Posted 15 February 2007 - 05:45 PM
I'm asking for a friend. Really. It's not a problem I'm having.
He's used the same copy of XP Corp for years with the same Volume License Key. He has 4 computers (3 desktops and a laptop), and he reviews software to see how they stand up with various system configurations. So he's switching out hdd's, adding-removing programs, etc a lot. I guess he happened to notice the key changes because he uses programs like Everest and SIW for benchmarking performance/settings with his product reviews. I don't think any Windows errors popped up, or anything like that.
I think this is just happening on his main desktop. (So far, anyway.) He just noticed in the last couple of days that his XP Corp Product key is changing all by itself. He tried changing it back to his real number. No go. In fact one time, in the middle of trying to change it back, it changed to another unknown number. Got another email today (he's in the UK) and he has yet another new number on his computer.
He tried a Ghost Image to see if he could get back to his original product key, but apparently it had begun changing quietly in the background some time ago, because the Ghost Image produced a mystery Product Key too.
I can tell you he's been reviewing several software programs that "optimize the system" and dig deep into the setup. Maybe one of those did something. He's also tried IE7. (My paranoia with Microsoft may be showing here.)
He said that so far he's still able to use Windows normally, except one mystery number did cause some performance problems online. Browsing with IE and FF and logging into yahoo and msn produced a lot of "not responding" messages..until the next Product Key kicked in and then everything was fine again.
Anyhow, that's the gist of it right now. I'm stumped and don't have a clue where to start looking for what might be causing this. Has anybody ever heard of the Windows Product Key spontaneously changing?