This copy of Windows not genuine - IMPOSSIBLE!

Windows 7 Pro X64 is a system I have used for years!!! Current Build: 7601.
Problem: Booted up my Lenovo Laptop, suddenly in the lower right-hand corner:
"This copy of Windows is not genuine"
THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE - I have used this system for years!!!
I do not know what happened? Why? Or how to fix this.
Please Help!  GadgetDude
GadgetDudeAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
There could have been some hardware changes or some about the hardware altered (and perhaps you were unaware).

Lenovo keep the key on the bottom or under the battery.

Call Microsoft Store / Activation and explain the issue. Have the OEM key available. They should arrange for re-activation. The number to call should come up in the web activation screen.
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Rob MinersCommented:
Did you get an error code?

Windows 7 displays "Windows is not Genuine" with an error code of 0x80070005

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2008385
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GadgetDudeAuthor Commented:
Well, for me, it gets even more weird!!!
We should call this: "The Case of the Vanishing ID" which has been beamed to another dimension and back. LOL
When checking "My Computer," in both Standard and Admin accounts, the product was listed as not activated; and, no product ID.
HOWEVER (And here is the weird part): when I rebooted the laptop; suddenly, "My Computer," says not only is Windows activated - but also: there is a product ID! (Which, or course, I wrote down).

So there you have it: one moment its not there (not activated) and the next moment it reappears.
I apologize; but, THIS IS WEIRD!!!
GadgetDude
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It may have simply been a bad startup. That happens with Windows 7 occasionally.
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Rob MinersCommented:
Sounds like a transporter accident, yep have to restart to rematerialize properly. LOL
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jcimarronCommented:
GadgetDude--
Hard drive failure?  Run the diagnostic offered by the maker of the hard drive.
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aadihCommented:
Please give credit where credit is due: My invisible windows activation magic.

Do not forget to assign the points, however, for this invisible help, invisibly. ;-)
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GadgetDudeAuthor Commented:
OK, you guys/gals are starting to scare me. I thought the problem was weird; well, maybe some of the "solutions are weird.  LOL
We've been here for millions of years. In fact, we were here first - you are the aliens.   LOL

FREAKY!

P.S. I will think about the more "real" solutions.
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GadgetDudeAuthor Commented:
John Hurst & JCimmaron:
I will consider your suggestions and get back to you.
GadgetDude

P.S. Watch out for the others; they are scary?!  LOL
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 7 does have temporary issues from time to time. Nothing scary about it.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I've seen this on several systems -- from Lenovo, HP, and Dell -- and I suspect it happens on others as well.    One common denominator is they are generally using Microsoft Security Essentials.    I THINK it's a race condition during boot where the activation check occurs prior to Security Essentials "genuine" check ... and the result is that message.    Not certain, however, as it's fairly rare and I'm using resolving it via phone with a friend/client.

A reboot will almost always resolve it ... occasionally it takes a couple of them.
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GadgetDudeAuthor Commented:
Pursuant to JCIMMARON:
Using "Lenovo Solutions Center" ran a complete series of tests and the laptop Passed all but two tests.
The 2 failures were: [1] SMART short self-test; and, [2] SMART driver self-test.
(I know nothing about these SMART tests)

So far, I agree with that the only viable solution thus far seems to be a simple reboot of the laptop.
A single Restart seems to resolve the issue; but, at best, it is a temporary workaround.

GadgetDude
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GadgetDudeAuthor Commented:
Pursuant to JCIMMARON's comments:
Using Lenovo's "Lenovo Solutions Center" a series of complete diagnostic tests were run on the laptop. 98% Passed. Only 2 Failed: [1] SMART short self-test; and [2] SMART drive self-test (something to do with the hd?)
Lenovo-Solution-Center-Log-File.pdf
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... A single Restart seems to resolve the issue; but, at best, it is a temporary workaround. "  ==>  It's not really temporary.    This issue usually goes away permanently once you reboot.    I HAVE seen cases where it re-occurs from time-to-time, but it's always resolved with a reboot ... and usually does not come back.
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jcimarronCommented:
GadgetDude--
When I suggested running a diagnostic scan of the hard drive I meant using the tool offered by the maker of the hard drive
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
I see your hard drive is made by Western Digital.  But I do not know anything about Lenovo's "Lenovo Solutions Center" so do not know if Western Digital's test would give different results.
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GadgetDudeAuthor Commented:
Filled with gratitude, I take your comments under advisement and will get back soon.

P.S. Just a side thought: that WD Hard Drive is 500 GB. Yes or No, is it possible to put a larger HD into a laptop or must I use an external HD that somehow attaches to a laptop.
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jcimarronCommented:
GadgetDude--
Any SATA drive that is 2.5'' wide and 3.75" high should work.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You can replace your drive with a larger drive as long as it's not larger than the laptop can accomodate.    While all 2.5" drives are a standard length and width, the thickness does vary -- and most laptops won't accomodate drives higher than 9.5mm.     Many of the largest drives (1.5 & 2 TB) are 15mm high, and will NOT fit in most laptops.

But any drive that's 9.5mm (or less) in height will fit with no problem.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have not seen a 9.5mm laptop drive for a long time. My 1Tb drive for my recent laptop is 7mm thick.
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GadgetDudeAuthor Commented:
member was spot on
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