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Win XP Pro suddenly not genuine?? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Several months ago I bought a fully legit copy of Win XP Pro from a repuatable seller, complete with a CoA (containing a holograpic 'OUR PASSION' micro holographic ribbon), and a holographic Win XP Professional disc (clearly a MS disc).

    I've owned this disc and CoA for almost year now and have installed it only ONCE.  Yesterday, after booting up, on the Dell inspiron 8600 I had it installed on, my desktop is now black and and Windows is saying it's not genuine.  The fact that my key has worked fine thus far suggests that this is a false positive.  We're a commercial software development shop that buys all our software through legit channels and this is how we're rewarded??  As other posters have stated, it's entirely inappropriate for a key to go from genuine to not-genuine since we have zero recourse now that it's X months later from the 3rd party we purchased it from.  On top of that, given the CoA and disc I'm holding in my hands, EVERTHING SAYS THAT WE HAVE A GENUINE COPY.  The CoA reads "Windows XP Professional" and "OEM Software" on the following line.

    Andy O'Meara
    SoundSpectrum Inc

    Here's the WGADiag report:

     

    Diagnostic Report (1.9.0027.0):
    -----------------------------------------
    Windows Validation Data-->
    Validation Status: Blocked PID
    Validation Code: 11
    Cached Validation Code: N/A
    Windows Product Key: *****-*****-B3HTY-C86H8-7MTJQ
    Windows Product Key Hash: +cvfc8mHV8P9ypO8gg0m2XN5Y6Q=
    Windows Product ID: 76487-111-7096454-22236
    Windows Product ID Type: 5
    Windows License Type: Retail
    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.3.0.pro
    ID: {99EC31D7-E6C2-4EC9-9C5C-F4B4CAB9319D}(3)
    Is Admin: Yes
    TestCab: 0x0
    LegitcheckControl ActiveX: Registered, 1.9.42.0
    Signed By: Microsoft
    Product Name: N/A
    Architecture: N/A
    Build lab: N/A
    TTS Error: N/A
    Validation Diagnostic: 025D1FF3-230-1
    Resolution Status: N/A

    Vista WgaER Data-->
    ThreatID(s): N/A
    Version: N/A

    Windows XP Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: 11
    File Exists: Yes
    Version: 1.9.40.0
    WgaTray.exe Signed By: Microsoft
    WgaLogon.dll Signed By: Microsoft

    OGA Notifications Data-->
    Cached Result: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
    Version: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
    OGAExec.exe Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
    OGAAddin.dll Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

    OGA Data-->
    Office Status: 109 N/A
    OGA Version: N/A, 0x80070002
    Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
    Office Diagnostics: 025D1FF3-230-1

    Browser Data-->
    Proxy settings: N/A
    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Win32)
    Default Browser: E:\Documents and Settings\aomeara\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.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>{99EC31D7-E6C2-4EC9-9C5C-F4B4CAB9319D}</UGUID><Version>1.9.0027.0</Version><OS>5.1.2600.2.00010100.3.0.pro</OS><Architecture>x32</Architecture><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-7MTJQ</PKey><PID>76487-111-7096454-22236</PID><PIDType>5</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-2052111302-842925246-839522115</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>Dell Computer Corporation</Manufacturer><Model>Inspiron 8600                   </Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>Dell Computer Corporation</Manufacturer><Version>A14</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="3"/><Date>20050630000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>EA6A3607018400F2</HWID><UserLCID>0409</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0409</SystemLCID><TimeZone>Central Standard Time(GMT-06:00)</TimeZone><iJoin>0</iJoin><SBID><stat>3</stat><msppid></msppid><name></name><model></model></SBID><OEM/><GANotification><File Name="WgaTray.exe" Version="1.9.40.0"/><File Name="WgaLogon.dll" Version="1.9.40.0"/></GANotification></MachineData><Software><Office><Result>109</Result><Products/><Applications/></Office></Software></GenuineResults> 

     




    • Edited by andy55 Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:27 PM
    Monday, March 21, 2011 3:31 PM

Answers

  • Hello Andy,

    I have looked up this key and it is showing as a Blocked Korean language MSDN Key.

     

    MSDN Keys are only obtainable as part of a MSDN Subscription (that cost between $700 to $10,000 depending on the subscription level)

    In addition, an MSDN Key can not be sold separate from it's MSDN Subscription and the key is only valid to be used by the owner of the MSDN Subscription that the key originated from.

