a "File Scan Data" line under any of the tabs.

    In case it helps (probably doesn't but what do I know), when I tried to run net start slsvc from the command prompt (it was in one of the other posts) I get a system error 54273.

    Since I don't see a mismatch, maybe we're looking at an 'In Memory Mod-Auth'? I'll wait to make any changes until I hear back from you.

    Thanks again,
    fixmypc
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 11:22 PM
  • Hello fixmypc,

      The only function of the 'net start slsvc' command is to start the Software Licensing Service, which will not help in this case since the cause of the issue isn't that the Software Licensing Service has stopped.

      In this case, the Soaftware Licensing Service has detected that a Vista System File has been modified in some fashion.  But the problem is that I don't know in what type of modification has occured (or is occuring).

      What I will do is create two posts, one for the In Memory Mod-Auth fix steps and another for the On Disk Mod-Auth fix steps.  You can try one and/or the other as you see fit.

      I do want to set your expectaions in that I don't forsee either set of steps helping very much.  The fact that you receive errors from a simple function like "Copy" suggests that the Non-Genuine issue is just a symptom of a larger issue which would be outside of my ability to fix. If the below steps do not resolve the issue, my only other recommedations would be to either contact Vista support at http://support.microsoft.com or reinstall Vista.

    Thank you,
    Darin MS
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:18 PM
  • In Memory Mod-Auth resolution steps:

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

    NOTE: We have seen an increase in this type of issue and we believe it is unlikely that software writers are still making programs that are incompatible with Vista. Instead, we believe that a majority of the issues are being caused by Malware that are doing the same things (on purpose) as incompatible programs do (by accident).

     

      In addition to why a Mod-Auth occurs, it's also important to understand how Vista detects a Mod-Auth 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 Mod-Auth  State and it could take some time for the Mod-Auth to be detected. The important point to note is that the moment Vista detects the Mod-Auth, you know that the program that is causing the Mod-Auth, 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:
    2009       08        03           2127                   33567-


    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 08/03 

    6)    Below the chart, in the “System Stability Report” section look at the report titled "Software (Un)Installs for 08/03/2009 "

    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 08/02/2009, 08/01/2009 and 07/31/2009 (or around the date the issue first occurred)

      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 at some time in the past, but didn’t run it till now, 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.  

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

    Also Note: it has been found that Malware, such as Viruses and Trojans, can also be incompatible with Vista and can cause an In Memory Mod-Auth. A number of users (that were experiencing your same issue) have confirmed that a Malware infection was the cause. If you follow the above steps and cannot find a program that is causing the Mod-Auth, you may want to investigate if a Virus, Worm or Trojan may be to blame. You can contact PC Safety, which is a Microsoft group, which provides free assistance with Malware infections. I encourage you to use the ‘Windows Live Safety Scan for Windows Vista’ (http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm) before contacting PC Safety.

    PC Safety:

    http://www.microsoft.com/protect/support/default.mspx

    http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm

    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:24 PM
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:22 PM
  • On Disk Mod-Auth resolution steps:


    The core of your issue centers on the line in your Diagnostic Report that reads:

    File Scan Data-->
    File Mismatch: C:\Windows\system32\<file name>[<version number>]

     

    This means the file has been Tampered, Modified or has become Corrupt. Vista see this as an attack to bypass it's Licensing security.

    To resolve the issue, you need to either repair or replace the file with a known-good one (of the proper file version)

     

    First try repairing Windows using System Restore:

    1)    Reboot Vista into Safe Mode

    2)    Go to Control Panel

    3)    On the left hand side of the Control Panel window, Click on "Classic View"

    4)    Double-click "Backup and Restore Center"

    5)    On the left hand side of the window, click "Repair Windows using system restore"

    6)    Select "Choose Different Restore Point", Put a check in the box that says "Show restore points older than 5 days", select the restore point that corresponds to the date Before you first noticed the issue.

    7)    Click the "Next" button.

    8)    Reboot back into Normal mode

    9)    Vista should no longer be in Reduced Functionality mode

     

    If that doesn't work, we'll try doing a System Scan. The scan will look for bad Vista files and will attempt to repair them, if possible.

    1)    Login to Vista in Normal Mode (not safe mode)

    2)    Launch an Internet Browser

    3)    Type: %windir%\system32\ in the browser's address field

    4)    Scroll down till you find the file cmd.exe

    5)    Right-click the file and select 'Run as Administrator'

    6)    In the CMD window, type: sfc /scannow

    7)    Reboot twice and see if that resolves the issue.

    If neither of these sets of steps resolves the issue, my only other suggestions would be either to contact Vista support at http://support.microsoft.com or reinstall Vista.

    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:24 PM
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:24 PM
  • Darin,

    Thanks for your help. I ran a scan, and it didn't find anything. Fortunately, after trying a multitude of things, the system finally let me get in and do a system restore -- so I restored it to a couple days before whatever started going on. Things are running fine, for now at least.

    Again, I appreciate the help.

    fixmypc
    Friday, August 7, 2009 2:24 AM