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Shop sold me a PC with Windows XP Pro & product key doesn't match CoA

By Nelly1690
Jun 30, 2010
  1. I'm not sure if this is in the correct forum, but i urgently need some help/advice.

    A friend of mines bought a PC from a shop that refurbishes personal computers (LAHM Recycle LTD) & paid £130 that she struggled to get together to buy it.

    The PC is a Fujitsu Siemens Scenic with XP Pro Version 2002 Service Pack 3.
    It has 1GB ram, an 80GB hard drive, Pentium 4 CPU @ 2.80GHz & the motherboard is a D1761 with onboard graphics.

    After taking the PC home i remembered i had a spare 80gb hard drive & was intending on setting it up as a slave so she could store her music & pictures etc on it & keep the one that was supplied with the PC as her Windows drive.
    Needless to say it didn't work as it didn't show up in the BIOS, so i was going to leave it a few days as it wasn't a priority.

    I took out the spare drive & everything was set up the same way as when she purchased it, but when i turned it on it said since Windows was first installed on the computer, the hardware has changed significantly & due to theses changes, Windows must be reactivated within 3 days.
    After downloading the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification Tool from my PC & transferring it to her PC via a USB dongle she started to receive notifications in the lower part of the desktop saying her copy of Windows did not pass genuine validation & that her copy was not genuine.

    But now the 3 days have lapsed & shes now locked out of her computer.

    The shop didn't provide a Windows disk or a recovery disk & she can't afford to purchase a new Windows CD.

    I ran SiW (System Information for Windows) & discovered the CoA on the top of the machine doesn't match the one provided by SiW.

    Isn't it illegal for a shop to sell a PC with a CoA that doesn't match the product key of the version of Windows that's installed on the computer ?
    Especially if Windows is saying it's not a genuine copy of windows.

    The CoA on the case is:
    The one provided by SiW is:

    Another thing we noticed is that she purchased a T-Mobile USB Broadband Dongle from the T-Mobile shop & when she tried to install it onto the new PC (so she could try & validate the copy of Windows) it didn't work & it said something like transfer feature error or something but the Dongle is working fine on my computer.

    So have they sold her a dodgy PC & if so what are her rights ?
    She was hoping to take it back to the shop today & get a refund & have nothing more to do with the shop in question, but she's unsure of what they will say & if they will try & blame it on her for trying to install a slave HDD. :/

    Here is a picture of the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool if that's any use:


    Any help is appreciated guys.

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    return it to the Shop and tell them of the mistake (ie be gentle at first)

    if there's any push back from them, suggest this is not right and it LOOKS like fraud.

    if they still decline, suggest you will report them to the Better Business Bureau and to Microsoft.

    one of those ought to get some results :wave:
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,529   +2,315

    This isn't the help you were looking for but, the addition or removal of a HDD by itself, is never enough to trigger a reactivation warning. More equipment has to be changed to elicit this message in a normal Windows installation. That is also true irregardless of Windows version or even in the event of an OEM image (recovery disc) type install.. You can plug in different drives, add drives, remove drives and never see this behaviour. So, somebody's not telling the truth. That said, I have no idea who that "somebody" is.

    The only place I can even imagine this happening, is in a system that is administratively locked down, and the hardware change attempted from a limited user account.
  4. Nelly1690

    Nelly1690 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @jobeard - Your suggestions worked a treat m8 & she got a full refund :D


    @captaincranky - I know what you mean as i have a Shuttle FB65 & have 2 IDE Drives as well as a Sata II (As i removed the DVD burner to make room for music, films etc) & i've never encountered such a problem as this before.

    When i emailed the shop i said i wanted a refund & left my mobile number & some guy phoned me within the hour asking if i would take a newer PC instead of a refund & i refused (politely) & he then said a refund would not be a problem, so in my opinion they knew what they were doing was wrong.

    I'm unsure of what to do as other people will no doubt fall victim to them :/

    Anyway, cheers for the advice guys ;)
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