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XP may not be genuine RRS feed

  • Question

  • I bought my PC with XP bundled, a couple of years ago.  The PC came with an XP booklet, a blue hologram validation sticker (which changes from 'Microsoft' to 'genuine').

    I have never used any pirated software.  Ever. 

    When I got the PC, I entered the string of numbers that came with it, and voila, Windows was declared genuine!

    But now Microsoft is telling me, despite all that security abck then, which I viewed as state of the art and a guarantee of authenticity, that my XP may not be genuine after all.  The PC Company (called The PC Company) has since gone out of business, so no comeback there.

    How come my string of numbers, said back then to guarantee my XP was legitimate, now is so irrelevant that you want another $281 from me!!

     

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006 8:36 PM

Answers

  • Visit the site below and run thru the software identifier to see if what you received from The PC Company was legitimate.  Familiarize yourself with the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and the silver or copper hologram CD (your purchase time frame means you could have received either from your systembuilder OEM).

    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/en/windows.mspx

    Next run the WGA diag tool and post the results here.  A MS rep will take a look and give you some more advice on what to do next:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006 9:14 PM
  • Hi, Biddy,

    Your current installation of XP Pro was done using a Volume Licensing Key (note the first line that says blocked VLK), which is a key normally used by large organizations (schools, companies, govts, etc).  VLK licenses are upgrade only licenses and are never sufficient by themselves to properly license a newly built computer.

    The question for now is, how did a VLK installation of XP get on your computer?  If your computer was repaired at some time during its life, this could be the source of the blocked VLK installation.  Often, unknowing computer techs will use an invalid VLK to install a "corporate" version of XP on a repaired computer.

    The type of installation that should be on the computer is either a systembuilder OEM or OEM SLP.  If you look at the line Windows License Type, for a computer where the license was preinstalled by the computer manufacturer, it should read OEM or OEM SLP.

    If The PC Company was a large enough company, they could have sold enough Windows licenses to qualify to have their name imprinted on the COA.  Big companies like Dell, Gateway, HP and etc have their names imprinted on the COA.  The MS reps can correct me if I am wrong, but if the PC Company was big enough to have their name on the COA, then they would be using OEM SLP.

    Can you post back telling us what version of XP is listed on the COA, Home or Pro?  And, what type of CD(s) did you receive with the computer, if any?  If you did not receive any CDs, can you check your documentation to see if PC Company provided you with a hidden recovery partition that you would access to reinstall the original Operating System.

    The point here is that if the COA is genuine, that means your computer is legitimately licensed to run the version of Windows described on the COA.  If during its life a different version of XP was installed, then to get legal, all you have to do is revert back to the version of XP that's on the COA.  In such case, there is no need to order anything from MS.  Technically, the difficulty comes if the computer is currently running XP Pro and the legitimate license is for XP Home.  Since there is no way to "revert" an installation of XP Pro to XP Home without doing a clean installation, you will have to offload any irreplaceable files on the computer (docs, pix, music, home financial data from Quicken, Money, etc, email, saved usernames and passwords etc), then use the XP Home CD that MS will send you to do a clean installation, then reinstall all of your programs from CD.  The good news is that a clean installation of XP runs very quickly and very reliably.

    If you wanted for some reason to keep XP Pro, MS offers you a way to change that VLK license to a legitimate retail full license by ordering the WGA "get legal" kit.  It's called the Genuine Windows Offer:

    "To help customers who unknowingly purchased a counterfeit version of Windows XP, Microsoft has created two genuine Windows offers for those who qualify:
    • Complimentary offer: Microsoft will make a complimentary copy of Windows XP available to customers who have been sold counterfeit Windows. Customers will be required to submit a proof of purchase, the counterfeit CD, and a counterfeit report with details of their purchase. Only high-quality counterfeit Windows will qualify for the complimentary offer.
    • Electronic License Key Offer: Microsoft will offer an alternative for customers who find out via the WGA validation process that they are not running genuine Windows, but do not qualify for, or choose not to take advantage of, the complimentary offer. These customers will be able to license a Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP online for a price of $99 for Windows XP Home edition or $149 for Windows XP Professional. The Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP will include a new 25-character Product Key and a Windows Product Key Update tool that will allow customers to convert their counterfeit copy to genuine Windows XP electronically."
    Thursday, May 25, 2006 4:41 AM
  • Before you buy anything, tell us what version of XP, Home or Pro, is listed on the COA.

    Also tell us if you received any CDs from PC Company when you bought the computer.

    Look at the computer documentation---does it tell you anyhting about a hidden recovery partition?

