Help! Baffling message!

  [DELETED] 23:55 26 Apr 2006

I wonder if anyone can help me?
i am receiving a start up message telling me that my version of windows xp pro is not genuine and that i may be the victim of counterfeiting!!!
the link to the microsoft site tells me i need to purchase a genuine product key-£92!!!
i've not installed a new version of xp, since setting up my pc which was bought new from a reputable high street retailer about six years ago - no longer seem to have this start up disk (sure xp was not already installed when i bought it). i'm pretty sure it carried a certificate of authenticity - can't find this either.

this seems to have been triggered by trying to install automatic microsoft updates, which i do regularly as a matter of course. i have never seen this message before.

I've run hijack this, ewido, ad aware, spyblast and avg virus scan to see if there's anything nasty on my system, but nothing much is showing up. Pc appears to be running ok now and at normal speed, after slowing down dramatically yesterday (internet connection and outlook express very slow and erratic).

This being the case do i have cause for concern? I've rebooted several times, but the counterfeit message is still there and a star-like icon has appeared at bottom right of screen linking to the aforementioned microsoft counterfeit message.

Could my licence have expired? (surely not??) or have i inadvertantly downloaded some S*** which is fooling microsoft into thinking i have a bogus version?? will i now be unable to receive updates? what are the long-term implications?

I'm not an expert and struggle with technical i.t. jargon, so i'd appreciate if anyone responding could couch their replies in lay terms (ie idiotspeak!) as otherwise you will baffle me even more!
Any advice/explanations would be greatly appreciated. really worried asbout this, so please help if poss.
Thanks very much in advance!

  johnnyrocker 23:59 26 Apr 2006

not an easy one, do you have a label on the side of pc with the microsoft key? do you have a microsoft disk or did pc come with pre installed?
you may well have to end up talking to micosoft (nicely) about your problem.


  woodchip 23:59 26 Apr 2006

Yep that true what it says. It's the new Validation tool that's checked your computer

  [DELETED] 00:00 27 Apr 2006

It's a genuine MS warning; click here
Go to the MS update site and run the validation tool.
click here

  mco 00:03 27 Apr 2006

try this to make sure it is genuine (which I am sure it is!)
click here

  [DELETED] 00:13 27 Apr 2006

I've run the Validation assistant which confirms the counterfeit message. how can this be so? don't understand how it's suddenly invalid! It's not as though i bought it off ebay and installed a dodgy version! why has this suddenly happened now????? Can anyone shed any light on this?

  Gandalph 02:09 27 Apr 2006

There is nothing baffling about the message at all. Woodchip has already supplied the answer. There was a Windows update put out today that does a Software validation check. If it finds that the version of Windows you are using is not valid it flashes a message up on the screen shortly after boot up to tell you so. It could be that the you have got an invalid copy of Windows. I would take this matter up with the "reputable high street retailer" if I were you and see what he has to say about it.

  [DELETED] 11:04 27 Apr 2006

schlaf, it's part of the licence agreement to have a non removable Microsoft sticker on your case with the product key on. If you haven't got the sticker you probably don't have a legal version.

  [DELETED] 12:49 27 Apr 2006

who is the reputable high street retailer???

Sounds like you may have been ever so slightly ripped off

  [DELETED] 17:00 27 Apr 2006

have you any stickers on your cd reload disc ? what ever you do , dont pay out anything until you have sorted this out ,,, where did you buy your cd from ? and have you a reload disc ? sue ,

  chub_tor 17:33 27 Apr 2006

Are you sure about the date of purchase as 6 years ago XP wasn't released? It didn't happen until Oct 25 2001 according to a Google search. Perhaps you upgraded it after you bought it and were sold a dodgy disc, it has happened a lot. Licenses don't expire nor have I heard of them being corrupted by malware but I have heard that Microsoft have been very considerate to those in your position if they are spoken to nicely. If you can't get any satisfaction from your reputable high street retailer then it is certainly worth giving Microsoft a call.

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