Advice on Counterfeit Windows 7 (or not as the case may be)

Ian J

I bought a reconditioned Acer laptop on Ebay a couple of weeks ago and the advert stated:-

Please note this is running a fresh install of Windows due to Data Protection malarky. It is not the original Acer install so will eventually report that it is "fake" even though it's not.

If you don't know how to work around or get hold of an Acer version please do not bid as I've no wish to deal with people crying to Paypal expecting me to supply retail versions of Windows etc.

The laptop is now showing "this copy of Windows is not genuine" in the bottom right hand corner plus a big popup stating "You may be a victim of software counterfeiting" and suggesting that I go online and resolve.

Any suggestions of the best way to proceed. I am happy to buy another copy of the operating system if that is the only way to resolve this but obviously I would rather not if I don't have to.

Edit - it's asking me to download Windows Validation Components which will attempt to repair the program but I'm loathe to do that for the moment

Mr Incredible

Distinguished Member
I had this message with a pukka version of W7. I went online and revalidated the install and it accepted the details and the message disappeared not to come back. Maybe worth a shot before forking out on some legit software?


Distinguished Member
What has probably happend is they re-installed using a vanilla OEM copy of Windows, instead of the Acer supplied one.

As long as they have used the key on the label with the matching OS, you can ring the MS activation number to reset it on MS's database, as they will be expecting a certain ID which is now different due to the vanilla OEM disk.

Once it's done it's done. You won't have to ring them up each time you re-install Windows, as long as you use a vanilla OEM disk.

Sniper Ash6

Distinguished Member
is they not a windows key on the bottom of the laptop? use to activate it

I was going to ask this too. There should be the "Certificate of Authenticity" sticker on the bottom which the OEM (Acer) has to put there and has the product key on.

You can find more info on them here:

If that's fine then hit start, right click on "Computer", click on properties. At the bottom you should be able to see the current status of validation and choose validation by phone or internet. If by phone as Deadringers said, you are given a toll free (0800) number and a code. When prompted enter the code in and it will read one back. Write this code down/enter it into the computer to activate.


Distinguished Member
Should this not be in the piracy thread? :devil:

Ian J

hit start, right click on "Computer", click on properties. At the bottom you should be able to see the current status of validation and choose validation by phone or internet.

This worked a treat - many thanks

I wonder why the vendor didn't do that himself

Sniper Ash6

Distinguished Member
Not a problem, glad you've got it sorted :thumbsup:

Commonly the computers will have the Operating System installed, product key entered and then just be turned off until the new owner turns it on. This then allows the new owner to set up the accounts and all of the other things you can do on the first boot of a clean install. Validation is not done until fully into the OS (e.g. logged in as a user) so the OEMs never see this bit to be able to do it.
There are probably a fair few security (in terms of anti-piracy) reasons for this as well as the obvious time saved by OEMs not having to do it.

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