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Someone stole my XP key, and made it look like I stole theirs

By haloman ยท 22 replies
Feb 3, 2008
  1. Best Buy told us that someone stole our windows XP key, and we have limited actions on our computer because it thinks we stole someone elses key instead of them stealing ours.

    A result: see thread: I could use some help with install shield...

    posted last night
  2. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    any ideas how to fix it?
  3. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Call the Microsoft activations number, it should be listed in the activation error message. It shouldn't be much of a problem, but it might be a hassle.
  4. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    no help...they kept telling my to call computer manufaterer who definintaly cant help
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Discuss this firmly with Microsoft. If you have paperwork, or certificate of authenticity, or invoice, or receipt, for the computer or the Windows Install, they will help you by giving you a special install number. Do not expect this to happen fast... but get all your ducks in a row. They will want to know what, where, when, why, and how...
    If you have nothing in hard copy or on your computer case, or any other such stuff, you are screwed... They didn't steal it from Microsoft. They stole it from you or from the computer manufacturer, or retailer.
    When you call Microsoft, have all your stuff ready to fax, or send my photographic image.
    They have an interest in stopping this.
    We have worked with Microsoft on several such issues... and with appropriate proof, they have always been helpful... though it took several days.
    You will have to pay a small fee to fix it... under $30.
    There are rings of these people in Mexico and Thailand that flood the US market. and there are always bad apples in the retailer community... Microsoft is interested in stopping it.
    Since they have limited your privileges, you can count on the fact that there is more than 1 copy... perhaps as many as 11 copies out there.
  6. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    wow... serously 11 copies?

    we coudn't even talk to someone at microsoft...

    we kept getting "for windows XP support, press 1" and stuff like that

    when we get through that, it says to contact manufacterer for help.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Have you talked to the Validation Advisor for further guidance at:


    Have you filed a piracy report at


    Speak to Microsoft at Microsoft Genuine Advantage Talkback, regarding Windows XP Genine Advantage issues (Windows XP) re: Product Key reported as lost or stolen.

    You must post your address and telephone numbers with as much information as possible, then Microsoft will call you after they have looked into the situation.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    whoever registers their copy first is the OFFICIAL owner.

    I have reports of duplicated keys (ie: boot leg copies) being sold in sealed boxes that
    are original. A CPA friend is currently working with Microsoft on tracking
    down the origin of the box and system.
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    That is not altogether the full story in our experience. Whomever has the official certificate of authenticity is the official owner, according to our many conversations with Microsoft.

    We had a Dentist's office here who had five keys registered for him first by his technician friends in Tucson.
    But another client had the certificate of authenticity. Microsoft put the technician out of business by going through legal and State Corporation Commission fraud procedures... and the Dentist had to pay list price for all the copies. All had been installed for a little over a year.
    The problem is that the burden of proof rests first with the owner of the certificate of authenticity. We had to produce receipts and photo images to Microsoft. It took months.
    In our area, Microsoft now sends a 2 inch by 4 inch warning message, reporting something like, "The Windows XP version installed on this machine is an unauthorized copy."
    Microsoft has now closed or filed charges against 200 businesses in the US using these unauthorized keys... so far going mainly after corporate entities.
    The problem remains with the individual copies, but clearly Microsoft has changed their approach towared the evil doers, where it can be dealt with through consumer fraud laws.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    But did you notice that you have to prove possession of the COA -- why?
    Because someone else registered it first.

    Real bummer :(
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Of course, They require it for any dispute... or inquiry... or error that you wish to report. Because, theoretically, any registration was based on a COA... But Dell, HP, Sony and others install a version that is not the same as the COA.
  12. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    The XPhome edition came with the Compaq, noone could have used it before us.
  13. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 869   +8

    go with linux
  14. allmightypuff

    allmightypuff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    u can always just go buy a new windows disk at walmart, circuit city, etc. their cheap now due to vista being out. usually $80.

  15. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    haloman: If the OS came installed on your computer then there should be a sticker of Authenticity on the side or bottom. this will have the serial # and product key. If you call the MS activation line (as mentioned by rayban) just tell them that you have the sticker on the side of the computer and that you can email them a picture. (of course Bill might want rights to your first born - but that is another post)
    I have had to call MS several times to reactivate my software (for many reasons) and have never had a problem. If you are not getting anywhere with the first person you talk to; ask for their supervisor (with respect) and the supervisor will more than likely help you out.
    It is your software.

    allmightypuff: Vista is a great OS now that most software has upgraded. Basic sucks but the other versions work very well. I do believe that Linux will take a good market share bite in the future though.
  16. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    if i renew like you say, will i still have everything such as word documents saved on my pc?

    You guys have been a big help! ty
  17. Bluemouse

    Bluemouse TS Rookie Posts: 195

    If you put up enough of a fuss they will do it a lot quicker ;)
  18. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    If you call Microsoft to validate your OS they will just give you a new Key and Authenticity Code and will explain how to change this. Everything on your computer will remain the same. If you have to reinstall your OS then you will want to first back everything up onto an external drive, reformat, reinstall OS, then put files back or work off of external drive.
    I think that is what you were asking.
  19. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    can you please give me the number to call Microsoft to validate...

    plz don't tell me its 800-Microsoft...that was no help
  20. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    Use the following link. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810892/en-us Gives info on how to change the product key at time of activation. This bullettin shows you how to activate and then you choose by telephone and it asks for location and gives you the appropriate 1-800#
    I could not find the number online. I think that this is the only way to call for free. It is easy and should work without trouble.
    good luck.
  21. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    strange, activate windows isn't in the list of system tools...
  22. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Never count on documents being saved or available. Make your backups.
    Put this drive into another computer, then drag and drop the files you need, or use something like ABC Recovery or other software program.
    Normally, you will not lose anything when you get the product key resuthorized, but you NEVER want to count on data being saved, unless you save it in advance.
  23. haloman

    haloman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    sry double post accident
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