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.