Windows 7 suddenly "not genuine"!

Daniel Burkus

Posts: 160   +6
Hi! This is the first time I am posting to the Windows forum.

About a year ago, I installed Windows 7 from a newly purchased installation disk (sealed in the box by Microsoft). I do not want to upgrade to Windows 10, because certain software that I need cannot be run on that operating system (regardless of what Microsoft or anyone else says). At any rate, this Windows 7 installation has been working normally -- including downloading and installing updates (since Microsoft discontinued support, it seems this is only the "Defender" updates) -- from day 1. And then about 15 minutes ago, the desktop turned black, and there is a message in the lower right-hand corner of the screen stating that "this copy of Windows is not genuine."

Can anyone help me? I have no idea what happened. I searched on line, and it seems I can find nothing more recent than 2013 for similar issues. I have ESET NOD32 Antivirus, and run CCleaner and some other programs more or less daily, for protection against somehow getting hit by something. Because of issues with my eyesight, this high-contrast desktop is extremely difficult for me to use.

Thank you all for your time, and any help you can offer.


-- Daniel M. Burkus
 

Daniel Burkus

Posts: 160   +6
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  • #2
I can now answer my own question. Someone I know suggested the following: in " cmd.exe ," run " SLMGR -REARM ." Looking at my update history, it seems that an update installed yesterday, at around the time when the issue manifested itself, may have been the cause.

-- Daniel M. Burkus
 

annew

Posts: 31   +3
Hi Daniel, does that command SLMGR -REARM extend windows 7 support?
I too have a win 7 laptop but had yet to receive that not genuine message
 

Daniel Burkus

Posts: 160   +6
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From what I found on line (yesterday -- sorry, I have been so busy that I was unable to post anything here), it seems that this "fix" can only be used 3 times, and after that it will not work any more.

I was hoping that someone would reply with an actual solution on here, but nothing has been suggested at all. This is frustrating, because I bought my Windows disk from a legitimate, authorized agent, and the box was sealed by Microsoft. Thus, it could not be a more genuine installation. Someone I mentioned this to speculated that Microsoft is punishing people who failed to upgrade to Windows 10, but...there has to be a solution to this insanity. Yet all I can think of is that I will have to reinstall Windows, let the machine download all of the original updates to the operating system, and then turn off both Windows Update and Windows Defender (that person said that my own antivirus will be enough, and the Windows version is superfluous).

As for your question, Annew, Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows 7. Your machine supposedly can still download the earlier updates, but Microsoft said that there will be no new updates after support ended. That said, the past couple of months, Windows Defender has been updating several times each month, with no problems until the most recent update, on June 30th. I honestly do not know why this happened (I was watching a movie when that update was downloaded and installed, and when I turned the movie off, the screen blinked and the background went black, and the "not genuine" warning appeared in the lower right-hand corner of the screen).

Looking at the Windows Update history just now, I notice that there are two updates (both of Windows Defender, KB915597 version 1.319.433.0 -- the identical version) for June 30th (the time they were downloaded/installed is not mentioned; but when I checked before, on the date that the issue presented itself, there was only one update for June 30th, so the second update arrived after I checked, and so most likely after I used SLMGR -REARM). I do not know if the second update on the 30th undid whatever it was that made my Windows installation not "genuine" -- and I really would like to hear some feedback from someone else on here who knows about Windows (including addressing the new question over whether my use of SLMGR -REARM could have somehow changed/impacted the validity of my original installation, which was "genuine" from day 1 until June 30). This whole episode has been very traumatic (my eyesight is not good, and I am retired and, frankly, poor; and buying the genuine Windows disk was a hardship for me, but I wanted to be sure that I would not be subjected to just this kind of craziness); I have no idea if the second update on the same day fixed things, or not -- I guess the only way I will know is to wait the 90 days and see of the black desktop returns when SLMGR -REARM wears off (though I would really prefer not to have to go through that again).

If anyone can give me some feedback, it would be very deeply appreciated. Thank you all for your time....

-- Daniel M. Burkus
 
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Daniel Burkus

Posts: 160   +6
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  • #6
Thank you, HardReset. Am I to assume that "rearm timer is out" means when the desktop goes black next time -- in 90 days from June 30 (which is when I used SLMGR -REARM)?


As I mentioned in my previous reply, the update that seems to have caused this problem appears twice in the list of installed updates (I have truncated the information, though I can provide it if that will be helpful):

1) Security Intelligence Update for Windows Defender Antivirus - KB915597 (Version 1.319.433.0)
Installation date: ‎6/‎30/‎2020 7:45 AM
Installation status: Successful
[...]