     

    Unfortunately, this copy of Windows XP is non-Genuine.


    Darin MS
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:51 PM
    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:48 PM

All replies

  • From your MGA Report:

    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.3.0.pro
    Windows License Type: Retail
    Validation Status: Blocked PID

    As you can see, the installed copy of Windows XP Professional is a "retail" and not an "OEM" version.  This retail version has a pirated Windows XP Professional product key and that it why it has been blocked.  In the future, puirchase your Microsoft software from proven, reputable sources such as the Microsoft Store.


    Carey Frisch
    Monday, March 21, 2011 9:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello andy55,

    Just to clarify, as far as you know, did you think you were purchasing an OEM license for Windows XP Pro, or a retail license for XP Pro?

    Can you confirm that the partial product key shown in the mgadiag report, *****-*****-B3HTY-C86H8-7MTJQ, corresponds to the product key printed on your purchased product's CoA? Please do NOT post the full product key.

    The vast majority of Dell Inspiron 8600 laptops came from Dell with an OEM licensed installation of Windows XP, which would be reflected in a CoA for such being affixed to the underside of the laptop. Can you confirm that there is a CoA for Windows XP on the laptop? If so, what edition of XP is listed on the CoA? Again, please do not post the product key.

    Have you discussed this issue with the seller, and if so, what did they say?

    Monday, March 21, 2011 11:45 PM
  •  

    Carey,

    Tell me, how would I (or anyone) have any ability to know that the hologram disc and legit CoA wouldn't be valid in a year? Why it was usable for a year then it MS decides to turn it off?  What if MS is in error here?  How would I know and be able to correct it?  What recourse does a person in my position have?

    Obviously these questions suggest the brokenness of the current system and how it punishes honest customers more than it does pirates (since honest people lose valuable productivity time and paid $$ at one point).  It seems to me MS is acting as if it has the legal right to remotely and arbitrarily revoke a license key that was once valid but has since been fouled by a third party.  If this wasn't the case, why do I now own an authentic CoA and disc that now entitles me to absolutely nothing?  It's not like someone else has the CoA (with matching product key) that I have.

    We've been a 6 man software shop for almost ten years now, developing OS X and Windows software.  Our software has been directly licensed by both Apple and the Windows Media Center team in the past, so when you/MS send this kind of message to real-world developers--that a legit CoA printed via MS channels is worthless--then guess how eager we'll be to continue supporting Windows (btw, guess we're now developing on one less Windows machine).   In my hand, I'm holding an authentic CoA and MS hologram disc -- how does it make any sense that we're shut out of using this Windows key AND have no recourse??  Seems to me that if someone can produce a CoA and authentic disc then they should be entitled to a product key re-issue.  If holding a "CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY" certifies nothing, then why does it exist in the first place??  Obviously, i'm not heart broken over the $150 or whatever we paid, but it's the principle of this issue that's worth communicating.

    Next time the MS brass meets to figure out why MS is steadily losing market share to Apple and Google in every space that matters, tell them than to look no further than the posts of legit customers in this forum.  I know you're just trying to do your job, but please pass up the chain how broken things are and these practices are PERMANENTLY killing off prospective MS customers. 

    Andy O'Meara
    SoundSpectrum Inc 





    • Edited by andy55 Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:45 PM
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 7:57 PM
  • These days, its more important to investigate, check references, and research a track record with a supplier before doing business with them.  If you are dealing with a reputable seller, there should be no problem with obtaining a full refund.  If they refuse, then you know who you are dealing with.

    Please review: What is a Certificate of Authenticity (COA)? and Windows XP Professional – How to Tell and The Counterfeit Software Gallery


    Carey Frisch

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello andy55,

    Just to clarify, as far as you know, did you think you were purchasing an OEM license for Windows XP Pro, or a retail license for XP Pro?

    Can you confirm that the partial product key shown in the mgadiag report, *****-*****-B3HTY-C86H8-7MTJQ, corresponds to the product key printed on your purchased product's CoA? Please do NOT post the full product key.

    The vast majority of Dell Inspiron 8600 laptops came from Dell with an OEM licensed installation of Windows XP, which would be reflected in a CoA for such being affixed to the underside of the laptop. Can you confirm that there is a CoA for Windows XP on the laptop? If so, what edition of XP is listed on the CoA? Again, please do not post the product key.

