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I bought a PC with a pirated version of Windows XP...

Hello All,

About a year ago I bought a PC from my brother-in-law. He had provided me with a windows certificate of authenticity. A few months ago, I forget why, I looked at that certificate and I noticed that it was for Windows ME, not XP which is what my PC has installed on this. When I called to ask him about this he said "oh, I thought I told you it was a pirated version." I was really annoyed and told him I would not have bought the PC if I knew it had a pirated version of windows on it, but he sent me a product key for windows xp, and said as long as I had that key everything would be fine.

Then today, I downloaded a microsoft update, and when my computer booted up I got a message saying that I didn't have a genuine version of microsoft windows, and I couldn't get updates.

So what are the consequences about this? Can Microsoft eventually lock me out of windows? Can Microsoft prosecute me? Is my PC more liable to be "hacked?"

What can I do to fix this? I don't have money right now to buy a version of windows, but if I was going to spend that much money I think I would just get a cheap DELL.

I don't have a windows cd or system reinstall for Windows ME. I don't even know if this computer ever had Windows ME, as the PC says it was designed for Windows 2000/Windows 98.

Any advice would be appreciated!

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you will have to buy a xp cd

In reply to: I bought a PC with a pirated version of Windows XP...

you will have to buy a xp cd and do a reinstall you should be ok.

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Instead of reinstallin...

In reply to: you will have to buy a xp cd

Just change the old priduct key to the new key. The OS is still the same. So long as Windows is running fine, I dont see a reason to reinstall just to change the product key.

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But you will need any drivers that are installed saved

In reply to: you will have to buy a xp cd

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what happens if I dont do anything?

In reply to: But you will need any drivers that are installed saved

But I am not sure what kind of windows was originally installed here. Would I be able to purchase the windows update edition if I have a pirated version, or would I have to buy the full version.

And again, what happens if I don't do anything?

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First, no more updates.

In reply to: what happens if I dont do anything?

Even when we pass up WGA, future updates will require it. Patch downloads also ask for it.

You can only use the Upgrade version if you have another qualifying Windows to upgrade from (this pirate version won't do.)

It's sad that so many were taken advantage of like that.


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I agree

In reply to: First, no more updates.

It seems to me that your first step is to discuss this again with your brother, and enquire what he intends to do about selling you an illegal product. He may want to refund you the money you paid, so you can purchase the genuine XP CD.

The other alternative is a phone call to Microsoft, but they will want names and addresses before they consider whether they will sell you an XP CD at a discount.


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