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Buying secondhand computer : how to check if windows Os (Xp) is legal prior to purchase? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am being ofered a secondhand PC (Tower only) with what is claimed to be a  legitimate copy of Windows Xp installed. however, I noted on a pcture sent that there may not have been no updates to the Windows OS, not even SP1.
    Therefore I am asking the seller if the windows is legitimate and an m being told that it is.
    Is there a w au I can check if it is legitimate, PRIOR to getting the computer and paying for it?
    for instance, I am being told there is a certificate of authenticity : is there a website or phone contact avaiable that will aloow me to check the product key and that it is registered to this particular machine?

    Thanks ! 
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 12:32 PM

Answers

  • Hi Johnrossa,

      You could have him download and Genuine Diagnostics tool (MGADiag.exe) at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012. One it is running, he should click the "Continue" button, click the "Copy" button then “Paste” the report into an email that he sends to you.

      This is the tool I use to troubleshoot Genuine issues here in the forums. Below I have included examples of the lines you will want to look at once you receive the report:


    Validation StatusGenuine  <--if that says "Genuine"= Good
    Anything else = Not Good

    Windows Product Key:        <--This will show the last 15 digits of the product key being used in that XP.  The last 15 digits is useless to anyone except you can copy the digits, go to http://bing.com, paste the digits into the search field and search.  If any websites are found that contain that Product Key, odds are very high that the key is Non-Genuine and = Not Good.

    Windows License TypeRetail  <--If that says "Volume" = Not Good. 
    Retail = Best 
    OEM = OK (but that XP is tied to that specific computer and can not be installed on any other computer)

    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.3.0.pro <--- this simply tells you what version of XP it is.
    .pro= XP Professional
    .hom = XP Home


    NOTE: The main drawback with using the Genuine Diagnostics tool is that when he pastes it into the email, it is in plain text and the person could easily edit the report, before he sends it. Or he could run the tool on a computer running Genuine XP, but sell you a computer running Non-Genuine XP.


    Hope that helps,
    Darin MS
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 7:57 PM

All replies

  • The only way to authenticate the product key is to connect the computer to the internet, then visit Genuine Microsoft Software and click on Validate Windows.
    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 3:32 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for this.
    What I need to do is different : i need to check BEFORE I get the computer, using the product key and any other info needed.
    Alternately, I could ask the seller to do what you suggest and send me the result, if you can suggest what they should send me  eg a screengrab that identifies what you say and that this is the Pc in question?
    thnaks.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 3:54 PM
  • Hi Johnrossa,

      You could have him download and Genuine Diagnostics tool (MGADiag.exe) at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012. One it is running, he should click the "Continue" button, click the "Copy" button then “Paste” the report into an email that he sends to you.

      This is the tool I use to troubleshoot Genuine issues here in the forums. Below I have included examples of the lines you will want to look at once you receive the report:


    Validation StatusGenuine  <--if that says "Genuine"= Good
    Anything else = Not Good

    Windows Product Key:        <--This will show the last 15 digits of the product key being used in that XP.  The last 15 digits is useless to anyone except you can copy the digits, go to http://bing.com, paste the digits into the search field and search.  If any websites are found that contain that Product Key, odds are very high that the key is Non-Genuine and = Not Good.

    Windows License TypeRetail  <--If that says "Volume" = Not Good. 
    Retail = Best 
    OEM = OK (but that XP is tied to that specific computer and can not be installed on any other computer)

    Windows OS version: 5.1.2600.2.00010100.3.0.pro <--- this simply tells you what version of XP it is.
    .pro= XP Professional
    .hom = XP Home


    NOTE: The main drawback with using the Genuine Diagnostics tool is that when he pastes it into the email, it is in plain text and the person could easily edit the report, before he sends it. Or he could run the tool on a computer running Genuine XP, but sell you a computer running Non-Genuine XP.


    Hope that helps,
    Darin MS
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 7:57 PM
  • Thank you, thats just what I wanted to know.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 8:56 PM