    Have you discussed this issue with the seller, and if so, what did they say?

    To be perfectly honest, at the time of purchase what mattered is that I had a legit WinXP Pro CoA, disc, and product key.  I didn't know or care that it was a 'retail' or 'OEM' key as long as it was legit.  My reasoning was that when it installed and validated properly on my machine, then that told me that everything was good to go and legit.  To me, the logic was clear: if WinXP validated with the MS servers *and* I owned both a hologram CoA and disc, then what did I possibly have to worry about?  Sure enough, the seller on ebay made these assurances and they were met to my satisfaction. I'll even go further and say that if the product key validated fine, the person that sold it to me couldn't have done anything more since it was their legal right to sell their copy to me.   

    I'm sure someone is going to come back with some licensing loophole that invalidates what I'm saying, but every single person here knows what is and isn't right.  MS can't hand out CoAs acting as if they mean something only to say they're sorry to every CoA holder who's product key got turned off for who knows what reason.  I mean, it's not like I have a volume license key; there's only one CoA with my product key.  In other words, since I own a legit CoA and disc, I should be entitled to a product key re-issue.  And when I say "re-issue" I don't mean spending time filling out some obtuse form that will be filed away in an inbox that maybe some MS-contractor intern will get to in 2020.  Let's be real people here?

    As for the info, yes, that key matches what's on the CoA.  The CoA that came with that machine is still on the bottom of it and is for WinXP Home (and has no value to me since it's for WinXP Home).  Would it help if I posted a photo of my CoA and WinXP Pro hologram disc?

    As for discussing it with the original seller, as I stated with Carey, I have no recourse now that it's been almost a year since I bought it.  And for good reason: how would he know that I wasn't the cause for that product key getting turned off??  

    Last but not least, I don't know why *I* have the burden of proof when I'm the one with the valid hologram CoA and disc.  I would happily mail them off in exchange for a license key reissue (if that option was available).  

     

     





    • Edited by andy55 Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:08 PM
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:37 PM
  • These days, its more important to investigate, check references, and research a track record with a supplier before doing business with them.  If you are dealing with a reputable seller, there should be no problem with obtaining a full refund.  If they refuse, then you know who you are dealing with.

    Please review: What is a Certificate of Authenticity (COA)? and Windows XP Professional – How to Tell and The Counterfeit Software Gallery

     


    Carey Frisch

     

    Yeah, I could have gotten a refund AT THE TIME, but I received a sealed disc and CoA containing a product key that VALIDATED WITHOUT EVENT.  Now that it's almost a year later, with the key suddenly being turned off by MS, asking for a refund isn't possible for ANY legit seller.  How does that seller know I wasn't the cause for that product key getting turned off??  How you can *possibly* read this story and not recognize the absurdity of what you're saying. 

    Also Carey, you didn't address a single point or question of mine by the way.  How do I know MS didn't turn off my key in error?  Or what if my product key happened to be generated in someone's keygen and caused it to get turned off?  The fact that you don't even acknowledge this seems to suggest you have no interest in helping me or anyone out in any meaningful way.  

     



    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:41 PM
  • There's your answer: "the seller on eBay".  It is a well-known fact that seller's of pirated software love auction web sites.  Here today and gone tomorrow!  Reminds me of the time a couple of years ago when I purchased a well-known, expensive bottle of perfume on eBay for far less than actual market value.  When the item arrived, the packaging looked perfect in every detail.  However, the perfume was not perfume...just colored water!  Lesson learned!

    In your case, it seems that the eBay seller sold the exact same Windows XP COA (product key) to many others, therefore rendering the license as non-genuine.  So how were you to know this?  Well, you really can't when dealing with individual "here today, gone tomorrow" eBay sellers. 


    Carey Frisch

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:48 PM
    Moderator
  • There's your answer: "the seller on eBay".  It is a well-known fact that seller's of pirated software love auction web sites.  Here today and gone tomorrow!  Reminds me of the time a couple of years ago when I purchased a well-known, expensive bottle of perfume on eBay for far less than actual market value.  When the item arrived, the packaging looked perfect in every detail.  However, the perfume was not perfume...just colored water!  Lesson learned!
    Carey Frisch

    Yeah, because counterfeit perfume is exactly like buying a truly authentic CoA and hologram Windows disc.  

