XP software problem


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Forum Donor
Aug 18, 2005
Minneapolis, MN
Framing Solutions MN
My XP home edition software is acting up. My daughter went to open her account last night and it "stalled" 1/2 open with blue xp band showing and then do nothing - no keys would activate, no icons showed, ctrl-alt-del didn't do anything, Exc., etc. I could reboot the computer and it appeared to open in differnent type of "safe mode". (By the way Good old Norton didn't report any problems the previous day. Yeah, we dicussed Norton shortcomings earlier.) After numerous attempts to re-boot, I tried rebooting w/ Norton System disk; got into hte computer command help mode - just no help for me. Came up with reloading the Nobilis Operating system/Product Recovery CD-ROM. It auto deleted files, then when into auto reinstall. An hour later the computer is operating - but it not "quite right." Everything is enlarged, even with the text size on smallest.

so far no files seem lost, but...I'm sure it's not still running not correct.

So what is my next step - or do I need a "local god" to play doctor and see what its aliment is.
thanks - at least I can get into the grumbler to ask for
Would you consider an XP system restore to a point before everything went south?

When I was setting up a new XP computer, I used that several times before everything was right.

It works (unlike the Windows ME system restore, which still took me back to ME.
I was hoping for Windows 98 SE.)
Display setting is off
video card driver did not get installed correctly

Right click on desktop
Click Properties
Then click the settings tab.
Play with the sliders. If they do anything it is a setting. If they do not, we need to look at drivers.
Now, my serial numbered disks, are reading "not genuine" microsoft products. This was the systems that came with my new computer several years ago- but now it's "not genuine"???

What, or where, is the XP system restore?

I'm much better with programs that with this "mechanical' stuff....

Just finished trying the display slides - no luck. When I was reloading from the CD it did ask for the VIAxxx.sys; but when I loaded the VIA disk for the mother board-it didn't read it or I couldn't locate the tight path to open whatever it was asking for.

It as first you don't suceed - ask a grumbler!
The video drivers are likely in a sub folder of that cd. If you know the model # of the motherboard (if its built in) or the video card, it may be best to grab the drivers from the companys web site.

If the computer is a Dell or Gateway, they make it VERY easy. Just visit their website's SUPPORT area, put your SYSTEM ID TAG in, and it will bring you to a page where you can download the appropriate video drivers.

If you did a system re-install, make sure you get all the windows updates so you can get SP2 and all the other fixes back. If you reinstalled the OS, a system restore isn't possible. If re-installed, your antivirus protection will likely be gone too.

Your initial problem sounded like spyware or adware, which may not have been caught by Norton. (unless you had a version which handles those items, in addition to viri) Some great spyware/adware scanners are AD-AWARE (free from www.download.com) or SpyBot Search And Destroy.

Good luck

..only one problem...some macs are now running Windows.............wwwwwwhhhhhyyyyyyy!!!!!!

That is coming from an Apple Certified Technician who works with PCs all day and relax with razor blades at night ;)
....because maybe they're going to move into the pc market. They moved on to pc's hardware/chips, they moved into the (efficient) unix world as a foundation for their new operating system.... So the next logical step might be to market their O/S to CONVERT existing PC/Windows users. Then they could dump their expensive hardware and just be a software vendor.

It's a brilliant idea, if that's their master plan. With such a small share of the market (3%-4%?) they have to do something like this to survive. The IPOD saved them, but has a lot of competitors now. They're known for their innovative marketing ideas that appeal to the artsy/visual/right brained/young crowd. Graphic design is pretty much their only remaining customer base.

If they can bring in a whole new breed of converts (especially if Microsoft VISTA is a flop, and its just a matter of putting a new o/s on the same equipment), they'll grow overnight.

That's just my warped view of the situation, at least. I support a few macs for some clients and find that it takes many more steps to do simple maintenance tasks, and can be a nightmare if you need repairs. Finding software can be difficult, and its often several versions behind and buggy. The fact that they're not even a blip on the radar for people writing viri, is a plus. That will change if they become mainstream, as will the availability of software.

oops, im rambling.

I ran a free performance scan from this site
http://www.pcpitstop.com. It was really interesting - sure wish I could analyze the analysis better!

I received a very nice 5 page summary of my computer and what it has in it, etc.

Any thoughts of this program? I seem to be back to operating ok. Now I just have to get to the bottom of the "I may be the victum of conterfeited software" problem.

Thanks for helping
Certain copies of Windows has to be activated.
You may need to call the phone number that should be with your CDs or at some point in the install process it should have said to activate windows.

Do you have a sticker from Microsoft on your case???????????????
I agree. You should contact them to get this resolved, because you'll soon be blocked from getting important updates. It may just be a matter of verifying the # again to get this fixed.

Microsoft is in the process of identifying and cracking down on versions that were installed more than once, and for now theyre just popping up that window and they'll also prevent you from doing a WINDOWS UPDATE if you try. (automated ones still work for now, but that is changing in a few months)

They will be doing the same thing very soon for the Microsoft Office product.

