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Vista validation/activation query


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#1 Expert Novice

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

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.

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#2 jhayz

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:04 PM

As there's no product key I can use so I'm unsure of how to proceed.

You can use Speccy http://www.piriform.com/speccy to acquire the OS's product key(serial key) or SIW http://www.gtopala.com/ for free. Then go here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932300

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#3 Expert Novice

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:50 AM

Thanks for the reply :-)

I tried both of those programs. Avira told SIW wanted to install some adware on the machine so I just removed that. When I tried to run the Speccy installer I was asked for an administrator password. Unfortunately we don't have that. I wonder if a factory reset might be the way to go, but might need the password for that too.

#4 Expert Novice

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:10 AM

i found a program called Product Key Finder which does exactly that and is allowed to run without the admin password but when I go to enter the key to reactivate I'm asked again for the admin password. A little progress but still stuck.

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

Ok, so I resorted to doing a factory reset. I was able to access this via F8 at start up and was not asked for an admin password.

On rebooting the machine I find it still requires activation so I used the product key obtained with Product Key Finder. This produces 0xc004e003 which I think means the code is already in use or is invalid in some other way.

Strange thing with this is despite now being on a factory fresh install on an Acer machine there is Toshiba branding popping up all over the place. I don't really know how these kinds of things work but i'm thinking someone has installed a hacked version of Vista from a Toshiba machine. That might explain why the product key stickers have been removed.

I'd welcome any thoughts to confirm or deny my suspicions but either way I've had enough of trying to fix this machine.

Thanks for reading so far.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

FWIW: Since it's a laptop, validation should be automatic once the factory restore was effected, IMO.

There is always telephonic activation.

Lastly, you could contact Acer and inquire about obtaining appropriate recovery disks for the system in question.

Louis

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:50 AM

Hi Louis, thanks. Yes, that's what I thought would happen. I did read of an issue with Vista SP2 making Vista appear un activated in some cases so maybe it was something to do with that.

The Toshiba stuff was strange though. Definitely something not right with that machine.




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