    The fact that it was bought on ebay has absolutely *no* bearing on the facts of what's at hand.  How many times do I have to say that I have in my possession a legit hologram CoA, hologram disc, and license key.  Perhaps you'd like me to take a picture of them with today's newspaper and post it here? 

    Sorry Carey, but it's clear you have no interest in offering meaningful help.  







    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:52 PM
  • Fact is you do not have, unfortunately, a genuine, authentic Windows XP CD and COA.  You said the label states it is an OEM version, yet the forensic analysis (using the MGA Tool) shows a retail license.  And you initially stated "We're a commercial software development shop that buys all our software through legit channels and this is how we're rewarded??".  Really, purchasing a product from a lone wolf eBay seller is considered legit? C'mon now!
    Carey Frisch
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:24 PM
    Moderator
  • And you initially stated "We're a commercial software development shop that buys all our software through legit channels and this is how we're rewarded??".  Really, purchasing a product from a lone wolf eBay seller is considered legit? C'mon now!
    Carey Frisch

    First of all, there's absolutely nothing wrong with buying software from a third party seller (or someone is selling their legit licensed copy of a software product).  The fact that you imply otherwise is astonishingly naive as well as foolish.   

    Second, you've provided no "forensic analysis" in any form.  Tell me how a "lone wolf" produces an authentic hologram CoA and disc?  By you own logic, the MS validation servers never would have validated a given product key THE FIRST TIME if my product key wasn't legit. 


    • Edited by andy55 Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:28 PM
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:38 PM
  • I've been helping users in this Microsoft Genuine Advantage Forum since its inception in 2006 and have yet to see a "false postive" issue.

    Q.  "How and why would have the MS servers validated my product key several months ago if the product key wasn't legit?"

    A.  Since the first time you activated your retail copy of Windows XP, the seller evidently sold other copies of the same software to other non-suspecting users.  When the activation servers see a pattern of the same Windows XP license actvated on several different computers, a pattern of software license misuse emerges and that license falls into the "non-genuine" category.

    If you would like to communicate directly with Microsoft regarding your issue, please see: Windows Genuine Advantage Support


    Carey Frisch
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:49 PM
    Moderator
  • Q.  "How and why would have the MS servers validated my product key several months ago if the product key wasn't legit?"

    A.  Since the first time you activated your retail copy of Windows XP, the seller evidently sold other copies of the same software to other non-suspecting users.  When the activation servers see a pattern of the same Windows XP license actvated on several different computers, a pattern of software license misuse emerges and that license falls into the "non-genuine" category.

    If this is the case, then how would have this seller been able to distribute multiple copies of a hologram disc and CoA?  I can see what you're saying be the case if this person was able to mass-produce counterfeit COAs and "edge-to-edge" hologram discs, but I seem to be staring at a legit rose-colored COA, complete with a hologram strip.


    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:06 PM
  • Hello andy55,

    Thank you for providing the requested info.

    Please insert the disc into a computer and navigate to the /i386 folder on the disc, and locate the setupp.ini file.  This is a small text file with two sections.  Please copy and paste the second section into a response.  There is nothing in this part of the file that can be considered unique to your disc or product key.

    Edit:  Also, could you verify that your disc has "For distribution with a new PC only.  For product support, contact the manufacturer of the PC" printed in the hologram in the upper left quadrant.

    Also, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, I would like to take you up on your offer to post a hi-res pic of the disc and CoA.  However, if you do, please block out the Product Key.  This forum does not accept pic uploads, so you'll have to post the pic(s) on a server or free pic host and provide a link in your response.

    I am also bringing your thread to the attention of Darin Smith, the MS moderator, who can research the genuineness and activation history (if any) of this particular product key and let us know of any important info that he uncovers about it.

    As an FYI, Microsoft did have a free replacement program from 2006-2010 for people who were inadvertent purchasers of hi-quality counterfeit Windows and Office discs, but that part of the WGA program was concluded last year.

    • Edited by Dan at IT Associates Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:44 PM added para about what's printed on disc
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:29 PM
  • Hi Dan,

    Thanks for writing.

    Here's what's in setupp.ini:

     

    [Pid]
    ExtraData=786F687170637175716954806365EF
    Pid=76487000

     

    And as for the disc, yes, in the top left there's "Licensed for distribution only with a new PC." followed by "For product support, contact..." in smaller text.

    I'm at the office at the moment without a suitable camera, but tonight or tomorrow I'll use my digital camera and post a link to some nice pin-ups.