2) Security Intelligence Update for Windows Defender
Antivirus - KB915597 (Version 1.319.433.0)
Installation date: ‎6/‎30/‎2020 4:25 PM
Installation status: Successful
[...]

Searching on line, I can find nothing about why this update was "re-updated;" nor can I find anything else about it. Indeed, nothing has been added to the Google search results since my first search (immediately after the incident happened).

Also, looking at "View basic information about your computer" just now, I find that Windows activation says "0 day until automatic activation. Activate Windows now." Can you tell me, is this the result of my running SLMGR -REARM? And, will the Windows installation be reactivated if I enter the original key? Or will I have to reinstall Windows in order to achieve reactivation using the existing key? I cannot find answers to any of these questions on line.

Thank you, HardReset -- and anyone else who might have something to contribute -- for your help.


-- Daniel M. Burkus
 

HardReset

Posts: 788   +336
Thank you, HardReset. Am I to assume that "rearm timer is out" means when the desktop goes black next time -- in 90 days from June 30 (which is when I used SLMGR -REARM)?
Yes, but that is bit more complicated in fact https://itfunk.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/resetting-rearm-count-in-windows-7/

I forgot that command I wrote is not enough.

Also, looking at "View basic information about your computer" just now, I find that Windows activation says "0 day until automatic activation. Activate Windows now." Can you tell me, is this the result of my running SLMGR -REARM? And, will the Windows installation be reactivated if I enter the original key? Or will I have to reinstall Windows in order to achieve reactivation using the existing key? I cannot find answers to any of these questions on line.
Updates probably didn't cause that. Or perhaps if they were bugged. It just happens sometimes.

There's probably something bugged with activation in general since it "should" say 30 days or so after rearm. Have seen bugs like that coming just somewhere.

You could try to remove Windows activation https://www.howtogeek.com/124286/how-to-uninstall-your-windows-product-key-before-you-sell-your-pc/

Then reboot. Probably Windows want to activate, then use product key. Remember to have product key ready. That could probably re-activate.

Windows reinstall is also very effective way to get rid of Windows problems, but I would try above activation uninstall first.
 

Daniel Burkus

Posts: 160   +6
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Thank you very, very much for your reply, HardReset.

I am in the middle of preparing a document, and I would prefer not to do anything with the PC until I finish (it is probably going to take the rest of the day). I will try your suggestion tomorrow (July 4), therefore, and let you know how things go.

I should add that "View basic information about your computer" is now showing "26 days to activate;" and also, an "Activate Windows" pop-up is appearing, from time to time, in the lower right-hand corner of my screen -- frequently enough to be annoying. So I have that added reason to try your fix as soon as I can.

Thank you, again, for your help. I will get back to you sometime tomorrow -- hopefully to confirm that your solution worked. Please have a good day....


-- Daniel M. Burkus
 

Daniel Burkus

Posts: 160   +6
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  • #9
HardReset, I have spent much of the day trying to figure out what to do. First, I tried to type in the product key from the box, and received the message that Microsoft has blocked the product key that Microsoft issued to me on the box when I purchased the install disk from a registered Microsoft vendor.

Looking at your suggestions, the first thing that I noticed is that you suggest I do this when the 30 day trial period expires ("timer runs out"). Can it not be done before then? I am not a computer expert -- indeed I know nothing about the programming side of the matter. So I am worried about damaging my machine's function any more than it already is. I attempted to read the two articles, but I am not sure they apply to my situation. I had a valid product key provided to me by Microsoft, and now Microsoft has said it is not valid. I am not trying to change the product key so I can sell my PC -- I need it for my work. And I am not trying to make a surreptitiously downloaded or pirated copy of the operating system work. I purchased a valid product key from Microsoft. When the Windows Updated the Windows Defender definitions on June 30, suddenly my machine became "not genuine." Is there no way to address this issue?

Someone suggested removing the update "KB971033," though that reply seems to have vanished. What would removing this update accomplish?

Thank you for your help.
 

HardReset

Posts: 788   +336
You could contact Microsoft and tell their activation has problems. If they still refuse to give you key, you have basically three choices:

1. Buy cheap key and hope it works. There are lots of them on sale online.

2. Use -Rearm trick and extend time when you cannot use rearm any more as explained here https://itfunk.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/resetting-rearm-count-in-windows-7/

3. If you are really pissed of with Microsoft and are still sure you have valid licence, Microsoft have very little to say if you use something kind of loader that can have your Windows 7 activated.2

For choice 3, that was more than enough hint what to do :cool: Since you have valid licence, it really shouldn't matter even if you have "illegal" activation. But that's your choice.
 

Daniel Burkus

Posts: 160   +6
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Ok, thank you very much, HardReset. I will think carefully about what is the best path.

Please have a good weekend!

-- Daniel M. Burkus