    Look at Disk Management (Start>Run, type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter).  Does your hard disk show unlettered partitions?  If so, that could be the hidden recovery partition(s).

    Friday, May 26, 2006 1:10 AM
  • Dan:

     

    Thanks for the help!

     

    Biddy: I apologize for not addressing this post much earlier. Its in another section that we dont check quite as often as we'd like to be able to.

     

     

    -Phil Liu

    Friday, May 26, 2006 9:55 PM
  • Biddy,

    You're welcome, it was my pleasure to help you.

    Friday, May 26, 2006 10:06 PM

All replies

  • Visit the site below and run thru the software identifier to see if what you received from The PC Company was legitimate.  Familiarize yourself with the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and the silver or copper hologram CD (your purchase time frame means you could have received either from your systembuilder OEM).

    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/en/windows.mspx

    Next run the WGA diag tool and post the results here.  A MS rep will take a look and give you some more advice on what to do next:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006 9:14 PM
  • Thanks for your quick response!

    According to the first site, the COA appears genuine, with all four features requested.  But instead of listing OEM, it says "PC Company" after the Microsoft XP line at the top.

    The WGA dialog tool gave me this (pasted after I clicked 'copy to clipboard" - I hope that's what you wanted...)  Thanks again, Biddy

    WGA Diagnostic Data (1.5.0530.2):
    --------------------
    Genuine Validation Status: Blocked VLK
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-PY6BX-K24PJ-TWT6M
    Windows Product Key Hash: gBNdtaXuo+0yYWQ2vJRYtwUVPx0=
    Windows Product ID: 55274-643-7213323-23954
    Windows Product ID Type: 1
    Windows License Type: Volume
    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro
    Download Center code: LBY6FS9
    ID: 558075ee-fafe-470f-a454-2ee24e4ef501
    Is Admin: Yes
    AutoDial: Yes
    Registry: 0x0
    WGA Version: Registered, 1.5.530.0.
    Signature Type: Microsoft.
    Validation Diagnostic:

    Scan: Complete
    Cryptography: Complete

    Office Status: 100
    Office Diagnostics:

    Proxy settings: N/A
    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; 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

    Office Details: <GenuineResults><MachineData><UGUID>558075ee-fafe-470f-a454-2ee24e4ef501</UGUID><Version>1.5.0530.2</Version><OS>5.1.2600.2.00010100.2.0.pro</OS><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-TWT6M</PKey><PID>55274-643-7213323-23954</PID><PIDType>1</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-1659004503-220523388-725345543</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>AWARD_</Manufacturer><Model>AWRDACPI</Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>Phoenix Technologies, LTD</Manufacturer><Version>6.00 PG</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="2"/><Date>20050110000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>10F23AD701844053</HWID><UserLCID>1409</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>New Zealand Standard Time(GMT+12:00)</TimeZone></MachineData>   <Software><Office><Result>100</Result><Products><Product GUID="{913A0409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0050048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Project Standard 2002</Name><Ver>10</Ver><Val>8FCC4F95A877B70</Val><Hash>RNM1i4tgNPpblzb57EmwJz61A/8=</Hash><Pid>56130-759-4142003-16039</Pid></Product><Product GUID="{90120409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0050048383C9}"><LegitResult>100</LegitResult><Name>Microsoft Office XP Standard</Name><Ver>10</Ver><Val>9943B6DCC4CE9E6</Val><Hash>xjr1E7ZVyCh3UsRzxB3FRiBRuYo=</Hash><Pid>54187-640-0545151-17893</Pid></Product></Products></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006 9:26 PM
  • Hi, Biddy,

    Your current installation of XP Pro was done using a Volume Licensing Key (note the first line that says blocked VLK), which is a key normally used by large organizations (schools, companies, govts, etc).  VLK licenses are upgrade only licenses and are never sufficient by themselves to properly license a newly built computer.

    The question for now is, how did a VLK installation of XP get on your computer?  If your computer was repaired at some time during its life, this could be the source of the blocked VLK installation.  Often, unknowing computer techs will use an invalid VLK to install a "corporate" version of XP on a repaired computer.

    The type of installation that should be on the computer is either a systembuilder OEM or OEM SLP.  If you look at the line Windows License Type, for a computer where the license was preinstalled by the computer manufacturer, it should read OEM or OEM SLP.

    If The PC Company was a large enough company, they could have sold enough Windows licenses to qualify to have their name imprinted on the COA.  Big companies like Dell, Gateway, HP and etc have their names imprinted on the COA.  The MS reps can correct me if I am wrong, but if the PC Company was big enough to have their name on the COA, then they would be using OEM SLP.

