This copy of Microsoft Windows is not genuine


Scary message, eh? Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It happened to me, and I’m about the nicest guy I know, and my Windows Vista license is most definitely genuine (and provided by Microsoft via MSDN).

This message about Windows being genuine is part of the Windows Genuine Validation. That’s separate from the Product Key you put in. Windows can be activated successfully, and still not be considered “genuine”. Follow these steps to Activate Windows.
Microsoft requires that you go through Windows Genuine Validation in order to download some updates and other important files from Microsoft. It’s a pain, but it’s something you should go through. To validate your software, follow these steps:

1. Visit the Genuine Validation Required page using Internet Explorer (not Firefox!), or click the Go online and resolve now link in the validation message. Click Continue.

2. On the Running The Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool page, click the information bar that appears at the top of the page, and then click Install ActiveX Control. If you don’t see the information bar, it means the component is probably already installed-just wait a minute for it to check your installation of Windows.

3. Provide administrative credentials when prompted.

4. Click Install when the Internet Explorer Add-On Installer prompts you.

5. After a minute or so, the Validation Complete or Validation Incomplete page will load. Hopefully, you successfully validated. If not, try activating your software first, and then returning to this process.


For help getting validated, visit Microsoft Genuine Advantage Support. If you can’t get validated, you can still use Windows–you just can’t get all the updates and toys from Microsoft.

15 Responses to “This copy of Microsoft Windows is not genuine”

  1. dilshad says:

    i would li my like to upgreat windows to vista when i buy my computer it dose tell me that i can upgrat my windows to vista

    many thanks for help

  2. Greg says:

    This looks like wonderful help BUT the Microsoft site is the only place where I am NEVER offered the chance to install an activex control. Do you have any helpful suggestions? I’d sure appreciate it

  3. peter says:

    I have taken my laptop back 2 to the shop cantec navan, I am still having problems. Iam discusted with MS for such an unreliable software product. It has let me down twice. This is an insult to genuine customers I think I will look to other software providers in the future. It was the same story with XP when it was launched.

  4. tim says:

    My sisters computer came with Vista Home Premium preinstalled. Shes had it about 10 months now.
    Earlier today i was uninstalling software she no longer needed and after the computer was restarted after being prompted to, i was not allowed to log back in.
    When i attempted to log back in, it would hang on the logging in screen for a bit then a pop up stating “the activation key i just entered was invalid” would appear, giving me the options to activate, purchase a valid key, or contact the manufacturers website.
    The “This copy of Windows is not genuine” message would also appear in the bottom right corner of the screen.
    This is a very frustrating problem, i would appreciate any help.

    contact me at

  5. MAJEED says:

    Good site…It worked.

  6. Collette says:

    I purchased a laptop with pre-installed Windows Vista Premium 3 months ago and updated the programme via an email received from them (I think!) since then I cannot log onto my own computer it says “user profile not recognised” What do I do to sort this out, not that great on programmes etc. I have to use the Guest user, to use the internet but cannot access my Ipod or photo’s. I have had the “this is not genuine microsoft etc” popping up and cannot use the computer properly. I am travelling not great on computers and need some help. Many thanks

  7. erika garcia says:

    okay well i have my laptop and this message that says “This copy of Windows is not genuine” appears i have tried all this steps but it still doesnt work is there any other way to activate it. oh n the reason it does not work is because the install activeX control link never comes out any suggestions please email me at

  8. Sandy says:

    We recently purchased Windows Vista Home Basic Upgrade and our daughters boyfriend installed it on our computer for us, because he is more into computers than we are. I don’t know if he didn’t put the product key in to do the registration at the time of installation or what, but my computer is always prompting us to activate windows now. and when the computer is first turned on, down at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen there is a message saying that this is not a genuine copy of windows. I know that this is a genuine copy because I bought it. I still have the receipt. Every time I try to enter the product key that is on the program package I received, I just get the following error message: “tHE FOLLOWING FAILURE OCCURRED WHILE TRYING TO USE THE PRODUCT KEY. CODE: OXCOO4FO61. DESCREPTION: THE SOFTWARE LICENSING SERVICE SERVICE DETERMINED THAT THIS SPECIFIED PRODUCT KEY CAN ONLY BE USED FOR UPGRADING, NOT FOR CLEAN INSTALLATIONS.” WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN FOR ME? WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN OUT A LOT OF MONEY ON AN EXPENSIVE INTERNET SECURITY PROTECTION PROGRAM, BECAUSE OUR LAST PAID VERSION OF MCAFFEE LET A VIRUS INTO OUR COMPUTER THAT CAUSED A CRASH RIGHT AT TAX TIME. SO WE WENT THE EXTRA MILE AND SPENT THE BIG BUCKS ON THE PROTECTION PROGRAM, WHICH I WILL SAY HAS BEEN GREAT SO FAR, AND THEN ANOTHER $110 FOR THE UPGRADE. PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T TELL ME THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEND EVEN MORE TO VALIDATE OUR COPY. JUST PLEASE GIVE ME AN ANSWER SOON, I AM SO TIRED OF BEING IN THE DARK ABOUT THIS. AT THIS RATE, I DON’T FORESEE HAVING ANY TEAR-JERKING BONDING MOMENTS WITH VISTA.

  9. Sandy says:

    When using Avery Design Pro v4.0 – I cannot open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program. I never had this problem when using avery with XP, but as with everything else, Vista seems to be having compatability issues. Can you please tell me if there is an easy fix to this problem or is it going to be like everything else and be one long drug out disaster?

  10. paul says:

    recovery always does thhe trick

  11. avantika says:

    i noe dat my window is genuine….but still…the screen goes black…saying ‘windows vista(tm)
    build 6001
    this copy of windows is not genuine”
    it makes me mad…i want to regain the wallpapers and sceensavers….and wanna my pc look good….help me…i’m stuck:(

  12. JimNeedsHelp says:

    I went through the process and it said “Windows was unable to find out if this version was genuine” NOOoOoOoOoOo!!!!!
    Help Please!
    Thank You if you reply!!

  13. Jessica says:

    I got this computer liketwo years ago, and I admit, it kept freezing at times, but it was okay. Now though, a “An unauthorized change has happened to your windows”. Then, I would restart, and then it says that my copy of Windows my not be genuine, so I have to keep typing in the key code and validation numbers. I don’t know why, and it keeps annoying me. Please help ? Plus, it has happened over ten times from the start of June, but more like every other day, if we’re lucky.

  14. tsuki says:

    Okay I have a Windows Vista laptop… It’s about as old as my desktop which is also Windows Vista, but it hasn’t had any problems like this one, and infact the laptop is a little younger than my desktop. I know for sure that it’s genuine because I got it that way, where I didn’t have to put any code in or anything. My browser is already set to Safari so I can’t really do much about downloading the thingy…< <;

    It also has a boot problem…ocassionally it'll start up and work…it runs for a while and freezes…I've tried many things to fix it and a lot doesn't work…any help? I would really like to make it work because it works really well…I mean like it use to work really well before all these problems happened… I'm not a huge tech fixer so I don't know would be nice

    thank you:3