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Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive


Help! Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

Hi, I upgraded to a solid-state drive recently, and using the included Acronis software I cloned my hard drive and replaced it in my Dell studio XPS running Win 7 home premium. For a few days all went well and I wiped my old hard drive for storage use. One day a Windows window popped up saying my install was not authentic. I called Microsoft and they said all is well with my serial numbers and it is installed and activated. Now once or twice a day I get the message again, I close the window and keep going. The problem is Windows update will not run or even start and Defender is also null and void. Now I am not capable of getting the free Win 10 upgrade they are offering. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

(Specs: Core i7, 8-GBs of RAM and Windows 7 64-BIT)

--Submitted by Bill W.
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(NT) Insist they give you a new number

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

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Call Microsoft again.

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

It will be a lot faster than trying to get an answer here. And they're the only ones who can fix it.

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where did the clone come from

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

for clarification, was the clone from the dell studio xps and is it the os that came with your dell?

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Key question for Dell

In reply to: where did the clone come from

As renegade600 asked, a Dell computer will give this message if you install, from scratch, an OS that the computer was not originally equipped with. Even with legitimate Dell installation media on a Dell laptop, this will happen.
For example - you bought a Dell with Windows Vista. You later upgraded to Windows 7.
Replace the hard drive and install Windows 7 from the start, and the laptop will rebel. Simply because it understands that it is supposed to start out with Windows Vista.
I've been repairing Dells for the better part of a decade now and have seen this happen a number of times - if you install the original OS and then move on to Windows 7 from there, you should be fine.

That, at least, is what the situation you are describing is telling me.

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Acronis S*cks on drive clones.

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

It just doesn't do the job correctly. I used to have all kinds of software and licensing issues (Windows, Adobe, etc) when I used Acronis to clone drives - typically to move a system to a larger hard drive. Some time ago I switched to Paragon Hard Disk Manager for all my drive cloning and I have yet to have an issue. At this point I have done hundreds of clones with Paragon (including to SSD's) and I would say it is flawless. I also stopped using Acronis for backups preferring instead to just clone my own system's hard drives with Paragon as my backup solution.

I used to have all kinds of error codes with Acronis that I would have to look up and solve. With Paragon, the worst I ever saw was (paraphrasing): "your drive has errors, should I fix them for you?"

also ... Bill W.

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Absolutely correct - I had many problems with Acronis ATI

In reply to: Acronis S*cks on drive clones.

I just replaced my failed Seagate hard drive with a Hitachi one, and restored from a Ghost backup. No problems, but when I tried the same kind of thing with Acronis True Image a few years ago, I ended up with all kinds of problems. Never again will I use anything from Acronis.
Fortunately the drive I had to replace had Windows 7 Pro on it, and Ghost still works with that. For 8 and 10 I'm using Easeus Todo Backup Free which has worked well for me for the last 3 years.
Good luck.

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Although ATI did work for me the last 4 times...

In reply to: Absolutely correct - I had many problems with Acronis ATI

Although ATI did work for me the last 4 times (no de-activation) I used it (4 clones, 2 7x64, 1 7x86, 1 8.1 x64, all HDs to SSDs), Easeus Todo Backup Free seems to be easier in many ways.

But Acronis is generally included in the bundles, so it's easier to use it first Happy

To re-activate Windows, as mentionned by spdickey1 above, call Microsoft again.
They are much nicer than what people generally imagine. Grin

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Please share identity of this helpful Microsoft tech person

In reply to: Although ATI did work for me the last 4 times...

Do you want to tell us which nice and helpful Microsoft tech support person you've managed to find, so the rest of us can try to connect with him or her? That individual might not be working in that call center any more though, since helpful people don't usually last at call centers with unhelpful cultures.

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In reply to: Acronis S*cks on drive clones.

I am using Clonzilla for years with perfect results. And it's free.

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Well said about acronis

In reply to: Acronis S*cks on drive clones.

When this company started it was good, now is all about the dollar. Me too I stopped using it when I use to backup and later on to restore, at boot up the missing bootloader message shows up not so with paragon.

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Say it's not so!!!

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

About a year and a half ago my ZT system crashed. New board (Asus with i5, twin 1T HDD's, 256 SSD and 20 GB of Ram. After installing Win 7 64bit I also got the error message of not genuine MS product. Turns out the CD I got from ZT systems had a different product code then my case. I re-installed the product code and problem solved. Hope this helps.

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If using oem

In reply to: Say it's not so!!!

if you replaced the motherboard with a different model and you are running the oem operating system, whether it be system builders or manufacturer, then yes, you are running a non-genuine microsoft operating sytsem.

If your motherboard goes bad, you must replace it with the exact same motherboard if you want to reuse the os. If you don't, it is considered a new computer and you must purchase a new operating system.

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This may be true

In reply to: If using oem

That unfortunately could be true. The OEM version of Windows is only intended for use on just one computer, if you for instance installed a new mother board and processor in the same computer case you couldn't reinstall Windows.

However, I'm not convinced it shouldn't work if you are able to install a cloned image. Now, the thing about a cloned image is the new system has to be similar enough to the old one for the OS to work exactly as previously installed.