    Can you post back telling us what version of XP is listed on the COA, Home or Pro?  And, what type of CD(s) did you receive with the computer, if any?  If you did not receive any CDs, can you check your documentation to see if PC Company provided you with a hidden recovery partition that you would access to reinstall the original Operating System.

    The point here is that if the COA is genuine, that means your computer is legitimately licensed to run the version of Windows described on the COA.  If during its life a different version of XP was installed, then to get legal, all you have to do is revert back to the version of XP that's on the COA.  In such case, there is no need to order anything from MS.  Technically, the difficulty comes if the computer is currently running XP Pro and the legitimate license is for XP Home.  Since there is no way to "revert" an installation of XP Pro to XP Home without doing a clean installation, you will have to offload any irreplaceable files on the computer (docs, pix, music, home financial data from Quicken, Money, etc, email, saved usernames and passwords etc), then use the XP Home CD that MS will send you to do a clean installation, then reinstall all of your programs from CD.  The good news is that a clean installation of XP runs very quickly and very reliably.

    If you wanted for some reason to keep XP Pro, MS offers you a way to change that VLK license to a legitimate retail full license by ordering the WGA "get legal" kit.  It's called the Genuine Windows Offer:

    "To help customers who unknowingly purchased a counterfeit version of Windows XP, Microsoft has created two genuine Windows offers for those who qualify:
    • Complimentary offer: Microsoft will make a complimentary copy of Windows XP available to customers who have been sold counterfeit Windows. Customers will be required to submit a proof of purchase, the counterfeit CD, and a counterfeit report with details of their purchase. Only high-quality counterfeit Windows will qualify for the complimentary offer.
    • Electronic License Key Offer: Microsoft will offer an alternative for customers who find out via the WGA validation process that they are not running genuine Windows, but do not qualify for, or choose not to take advantage of, the complimentary offer. These customers will be able to license a Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP online for a price of $99 for Windows XP Home edition or $149 for Windows XP Professional. The Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP will include a new 25-character Product Key and a Windows Product Key Update tool that will allow customers to convert their counterfeit copy to genuine Windows XP electronically."
    Thursday, May 25, 2006 4:41 AM
  • Biddy,

    First make sure whether the last 15 digits of the key in your COA matches the key that WGA diagnostic tool has generated. If that doesnt match then you may have a genuine windows after all and you wont need to buy a new copy. Use the product update tool availabe here http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=420092&SiteID=25  to change the the product key of the computer with that of your COA.

    Hope you dont have to buy a new copy of XP when you already paid for one.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006 6:43 AM
  • OK, the last 15 digits shown in my earlier post do NOT match the Product key on the COA label, as REDspot suggested I check.

    Unfortunately, when I ran the tool he directed me to, and entered the 25 digits that ARE on the COA, I was told they're not genuine.

    I am willing to pay $99 - where do I sign up for that?  When I tried to purchase something to fix this through the MS website (I hate the idea I'm running pirate software), I  got to a webpage asking for me to continue with the purchase, saying it'd be $281 - that just seems too steep, esp since I've paid for XP once already!

     

    Thanks

    Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:09 AM
  • Biddy,

    I would suggest you to fill the counterfiet report which would entitle you to a complimentary  Windows XP if Microsoft thinks that you have a quality counterfiet software.

    That would be the best course.

    If you want to purchase Win XP then the minimum price would be $99 for Home edition and $150 for Pro edition it depends on the version of XP your system currently has.  Taxes may increase the cost to some amount.

    But if I were you I would prefer filing a counterfiet report first before going to buy a new copy.

    If you follow the prompts of the notifications you will be directed to a page where you can either buy the software or file the counterfiet report.

    It may also happen that you are using a Pro version of XP while have a COA of Home or the other way round.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006 12:19 PM
  • Before you buy anything, tell us what version of XP, Home or Pro, is listed on the COA.

    Also tell us if you received any CDs from PC Company when you bought the computer.

    Look at the computer documentation---does it tell you anyhting about a hidden recovery partition?

    Look at Disk Management (Start>Run, type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter).  Does your hard disk show unlettered partitions?  If so, that could be the hidden recovery partition(s).

    Friday, May 26, 2006 1:10 AM
  • Hi Dan

    The COA lists XP Home Edition.

    The computer came with a CD, with "PC Co WIN XP Home Media Assy CD SP1 Part Number X09-02501PC" on the packet, and a "Product Recovery CD-ROM" in the packet. Unfortunately for your Free REplacement offer, it is not a holographic CD. It also came with a small 11-page booklet with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition version 2002". The booklet has a sticker saying "for distribution with a new PC Company PC only 0801 Part No. X08-42684"

    The documentation doesn't mention anything about hidden recovery partition.

