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Fake This Computer Is Not Running Genuine Windows

Posted on 2014-03-17
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
A customer is getting a persistent message "This computer is not running genuine Windows."  When I started, Windows would not update.  I  ran Malwarebytes and Windows Repair from Tweaking.com.  Malwarebytes did find some problems.  The updates installed after running Windows Repair, but I am still getting the not genuine message.

The computer is an unmodified Dell Inspiron 500 running 64-bit Windows 7.  So I know that Windows is Genuine.  System properties reports that Windows is Activated.

I will attempt to run Superantispyware in the AM, but where is this message coming from and how do I stop it?
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Question by:rhavey
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14 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 39935908
Does the Dell computer have a windows 7 sticker, and is it a home or professional version.  If someone installed windows 7 64 bit professional using a Dell disc, when the sticker on the computer says the computer is only have windows 7 home edition then it may activate for a little while until the computer verifies the operating system by one of the updates. This message is caused by an incorrectly activated version of windows. Normally inspiron computers were concerned home computers and came with the home edition of the software. When windows claims the system is not genuine then it will still run as a crippled version of windows. No way to have a desktop background, you will get the message saying that the computer is not running a guanine windows operating system and the only way is to solve this issue is to go to ms website and purchase a valid operating system. Or install the proper operating system that came with the computer.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 39935921
if you are positive that the sticker matches the version of windows that is installed. Problems due to Intel Rapid Storage Drivers.  check out this Microsoft article which may put some light on this issue. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/this-computer-is-not-running-genuine-windows-but/03a9b8e9-e80f-448c-8c4a-343553571d8b
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Scott Thomson
ID: 39935922
On top of this if you do believe it is the propper operating system that is installed with the machine then you must contact MS as someone may have used the key made with a keygen etc.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 39935982
inspiron 500?  is that the correct model?
i can't find that model on dell's support site and searching around i find an inspiron 500m notebook that is 10+ years old

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/Products/desktop/inspiron_desktop
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 39936042
If this computer is over 10 years old then it definitely did not come with windows 7 when purchased and the validation sticker is probably windows xp but maybe vista. So windows 7 must have been installed after the person bought the computer.  So it may be possible that the user does not have a valid product key to register the installation on this machine. One other thing that MS does it checks the time/date to see if they seem valid.  If the hardware does not match the hardware that was previously used to activate the system the validation will fail. I would talk to your customer to find out how windows 7 got installed on this system.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Pramod Ubhe
ID: 39936501
Please try system restore to a point where you know that system was operating correctly -

%systemroot%\system32\rstrui.exe
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rhavey
ID: 39936843
Thank you.  System Restore is not possible.  The customer says that the problem has been there for months.  I have no idea why she waited so long to tell me.  Apparently System Restore had been turned off until yesterday when I made a restore point in Windows repair.

The popup does say Windows Activation Technologies.  Is this a Microsoft dialog or something coming in from somewhere else?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 39937731
Did you check with your customer how she got the windows 7 installed on her computer in the first place? If she has media and a product key she can provide them to you and you can try reactivating windows using the product key she gives to you.  If you have the product key then to reactivate the pc follow the steps in this guideline: http://www.theeldergeek.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=47316

Try following this article if you do not have a product key handy. This will remove the update that windows installs to check the validity of the operating system.
http://temcam.com/2013/10/25/how-to-fix-windows-7-not-genuine-error/
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 39937887
that sounds like some kind of spyware
if windows wasn't activated and was passed the grace period, the background would turn black and the bottom right above the task bar would say that windows is not genuine
i have not seen a microsoft dialog box to that effect
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39938961
rhavey, can you confirm the pc model ?  is it that old?
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
rhavey earned 0 total points
ID: 39940092
As I said in my original post:  "The computer is an unmodified Dell Inspiron 500 running 64-bit Windows 7."  This particular customer bought directly from Dell and did not do anything to upgrade or modify it - at least not on purpose.  I don't know who set it up for her, but after that, I fixed a couple of minor problems a few months ago and no one else has worked on it.

Having said all of that, I found a reference to an Intel driver (iata_enu.exe) update that could cause the problem.  I don't know whether that did any good because the article recommended booting twice and I got sidetracked before completing 2 reboots - the message came back.

The genesis of the problem appears to be a Microsoft Update (kb971033) that was behaving badly.  There were a few recommendations to uninstall the update or to move or delete the C:\windows\system32\WAT folder, but they seemed like the sort of thing that will come back to bite me.  Another article suggested just going ahead and revalidating Windows.  By the time I saw that one I had run Malwarebytes, Superantispyware, and Eset's online scanner, and the there was no detected Malware.  The message was no longer on screen, so I went to www.microsoft.com\genuine\validate and ran the Validation Tool.

The computer has run all night without a problem and the customer has been instructed to call me if the problem comes back.

I am going to close this thread.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 39940371
I have suggested to reactivate the system, but you are trying to award the points to yourself. ID: 39937731
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:rhavey
ID: 39940764
Reactivation was not available. I had to find the validation site.  No, I don't know the difference.

I don't get any points for closing my question - nor would I want any.
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:rhavey
ID: 39949808
I stumbled on the solution in another forum.  The B grade is because I could not prove success.  I will not be comfortable unless the system runs trouble free for a week or so.
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