I'd just try Clonezilla before giving up.

SSDs aren't as good as they're made out to be anyhow. Not only are they not more stable, but after you maybe write 50 or how ever many changes they're designed for as Windows writes log files and updates itself and everything every time you run the computer, you won't be able to ever write anything to a SSD hard drive again, just like your computer.

Try it on a not SSD drive.

If all else fails, I'd go with Ubuntu (suggest Kubuntu for Windows users), before getting Windows 8 or 10. Windows 7 licenses can only be obtained OEM at this time and you have to pay through the nose for them.


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In reply to: This may be true

I've been using SSD's for years and I have no problem with reading or writing.

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Not True

In reply to: This may be true

SSDs are absolutely as good as they are made out to be, in fact they are considered by many to offer the most bang for your buck when it comes to noticeable hardware upgrades. Go from a 7200 rpm disc to an ssd and you will notice a world of difference in system boot times and program load times. not to mention a noticible increase in battery life and durability in a laptop.

You think you can only write to an ssd 50 times before you can never write to it again? Nonsense! Modern windows (7+) knows how to write to an ssd properly, and knows how to utilize things like TRIM to make it continue to function properly. I put an ssd in my pc in 2010 and it is still just as snappy as it was when I first got it. SSDs actually tend to last longer than traditional drives due to their lack of moving parts. I have two traditional drives bought more recently than my ssd and both have failed.

As for suggesting that someone who is not tech savvy switch from windows to linux - quite possibly the least user friendly and least intuitive OS? Are you out of your mind?

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That isn't Completely True

In reply to: Not True

If you bothered to do some reading on any disk manufacturer's website, SSD drives using NAND technology have a MAXIMUM number of write cycles. No, as you pointed out this isn't 50 writes nor is there a gradual degradation. However, this write limit is so high that your SSD will probably outlive your computer. **** Ngo usually descibes it as "if you wrote 50 GB every day, your SSD will last at least 5 years". My traditional HDD has been going about 10 years so far.

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And a troubling report on SSD. Rare issue at least.

In reply to: This may be true

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Ordinary people won't care...

In reply to: And a troubling report on SSD. Rare issue at least.

Let's face it, ordinary people won't make a difference between a failed HD and a failed SSD... recovery is too expensive for most people, including SOHOs and small companies.

I guess the ones with enough buying power to use data recovery would have a redundant system + back-ups.

As one can't bet on medium life, the only real "insurance" is frequent data back-up (+ a clone of the system should you need to restore the system quickly).
And often check the data back-up is readable and virus-free - one of the worst things in computer life is to find out your back-up not useable when you badly need it...

As far as I am concerned I use two sets, and always carry one with me when I'm out of town.

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Wnat to share how to reinstall the product code?

In reply to: Say it's not so!!!

How do you specifically reinstall the product code? Inquiring minds looking for the rest of the information here... pretty useless without it.

First I've heard of this issue. My experience has been you can install Windows from any CD as long as you own a license key.

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Depends on Version

In reply to: Wnat to share how to reinstall the product code?

Dora, if you have the OS that came on your PC, you cannot use your OEM product code to install a CD that you bought at a store and you cannot use the product code to download the VLF version from the website. Well, you can if you can convince Microsoft to give you another product code. The OEM version <> over-the-counter version <> volume license version.

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Re-Enter Product Key in Windows 7

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

You can change the product key (aka serial key code, cd-key) to solve and fix activation problems. To change or re-enter product key that already installed in the system, follow these steps.
Click on the start button
Click on the computer to open Computer folder and then click on System Properties on the task-bar.
Tip: Alternative way to access System Properties page is by right click on Computer and then select Properties, or via Control Panel -> System and Security -> System.

Scroll down this window until you see "Windows activation" section, click on the Change product key link. If User Account Control prompts for administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click on Continue.

In the "Product Key" text box, type in your product key, and click on the Next button. If UAC (User Account Control) then follow instructions.

Windows will attempt to activate online with the correct product key, or display Windows Activation Wizard which you can follow to complete the activation process. A special 800 number will be shown at the top, dial the number, robot will ask for codes which you can say or enter on touch pad telephone. Then the robot will check your code and ask a question about this install. If robot takes your code then you have to enter some numbers into boxes and when complete then you are activated. Or you may end up with real person and they will help you to complete the activation.

I have done this many times over the years, MS will work with you to make your Windows active.

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In reply to: Re-Enter Product Key in Windows 7

I wonder if that will work on a Dell product.
My Dell with w7 has no 'change product key link'.
I'll guess that's because the product key is imbedded in the Dell OS.

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Try looking in Windows, it isn't a Dell feature

In reply to: Hmmm.

Dell spoils users until their minds won't work any more - and hopelessly confuses them while it's at it.

Click on Windows start button in lower left hand corner of screen.
Find "Computer" in the gray area on the right.
RIGHT click on the word "Computer".
LEFT click on the word "Properties". It's the last word in the list, on mine.
Go to the bottom of the window that pops up. In lower right you'll see
Windows activation. "Windows is activated" or whatever the status is mine. On mine it shows me the "Product ID", which is the key, and next to it is a hyperlink - "Change product key".

