Posted 31 March 2007 - 11:49 AM
This is a strange one: I was working on a computer that fried. Turned out to have a bad power supply and a destroyed motherboard. It was still under warranty from eMachines. They sent it back and the motherboard was replaced, maybe the hard drive, I'm not sure.
When it came back, the USB ports didn't work, so they sent it back again and the motherboard was once again replaced.
I went over to install a new power supply so that the thing wouldn't crater again in less than a year. But I noticed that the Sysprep dialog was up on the screen. Further inspection found that the computer was registered to "Owner." I contacted emachines by chat and the first tech wanted control of the machine. I gave it to him. He clicked on something and killed the internet connection. I restarted the machine and the second tech asked me to disable sysprep in MSCONFIG. It wasn't there. So she took over the computer and I watched as she tried to figure out what to do. She opened Control Panel and then scrolled through Add/Remove Programs. It wasn't there, either.
After a long pause, she linked me to a Microsoft page that showed how to remove Sysprep from the host computer! Now, this seems to require renaming a registry hive, and I'm not anxious to do any such thing on a functioning computer. The owner says that he had an earlier conversation with them and they told him to just close the window every time Windows starts.
So I'm wondering *finally gets to the point*, if this was actually a host computer's hard drive? How did the sysprep program get onto what should be the client computer? I've never used it, but I wonder if the Sysprep program was broken, or if it was a host machine's motherboard and hard drive that were stuck into this box? At any rate, I wasn't terribly impressed with eMachines online techs. The Windows setup program or eMachines setup program never ran at first boot. And most important, could removing the sysprep program kill the activation on the machine?
I'd appreciate any thoughts on this matter. It's Media Center Edition, and the computer was a year old in February. (It originally failed before the year was up.)
One additional bit of information: While I was working on it, there were MS updates - one of which was WGA, so I assume that it is currently registering as a valid computer.