What Happens When I Press This Button?
November 2, 2006 7:44 AM   Subscribe

My personal laptop runs XP Pro which I installed using our company's install disc, which our nice IT guy lent me. To complete the install of IE7, you must hit a button which validates whether your copy of Windows is authentic. What will happen if I press it?

I know there are bypass installs out there, I'm just more curious as to what exactly will happen. Could it;
a) install because I'm assuming it's a multi-user licence
b) not install period
c) not install and send data to MS
d) not install and send incriminating data to MS
e) ???
posted by The_Partridge_Family to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Your company most likely has a site license and the check will validate your machine and do the install.

So I vote for answer a)
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:54 AM on November 2, 2006

If you're in doubt, you should just ask the IT guy that loaned you the disc. It probably is a site license that the company is allowed installing on any number of machines ... but better safe than sorry.

You did say he was a nice IT guy so it's not worth getting him in trouble over. (So I vote against options c and d).
posted by DrSkrud at 8:07 AM on November 2, 2006

Unless your IT guy pirated the serial number a) will happen. You may have to download the genuine check executable.
posted by Mitheral at 8:09 AM on November 2, 2006

If your copy of Windows activated fine, then it'll work. If not, it won't.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:26 AM on November 2, 2006

Nothing bad happens if you run the check and it says your copy is not authentic. You'll get a little (text) speech and will be given the opportunity to buy a valid serial number. I installed a second copy of XP on a machine here at home because I was too lazy to find my other XP license #, and just skipped the activation, and this is what happened to me, I think, when I tried to install something from windows update.

One ironic thing is, as far as I can tell, the copy they were offering to sell me was cheaper than anything I've seen in stores.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:40 AM on November 2, 2006

If your copy of Windows activated fine, then it'll work. If not, it won't.


I have a laptop that got imaged off the corporate master image. When I tried to download something from MSFT and it ran WGA, it said I didn't have a valid copy. Even typing in the serial # off the bottom of my Dell didn't convince it. I had to call in to get a human to agree that I had a valid copy of windows.

I have no clue why it happened, but WGA sure as heck rejected an already-activated laptop for me.
posted by GuyZero at 8:50 AM on November 2, 2006

Create a restore point before doing the upgrade.

When I accidentally ran the validator on my illegal copy of Windows XP Pro, it still worked enough to back out the change.
posted by Slenny at 9:32 AM on November 2, 2006

I have a real, actual, valid, came-with-the-computer copy of XP Pro. It NEVER validates. I haven't had an update in over two years because it doesn't validate and I have better things to do than call MS.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:53 AM on November 2, 2006

GuyZero; the activation step takes two things and creates a single thing. The two things are your license key and your machine's hardware "signature," which is arrived at by doing some math on the serial/model numbers of components in your system.

When the corporate master image was activated, the hardware signature of the machine it was on was combined with the license key to activate. The result was stored at Microsoft. When you installed the image on your machine, the license stayed the same, but the hardware signature changed.

If I remeber correctly, there's a limited number of hardware signature changes allowed before activation will fail, and you have to call Microsoft and talk them into activating it.
posted by odinsdream at 10:11 AM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

Odinsdream, none of that applies if you have a Volume Licensing Key. "Using the VLK will bypass activation."

And my vote on the original question is (a).
posted by llamateur at 10:26 AM on November 2, 2006

The hatch will implode, and you'll wake up naked in the jungle.
posted by mkultra at 10:45 AM on November 2, 2006

llamateur; thanks for the correction.
posted by odinsdream at 11:27 AM on November 2, 2006

So what are ways to bypass the validation check?
posted by sic at 2:22 PM on November 2, 2006

So what are ways to bypass the validation check?

posted by Rhomboid at 2:59 PM on November 2, 2006

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