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(17,420 posts)
Sun May 19, 2024, 08:51 AM May 19

Suddenly, my copy of Windows is "not genuine."

I have an old, old laptop with Windows 7 Professional. I've been using it for years.

This morning, I get a message "you may be the victim of software counterfeiting," and there's a note on my screen that says "this copy of Windows is not genuine." It doesn't seem to be affecting anything, but WTAF?

The Registry number has long worn off the label on the bottom of the laptop. I did a system Restore, but they're still telling me Windows is not genuine. Any ideas on what I should do?

-- Mal

7 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Suddenly, my copy of Windows is "not genuine." (Original Post) malthaussen May 19 OP
Found these- LunaSea May 19 #1
Could be a scam. Call MS direct and they'll get it figured out. Bengus81 May 19 #2
See if it will authenticate on line. LuvLoogie May 19 #3
Please leave feedback about your CCE experience MutantAndProud May 19 #4
Thanks, ProduKey seems to have worked. malthaussen May 19 #5
Realistically any number of small things MutantAndProud May 19 #6
I'd just ignore such messages, as how in the hell do they know I'm using an out-of-date version of Windows, SWBTATTReg May 19 #7


(7,152 posts)
2. Could be a scam. Call MS direct and they'll get it figured out.
Sun May 19, 2024, 09:00 AM
May 19

Microsoft scammers have been around for years and years. They want all your personal info under the quise of making your OS legit.

This is off of the MS Community page:

Hi, I am Van. I'm an Independent Advisor and a Microsoft user like you. I'll be glad to help you today.

Please try one of the methods below and see if this can help retrieve your license key

Method 1.
1. Open the command prompt and run it with administrator rights.
2. Type or copy-paste the below command in the command prompt
wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
3. The license key that has 25 characters should appear.
4. If the license key did not appear kindly proceed to method 2.

Method 2.
1. Go to the Microsoft store. Search for ShowKeyPlus in the MS store search bar
2. Download and Install the app.
3. Once done, run the app. The app will show the current license installed on your machine.

I hope this helps you solve your problem.



(855 posts)
4. Please leave feedback about your CCE experience
Sun May 19, 2024, 09:23 AM
May 19

At MegaCorp we care about your experiences. After your Certified Corporate Extortion is complete a follow up survey will be sent to refine the experience for future users. As a reminder all software is licensed and may be revoked at any time at our discretion. For a limited time only we are offering a Super Liquidation Discount on upgrades before the next Planned Obsolete Upgrade {P.O.U.! It Packs a Punch!™️ 🥊}

Semi joking aside you can call the license activation hotline after checking in the Control Panel under System to see if your key is listed there. There are also a few guides to figuring out what made it think it’s unlicensed. Sometimes there are clock errors that do it, so check if a reboot clears it up and synchronize your time under Date & Time under the control panel. This link discussing using Start > Run > and typing (without quotes) “slui.exe” or “slui.exe 3” or “slui.exe 4” to automatically reactivate, reactivate by reentering your license key (see below to get that extracted easily), or reactivate by phone automatically with the key.


NirSoft offers a free key extraction tool to do it quickly and graphically just by running the exe file from the zip or installing it fully and double clicking the program icon.




(17,420 posts)
5. Thanks, ProduKey seems to have worked.
Sun May 19, 2024, 10:17 AM
May 19

I wonder why all of a sudden the updater (presumably) assumed my copy of Windows was not kosher. A real shocker, but it did prompt me to do some backups I haven't done for awhile.

Thanks for your help.

-- Mal



(855 posts)
6. Realistically any number of small things
Sun May 19, 2024, 10:33 AM
May 19

Definitely a good idea to make backups, especially once hardware gets 5+ years old. I have a laptop from 2013, fully functional from the 7 era, but with a display that went completely dead after a video card update on windows 11. It shouldn’t be possible for that to happen but it did. I had to find a copy of the bios online, guess which menu the option was in, and press key sequences blindly to allow it to see the basic internal cpu graphics in addition to the secondary chip to see anything on the screen at all before fixing the bad patch setting. It shouldn’t have been able to fail in that way but someone wrote something differently for that one patch and the whole thing collapsed unexpectedly.

In the early days when writing school papers on floppy disk it was wise to save every long sentence or paragraph because it might spontaneously blue screen and lose everything.

These aren’t NASA satellites or mainframes from the 70s.

But you’re welcome happy to assist, I’ve picked up plenty of tools and random info/knowhow over the years.


(22,769 posts)
7. I'd just ignore such messages, as how in the hell do they know I'm using an out-of-date version of Windows,
Sun May 19, 2024, 12:02 PM
May 19

and besides, what business is it theirs?

Usually these are viruses coming in, trying to Splish you, so I'd alt/cntl/delete out, and reboot yourself. I do a reboot too, just to be safe, to wipe out any viruses or other junk out there on your PC. By the way, I also have a Windows 7 version (professional) which I'm very happy w/, and don't plan on changing it.

As I told MSoft once, I am sick and tired of then endless updates, the endless new versions, the endless applying of updates etc. to my system, my software, my hardware...not yours! You are the owner, take charge of it. And screw them for interfering w/ me and my system.

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