    As for activation history, sure, I'd be curious to hear any info.  This copy has was used once and only once around last summer for a fresh install to set up one of our in-house build machines (the Dell 8600) and has sat on the bookcase in my office since.  If Darin ends up looking at IP logs, our office is located in Austin TX (and is where the activation for our key originated).

    Thanks,

    Andy



    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8:42 PM
  • Hello Andy,

    I have looked up this key and it is showing as a Blocked Korean language MSDN Key.

     

    MSDN Keys are only obtainable as part of a MSDN Subscription (that cost between $700 to $10,000 depending on the subscription level)

    In addition, an MSDN Key can not be sold separate from it's MSDN Subscription and the key is only valid to be used by the owner of the MSDN Subscription that the key originated from.

     

    Unfortunately, this copy of Windows XP is non-Genuine.


    Darin MS
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:51 PM
    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:48 PM
  •  

    MSDN Keys are only obtainable as part of a MSDN Subscription (that cost between $700 to $10,000 depending on the subscription level)

    In addition, an MSDN Key can not be sold separate from it's MSDN Subscription and the key is only valid to be used by the owner of the MSDN Subscription that the key originated from.

     

    Unfortunately, this copy of Windows XP is non-Genuine.


    Darin MS

     

    First, whatever the source key, I apparently have a CoA that says I have title to that copy.  Now, are you saying that my CoA is fake?  Please make unambiguously clear that is it your position that I hold a CoA that was fraudulently fabricated by a third party with the intent to deceive.  If this is not your position, kindly explain what the precise legal meaning of the "Certificate of Authenticity" I hold in my hand is. 

    Second, the original asking price of the product is immaterial if the title was legally transferred to me via a vanilla property transaction.  

    Frankly, I'm disturbed at how many resources MS, you, and other moderators put into basically saying that I'm out of luck no matter what case I present. As I stated to Carey, Microsoft's leadership has to understand that it's going nowhere except into the sunset when they abandon customers who did their best to be honest.  I realize you're just doing your job, that your hands are tied, and so on, but take a step back for a second and ask yourself if the common-sense conclusion of all of this is to deny issuing a new product key for WinXP, a discontinued software product that takes exactly zero cents to issue a new product key for.  And may I ask what your job title is Darin?  

    So is it the case I have one more story to share with industry colleagues on how broken MS has become? 

    For those that care:

    http://www.soundspectrum.com/support/clientdownloads.html?token=D8WCB96PT541

     

    Andy O'Meara
    SoundSpectrum Inc

     












    • Edited by andy55 Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:36 PM
    Thursday, March 24, 2011 6:56 PM
  • Hello Andy,

    Carey and I are volunteer "helpers."  Carey has been around MS forums much longer than I (although we are contemporaries in this WGA forum) and has earned an MVP designation.  http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/

    Darin Smith is an actual Microsoft employee.  I'll leave it to Darin to discuss the details of his forum responsibilities, if he chooses to do so.

    Unfortunately, counterfeiters make their livings by learning to game the system.  What happened in your case is very similar to what is an active and ongoing scam with Windows 7 counterfeits.  The counterfeiters take advantage of a Microsoft software distribution plan called the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)---as a software developer yourself, you may very well be familiar with it.  Developers can pay for a subscription to MSDN at varying participation levels, and once enrolled, are permitted to download, install, and activate a wide variety of Microsoft products.  MSDN subscriptions entitle the subscriber to software that is licensed in the retail distribution channel, and subscribers are permitted to install and activate the software numerous times on their computers, as it is assumed that the nature of their development activity would require them to test the software on many different hardware and/or software configurations.  Because these product keys are assumed to be moving to many different computers and configurations, they are permitted a much wider latitude by the Microsoft Activation servers as to how often they can be activated and on how many computers they can be activated on.  So activity on a given product key that would normally be flagged by the Activation servers a suspicous (in the sense that a key was being activated on too many computers at the same time or within a given time frame) is not deemed suspicious if the product key is an MSDN key.

    So that is the opening that the counterfeiters are using.  They press very "good" looking counterfeit discs, package them with "good" looking counterfeit CoAs that have the MSDN product keys printed on them, and then mass produce them and dump them on the unsuspecting consumers thru third-partys selling on eBay, Amazon marketplace, and fly-by-nite websites.  Since the product key is a real product key issued by Microsoft, it activates and validates.

