My friends dad has bought her a 2nd hand laptop. He knows nothing about computers and neither does she. I know a little more and she's asked me to have look at it.
It's an Acer Aspire, AMD Dual-Core Mobile RM74 2.20 running Vista Home Premium with SP2. On booting the machine the first thing that happens after logging on is a window appears telling us we need to activate Vista. If I cancel that and carry on to the desktop there's a message in the bottom right of the screen saying ''build 6002 This copy of windows is not genuine.'' Microsoft Security essentials also pops up with a similar message. I found a thread on here with a similar issue
and would try the "change product key" solution mentioned but the stickers on the bottom of the laptop have worn off/been removed. As there's no product key I can use so I'm unsure of how to proceed.
From using the command 'systeminfo' I can see the o/s was originally installed in Jan 2009 so I'm guessing the install has been on the machine since it was new and probably is genuine.
There are two things I'd like to know at this stage;
1. Is there any other way to confirm whether the Vista installation is genuine or not? For example can I look for certain system files that would only be present in a genuine version?
2. If I don't have the activation key is there any other way round the issue? (Assuming the install is verified as genuine). I read elsewhere there's another issue where an early version of Vista SP2 has a bug which gave a similar issue and the solution there was simply to uninstall and re install SP2. I don't want to remove SP2 unless I know I'm going to be able to reinstall it, which I won't be able to do if the install really isn't genuine.
I'd appreciate and thoughts you may have regarding how best to proceed.