    But, the start>run think does say, under Volume, (c:) and, below that on another line Recovery FAT32 Healthy (mind you, they both say Healthy, for what that's worth!)

     

    OK, so now maybe I should call in a technician?

    Meanwhile, as I say, I don't mind paying $100 - the techie will cost that anyway - but the websites (eg http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/purchase/BuyNowDetails.aspx?displaylang=en&Error=20&Loc=NZL&sGuid=7d6ac974-0b50-404b-a91d-85aaf1f871f8) say $281 - quite a lot more than $99...

     

    Thanks for your help

    Friday, May 26, 2006 6:14 AM
  • Biddy,

    I would bet big money that this is the situation:

    1.  Your computer came from PC Company with a properly licensed version of XP Home SP1 OEM SLP.  It is STILL properly licensed to run XP Home Edition and will be for as long as the computer is functional.

    2.  Somewhere along the line a copy of XP Pro with a Volume Licensing Key (VLK) was installed.  This can happen if you take the computer in for service and the techs are not a smart as they should be.  Or, if you ever asked a buddy to fix XP for you, they might have used a pirate copy of XP to do a repair reinstallation.

    3.  To get legal, you don't have to spend a dime, but you will have to change XPs and go back to XP Home.  Since there is no method to "revert" an XP Pro installation back to XP Home, you will have to offload your data to preserve it, then run the Recovery CD provided to you by PC Company when you bought the computer.  Along with the data on that recovery partition, it will reimage the C: partition of the hard disk so it will be the same as when you took the computer out of the box the day you bought it.  Then you'd go online, validate, then download SP2 and about a million other updates, and you'd have a 100% legal XP Home.

     

    If you decide that you would rather have XP Pro, then how you proceed depends upon which option is cheaper.  The XP Pro you have is a bad copy, so you'd want to compare the cost of getting legal thru the Microsost Genuine Offer ($149 to legalize XP Pro in the USA; maybe a higher price if you are outside the USA), to the cost of buying a retail copy of XP Pro Upgrade at a retail store, to the cost of buying a legitimate systembuilder/OEM copy of XP Pro.  The funny thing is that in the area where I am (Philadelphia, PA), all three options are about the same price, falling in the $139-169 price range.

    Friday, May 26, 2006 3:48 PM
  • Dan, I can't thank you enough.  The only time I had my PC repaired was about a week after I bought it - the PC Company had forgotten to connect the front facing cable ports, so I popped it back.  By then I had already validated my Windows.  Who knows what else they did!

    I'm happy to revent to XP, so have started the fun task of backing up all the personal data.

    Many thanks for your plain english and practical assistance, so simple that even a non geeky person could grasp it.

    Friday, May 26, 2006 8:35 PM
  • Dan:

     

    Thanks for the help!

     

    Biddy: I apologize for not addressing this post much earlier. Its in another section that we dont check quite as often as we'd like to be able to.

     

     

    -Phil Liu

    Friday, May 26, 2006 9:55 PM
  • Phil,

    You're welcome!

    I suspect that a lot of folks are in the same boat as Biddy.  They started out with a legit copy of XP installed at the factory.  Somewhere along the line a pirated XP was installed on their computers which is now being flagged by Validation.  In those cases, we just have to get them to reinstall the legitmate XP that came with the computer.

    Sometimes that can be painful in terms of investing a lot of time backing up, but heck they should already be backed up so in a way we are doing them a favor by forcing them to back up so they can revert from Pro to Home.

    Friday, May 26, 2006 10:05 PM
  • Biddy,

    You're welcome, it was my pleasure to help you.

    Friday, May 26, 2006 10:06 PM
  • my problem with microfoft word when iwant open any file in my docuament it open icon only with pecture admistration another proplem windows genuine not vildate. what is the solution
    Saturday, May 27, 2006 8:02 AM
  • Concerning your issue with Office I would recommend the following.

    In order to provide specific support for the issue you describe I would recommend you check your support options available for Windows here:

    www.support.microsoft.com

    As far as the validation issue you are experiencing could you please try the following steps.

    to troubleshoot validation problems we have provided the following diagnostic site:

     

    http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/diag/

     

     By following the directions on this site you may be able to resolve this issue. If this still fails please provide us with the diagnostics information from the WGA Diag Tool located here:

     

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

     

    By using the “copy” button you can paste the information in its entirety to the forum.

     

    Note: Never post Product Keys to the internet or these forums

     

    Hth

    dave

     

    Monday, May 29, 2006 6:00 AM