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Windows 7 Reports That it is not genuine

Posted on 2014-10-02
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Last Modified: 2014-10-10
A customer has an HP Pavilion with Windows 7 that is suddenly reporting that Windows is not genuine.  This customer is not sophisticated enough to install an OS other than the one the was delivered with the computer, and I certainly did not make that change.  I have scanned the machine with Superantispyware and ESET's online scanner.  The system ran clean.  I have run the Windows Repair from Tweakings.com and the Microsoft Fix-It.  And, I have tried restoring to a point before the problem occurred.

I doubt that the customer has the installation media, and I don't know if HP will supply a Windows 7 disk or a System Restore disk.

I would prefer not to reinstall Windows from scratch.  What can I do to get Windows to recognize that it is not counterfeit?
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Question by:rhavey
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aadih earned 2000 total points
ID: 40357522
Could you try to register again (through "change product key")?  What happens?

You could also call Microsoft.
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Expert Comment

by:Trenton Knew
ID: 40357524
Where did the customer purchase the computer from?  Also, does it have a windows 7 OEM key on the bottom of the machine?  Can you pull up the system properties and see what the Windows Version and product ID is?
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Expert Comment

by:Gabriel Clifton
ID: 40357540
I have seen this many times being done by a virus, run Malwarebytes antimalware from malwarebytes.org and combofix from bleepingcomputer.com. Once you have verified you are clean if it still reports invalid key, try to reregister.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 40357544
rhavey--
Sometimes a simple reboot will "fix" things.  Other times it gets more complicated
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28484847.html

A phone call to HP Support may help.

This is the standard procedure for activating Windows.  (nice graphics)
http://www.kodyaz.com/articles/how-to-activate-windows-7-by-phone.aspx
And here are some FAQ's
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Activating-Windows-7-frequently-asked-questions

If none of the above helps,  a phone call to Microsoft may be needed.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/activate-windows#1TC=windows-7
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Expert Comment

by:Trenton Knew
ID: 40357585
If you have an OEM license installed, and the license key is on a sticker on the bottom of the machine, I would try reinstalling the key.  These are two BIG IFs though.  Product ID should say OEM in it somewhere.  if so... you can do this from the command prompt
C:\>slmgr /upk
C:\>slmgr /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx  <--this is the product key from your oem sticker

Open in new window

Then attempt to activate windows again.

If you are using a different license type other than OEM, (or this MIGHT even work with the OEM license to do first,) you can try
C:\>slmgr /rearm

Open in new window

and then try to activate windows again.  This may fail if something has corrupted your product key some way.  

I'm assuming you've already ran malware scans.  (I recommend malwarebytes and TDSSKiller;  I have NEVER ONCE seen combofix be of any use to me.)
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40358839
i have also often seen that a low bios battery causes this, so check if it still reads 3 V at least for a CR2032 type
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Author Closing Comment

by:rhavey
ID: 40373313
I had tried to reenter the product key that I found with Magical Jellybean, and that did not work.  I was working remotely, so I had the customer read the Product ID off the sticker.  It took a couple of tries, but she finally got it right.  The computer is now OK.

IO don't know where the bogus Product ID came from.
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