Now if that's what is meant by "reinstall product code" above, I've no idea; it would possibly have helped if that user had troubled to write his advice in English; the kind that resembles anyone else's English.

But my answer may not help you, since two other people already wrote exactly the same thing before you asked.

I liked my two month stint doing tech support, helping college students connect to their Internet service provider, but sometimes it was FRUSTRATING.

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Does your Dell have Windows and what version?

In reply to: Hmmm.

Oh, and, part two of your question, whether it will work on your Dell depends on whether your Dell has Windows installed on it.

And it may work differently in Windows 8 - or, more likely, it works the same way in Windows 8 but it's alot harder to find; if that's your issue let us know and someone can look up how to find it in Windows 8 and provide the correct instructions.

I'm going to assume for hte time being that you're from Planet Earth and running Windows 7, which is what we're discussing here. I do however realize that you just said, "I have a Dell, will this work on a Dell?"

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There are actual Dells without Windows

In reply to: Hmmm.

I'm sorry about the way my answers are stacking in the wrong order - I suggest going to the bottom and reading UP.

I forgot to explain that leading computer managers, such as Lenovo and maybe Dell, are beginning to abandon Microsoft and offer computers with Ubuntu installed on them.

It is conceivably possible, though unlikely, since one needs to have a head to want a computer with Ubuntu on it, that your Dell does not have Windows.

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Re-enter?? What??

In reply to: Re-Enter Product Key in Windows 7

And if the product key provided by MS )purchase) does not work and there appears to be a new key never seen before........... Right. What is next genus? I am all legit. Suddenly my Win 8.1 Pro goes belly up. Trying to talk to MS Bombay is a nightmare. Original key worked for 8.1. Key for 8.1 Pro worked 6 weeks ago.

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Microsoft Activation

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

Years ago, Microsoft found that approximately 90% of all Windows PCs in China were illegally licensed. I have seen companies where they bought a SINGLE copy of Windows or Microsoft Office and put them on all systems. Also, people building PCs were also using a single copy of Windows. So, around the time of Windows XP, Microsoft started using activation. I admit, it was a lot complex. For example, there are several "flavors" of Windows licenses from the Volume License, to the OEM license (for the machine manufacturer to put on a machine) to the retail license you get when you buy windows online or at a store. And, you cannot use the product key codes interchangeably. That is, if you install a copy of Windows you bought in a store, you won't be able to use the code that is on the sticker on your PC; you have to use the code that came on the boxed version of Windows.

In order to stop piracy, they also made it register itself with Microsoft when you do the activation. But what happens if a person wants this copy of Windows on more than one PC? This is not allowed so, what Microsoft did was to through in various information about the PC hardware such as serial numbers for the hard drive, the amount of ram, and other things into the equation so that, if you were building a new PC, you would not be able to re-use the code from the other computer. An there lies the problem! You changed out a major piece of hardware. Most of us have done that and here is how to fix this:

1) Remember that Microsoft wants all this to work.

2) Follow the instructions on how to install a new key that user Jereese gave you (I don't have a Win7 machine here to test).

3) I would change the product key to itself and do the activation. You will need to make absolutely sure you are using the correct number and not one from another PC or CD case.

4) If it doesn't work, repeat the activation process but use the TELEPHONE when asked and use that number. If you try this during "normal business hours" you are less likely to get someone overseas who doesn't quite understand you. If they tell you it is already activated, tell them that you changed out your HDD and you need to RE-activate it. It would be the same if you had to reinstall Windows although the automatic re-activation seems to go smoothly when the hardware is exactly the same. For example, how do they know if you are creating HDDs for other systems or not since this is a new HDD.

5) If you use that phone number and explain that your HDD was wiped and removed, they should be able to look up your activation history and reset things on their end for you. There is a difference between someone re-formatting their HDD and someone replacing it.

Post was last edited on July 24, 2015 4:27 PM PDT

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Say what?!!!!!!

In reply to: Microsoft Activation

90% of computers made in China had pirated Windows?!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOLOLOLOLOLOL! I LOVE it when China massively, I don't know if it's actual government policy or not, rejects Microsoft's antics! China has the power to pull it off! You KNOW Microsoft must be desperate.

This sounds like it could have been the beginning of China's massive move to Linux. 90% of their computers don't even RUN Windows any more!

Now the thing is, Europe is pretty much moving to Linux as well.

However. This has nothing to do with this user's problem. He had fully registered Windows 7 running on his computer until he decided it might be nice to install a solid state hard drive! Whatever else it is, his Windows is not pirated.

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Not Exactly

In reply to: Say what?!!!!!!

I didn't say that 90% of the computers MADE in China. This was a Microsoft estimate many years ago and it was 90% of the windows systems in China were, at the time, pirated versions. This was before they started with product key activation. So, this doesn't include Lenovo computers made in China and shipped to the U.S. or anything like that. And it wasn't after the activation code went in either.

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Authenticate yourself

In reply to: Microsoft says Windows not authentic after upgraded drive

I ran into this alert message and somewhere in Control Panel I checked a box and it went away. This was after an upgrade to Windows 7 - TTL

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