Out of the blue im getting Windows did not pass genuine windows validation

  Sparkly 13:18 13 Dec 2012

Hi a friend of mine has had his Dell desktop for years now and out of the blue he has been getting a box on start up saying that it had failed the windows genuine validation and clicks the box Resolve where he is taken to the website and this is what he is told,

**Enter a genuine Windows product key. The product key used to activate Windows on your PC is a volume license key that has been blocked by Microsoft.**

He has not had any problems before with this and does not know what to do for the best the only option offerd on thier website is to buy windows 7. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  lotvic 14:10 13 Dec 2012

To check it is a Dell install (and not a reload of operating system if it has ever been in a repair shop and they put a VLK version on instead of a Dell pre-activated OEM)

Rightclick 'My Computer' | Properties | General tab, and the third in the list - underneath Registered to: should read xxxxx-OEM-xxxxxxx-xxxxx (the x's will be numbers) IF he has numbers instead of OEM then it is not a Dell install.

  lotvic 14:23 13 Dec 2012

bhj. sorry, you are wrong, the product key on the sticker is not for 'validation' it is a separate oem product key that can be used for a fresh install from an installation dvd and requires phone activation (not automated)

The Dell OEM SLP factory pre-activated product key is different and cannot be typed in - it won't be accepted (this is the key that will show up with a keyfinder on a factory installed XP or reinstall from Dell dvd). It is also the inbuilt key the Dell reinstall DVD uses (you will not be asked for a product key when you reinstall on any XP Dell pc using a Dell XP disc)

You can change any existing key to the one on the sticker and then phone up for activation. (I believe MS stopped the online automated activation for the sticker keys as part of anti-piracy)

  Sparkly 10:39 14 Dec 2012

Hi bjh. and lotvic thanks for your responce on this, lotvic as soon as he gets back from a hospital appointment i will know the answer to this (underneath Registered to: should read xxxxx-OEM-xxxxxxx-xxxxx (the x's will be numbers) IF he has numbers instead of OEM then it is not a Dell install.) It just seems stange that it has been fine for years and suddenly this happens, what would happen if he just ignored the pop up he is getting? at the moment he is able to go to Microsoft Update and the pc updates ok. Thanks again.

  lotvic 12:38 14 Dec 2012

note for info: the xxxxx-OEM-xxxxxxx-xxxxx is the Product ID not the product key. When you have had a look tell us what the numbers are where the OEM should be, that will identify which type of VLK it is and which set of instructions to follow to change it back to a Dell product ID.

Is it XP mce (Media Centre Edition) ? and which Service Pack? it should be up to SP3 now in order to keep getting the Windows Updates.

I don't think it's wise to ignore the popup as it says the key has been blocked (banned). As it is a Dell pc there is no reason not to put it to rights and have the proper Dell product key.

  Sparkly 17:36 14 Dec 2012

Hi again in properties it says XP Pro SP3 Registerd to XXXX and the numbers XXXXX-XXX-XXXXXX-XXXXX Thanks PS he has a Dell Disc saying Operating System.

  Sparkly 17:37 14 Dec 2012

Sorry meant to add all numbers no OEM listed.

  lotvic 12:43 15 Dec 2012

You need to check what version of XP the product sticker is for. It may be XP Home and someone has upgraded to XP pro with the VLK edition.

It is sounding as if the only way to make it back to a genuine Dell install is to completely reinstall from the Dell DVD. That dvd is a Dell oem xp install dvd that does not require any key input (as per my previous post). He will have to save all his personal Data documents and get copies and keys of any programs installed so he can re-install them.

If you want to look at the contents of the dell dvd, press and hold down the shift key whilst you put the dvd in tray and keep the shift key held down until dvd drive light goes out (shift key just stops it autorunning) or you can just exit the dvd after the first screen menu comes up. You can now look at the files with Windows Explorer. That is just to satisfy curiousity :)

Does the Dell restore partition still exist on the harddrive? that is the quickest way. instructions on Dell website for all methods.

  xox101 16:44 15 Dec 2012

Download and run Magical Jellybean Keyfinder. It will tell you the License Key that the operating system is using NOW. It will also tell you whether it is an OEM install or not. Make a note of the key Jellybean finds and compare it to the key written on the sticker (if you can still read it). The sticker should also tell you what version of XP it is.

As for OEM stickers not being for online validation? I reinstalled Vista and 7 Starter on a desktop and netbook respectively at the end of October and 7 Home Premium on a netbook two weeks ago. At no time did I have to ring MS, online validation for all three worked fine. In fact I can't remember the last time I had to ring MS, it was certainly many years ago!

  Chronos the 2nd 16:50 15 Dec 2012

I have had to ring Microsoft just because I changed a motherboard, but it is a simple process.

  lotvic 18:47 15 Dec 2012

xox101, you seem to be confusing the issue of the product keys. Activation and Validation are two different processes. The Activated key that is used for validation is the one that is on the install on the C:\ drive - the one that Magical Jellybean Keyfinder will find. The OP friend seems to have a VLK at the moment, this is not a Dell Product License key.

There are two more Product keys available, the inbuilt and pre-activated OEM SLP key that is on the Dell re-installation DVD and the Product key that is on the sticker on the case.

Whichever one of the three keys is used will need to go through Validation.

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