    Over the course of time the MS activation servers will detect that this abused MSDN product key, which the counterfeiters printed on fake CoAs, that should be activated tens of times over the course of a few months, is instead being activated many tens or hundreds of times within a shorter period, because they key was printed on many tens or hundreds of fake CoAs affixed to many tens or hundreds of fake packaged discs and sold to consumers who are now installing the fake product.  At some unpublished threshhold, as the servers see this same key being activated way too much, the servers will flag the key and MS staff will investigate, and if it turns out the key has been compromised by counterfeiters, they will block the key.

    This is happening right now with Windows 7, just visit the Windows 7 section of this forum and look at the posts regarding MSDN keys.

    In your case, the physical evidence is the smoking gun.  As the report showed, the license installed on your computer by the package you bought is "retail."  MSDN product keys are retail licensed keys.  Yet the labeling on your disc is for a systembuilder/OEM disc, and the CoA is for a systembuilder/OEM license.  The final bit of evidence is the part of the setupp.ini file that I asked you to post.  A genuine OEM disc would have the letters "OEM" in the position of the Pid= value where there are now three zeros.

    In your case, the counterfeiters acquired a genuine Microsoft MSDN product key for Windows XP Pro.  Then they printed an unknown number of fake systembuilder/OEM CoAs with this MSDN product key.  Then they copied the contents of a retail licensed disc and manufacturered many of them, and mislabeled them as systembuilder/OEM discs to match the fake systembuilder/OEM CoAs.  Package them up, and send them off to the consumer.  The product key is real, so they will install and activate.  Once that particular key wears out its welcome, it gets flagged and understandably irate customers post here demanding an explanation :-)

    Have a VERY close look at your disc.  Is the hologram embedded within the plastic of the disc or is it a very thin label affixed to the top?  Genuine disc has an embedded hologram.

    Have a VERY close look at your CoA.  Are the portholes clean cut holes or more like feathered edged holes?  Genuine has feathered.  Is the metallic thread interwoven within the label or does it run under the label?  Genuine is interwoven.  Upon examination with a magnifying glass, does the thread read "Our passion" in two rows mirrored against each other?

    Thursday, March 24, 2011 7:58 PM
  •  

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for writing and being detailed in your post.  As an aside, I'm a little mystified as to what motivates you and Carey to spend so much time as "volunteers", but I digress.  As volunteers, you two seem to harbor a lot of unexplainable enthusiasm and support for Microsoft and their practices because of how damaging it can be for a company to be found engaging in astroturfing.  I would say Microsoft is above such practices but unfortunately has engaged in them in the past:

    http://techrights.org/2007/11/23/astroturfing-microsoft-examples

    Anyway, did you get a change to inspect the image I took and linked to in my previous post?  So is your claim that the disc and CoA in my photo are counterfeit? I'd like an official MS source to state that they have reviewed my photo and are confident that it's counterfeit.  That seems reasonable, yes?

    Andy





    Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:52 PM
  • Hello andy55,

    It's very difficult to evaluate installation discs from a photo, no matter the resolution.  Only the worst fake discs are bad enough to look bad in a photo.  In person when looking for the quality of a stereogram and whether another image changes when the viewing angle changes, it's much more effective.  Having written that, the wavy edge looks suspicious---put your pinky fingernail at the edge of the disc and see if it catches on the edge of the label when slid toward the center.  The Windows flag stereogram looks a little fuzzy to be real.

    That CoA looks pretty bad to me.  The holographic thread does not appear to be all that holographic and the Our Passion is wrong, it does not appear to be interwoven into the label, and the port hole cutouts are the sore thumb, they are too clean and have a goofy toothing to them.  The background image is missing all of the microprinting that really comprises the image.

    Although the disc would appear to have some irregularities and the CoA is a pretty lame counterfeit, the clincher is that a purportedly OEM disc and product key/CoA combination in reality installed a retail licensed installation of Windows.

    Added:  Is the CoA stuck to the plain white disc envelope?  If it came that way, that's most certainly a strike against genuineness, as the OEM CoA is supposed to come on the shrink wrap of the User Guide Pamphlet, on a peel-off backing, because it is eventually supposed to be affixed to the computer.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:02 PM
  • Hello andy55,

    Just happened to see this today:  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363041,00.asp

    Friday, March 25, 2011 4:24 PM