Was brought a work laptop today by a co-worker, The laptop was pruchase from Dell, and has the original software and OS loaded from dell still on it. So, I ask whats the problem?
"I brought the laptop home to use there, my son got on it and used it. After I got it back from him and Turned it on it came up with a message box saying that the Product key is invalid, and I need to call Microsoft or my systems administrator and now I can not use anything." - User
"Ok, what was your son doing on it?" - Me
"He fessed up to it and said the only thing he did was allow an update of Service pack 2, when it started and after he loged back on it came up with the error about being invalid." - User
"What does your son know how to do on a computer?" - Me
"Nothing... The only thing he does is gets online and goes to some place called myspace.com." - User
"Ok, I doubt it then that he knows how to change anything with the Productkey in windows. So, Im sure it has to do with SP2 being installed on the laptop..." - Me
After talking awhile I took the laptop and set it up in my office to play with. This is the actuall error that comes up after you sign in.
The Product Key used to install Windows is invalid. Please contact your system administrator or retailer immediately to obtain a valid Product Key. You may also contact Microsoft Corporation's Anti-Piracy Team by emailing email@example.com if you think you have purchased pirated Microsoft software. Please be assured that any personal information you send to the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Team will be kept in strict confidence.
Hmm... So I started to look this up in the MS knowledge database to see how to clear this issue. So far no luck. I've tried a Product Key Changer, no deal. I've tired Article ID # 328874 which is How to change the volume license product key, No dice on that either; I found this article 326904 and still no luck, so finally i'm trying and uninstalling the SP2 updates and going to try the Product Key Changer again mainly because it was made for SP1 issues.
One of the things that gets me about this is the fact that the laptop's OS was installed by Dell and has not be re-installed or changed since the laptop was received. I have noticed that on all Dells the Product key that is on each dell (when it comes installed from dell) that they do not match the Product key on the outside of the box or laptop. We use Dell's here at my work and I have tried them on many workstations, and each time its the same outcome different keys. You can check yours by using KeyFinder by magic jelly bean, and has a built in Product Key Changer. I've also started my own KeyFinder which can be downloaded here.
More in awhile...