When you buy these products, the fine print says that you're only buying the license to use it and don't own the product. It's only valid for the original pc, and non transferrable if you buy a new PC. The security checker will often reject you if you upgrade some components in the PC, because it looks at things like the hard drive's serial #, the cpu serial # and speed, etc. (to make sure its not being transferred to another pc)
I read a few days ago somewhere that a recent Windows update has changed the authentication procedure for Windows. Some people who have legit copies of Windows (even if Windows XP is a few years old) are getting such an error message.

You need to call MS tech support and they will help.
Who buit your machine? You might talk with them first.
Microsoft neglected to include some companys licences, go figure.
so I contacted MS help line; and was told to go to www.microsoft\diag\Support.aspx and run their diag to determine if is is genuine or not. did that and it comes up as a genuine product. Except it is a OEM product and therefore MS doesn't "help" solve OEM product problems! they then referred me to www.gomicrosoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52029.

did that link and got a help site of services, some you can pay for - and found a forum listed of techsupport(grumblers).

How is it that MS can't validate this when it was proven genuine? Update to follow....this is really getting frustrating.
Just talked to a tech at this site http://www.hiwired.com and they said at first they could help; then when I told them the operating system or who the recovery disk was (Nobilis)from - they said sorry - couldn't help - go back to MS! So even though this has been verified as a genuine OEM product by MS, I still can't get it re-registered. Go figure.

This site has a live support tech to work with so at least in the future - when not grumbling our own great tech's for help - there is another free help source.

If I was going to Atlanta - I'd at least buy you all a few

Anybody have any other ideas? (Yes, I'll contact the guy who built this for us next.)
Hi Sue,

One thing you may want to try is Microsoft's "Product Key Update Tool". This tool lets you re-enter your serial number, and should force it to re-generate the security files. It may not work, but it's worth a try.


If that doesn't work, it looks like their instructions are to refer you back to the place you bought the PC. Many clone shops would install many PCs from a single serial #, back when it didnt matter, even when they handed you a legitimate registration code. (just out of laziness) Those duplicate registrations have now been identified and blocked. If that happened, the above link will hopefully get you straightened out with your legitimate key.

Best regards,
ok- Mike this was a good help - EXCEPT when I punch in the 25 product key form the label on my computer - it says it "doesn't match up with my SYSTEM"

I also re-ran the diag feature and which shows 15 of the 25 product keys. Now those 15 don't match with the ones on the labels' last 15.

I wonder if a different Home xp was installed when the system crashed a couple of years ago(see thread on Zango.) Could that be the "key" that is messing this up?

Thanks all - and especially Mike

It's possible that the tool in the previous link only works for special versions sold through their website.

Linked below is a freeware utility that will not only let you VIEW the serial # used to install your windows, but it also has an option (in the pulldown menu) to let you modify this number.

I have used this several times and it works, but use at your own risk. Insert disclaimer here, etc


Best regards and have a great holiday!
Chapter 8: Mike, the above site worked great, located the matching key code that the system ID'd when the MS genuine diagnostic was run. I was able to fill in the missing first 10 numbers. Thought great - here we go!

Went to the MS product update; copied and pasted the "matching" key code - doesn't take it - says it's not VALID!!!!!!!. Re-copied and pasted - that was a waste of time - still invaild for this system. So now the original key code and the version shown in my computer thru keyfinder are not correct -go figure.

Mike- I'm so glad you do what you do (personally I'd like to the keep framing headaches). The sites listed here, by you and others, have been really helpful in getting this "non-genuine - conterfeit" issue identified. Others, hopefully, will have an easier time because of your help.

I did talk to my "builder" and the OEM as well this AM. The OEM says "Hmmmm.....I guess you need to re-install and re-format the drive....."

My "builder" is picking up the computer! I've thrown in the TOWEL - and the computer hasn't gone through the window..............yet!

thanks again - it was(n't) fun while it lasted. But I got to learn new things

Make sure you back up ALL your files and data (quicken, word processing, bookmarks, emails, etc) because what he is doing will likely erase the computer to its original (factory) state.
Good luck

Glad to help a fellow grumbler
Just thought I'd update: I did the systems updates, as was suggested, and quess what! No more conterfeit messages! Go figure. I also removed Norton. Will download as recommended before. Computer is sure faster! Now all I get is a message re: "Support for Windowx XP SP ends October 10th, 2006." Not sure what that is all about...

thanks again.
Hi Sue,

Back in June of 2004, Microsoft released "SP2" (Service pack #2) which added some new features and improved a lot of things. (firewall, automatic updates, etc) FULL LIST It means that Microsoft won't be willing to provide support after October 10th for people who have not installed SP2. (support for Windows 98 and several other vintage products ends THIS month)

If you are receiving this message, it means you should visit http://update.microsoft.com/ to get all old and current updates. If the pc vendor re-formatted and installed from an old XP cd that didn't already have SP2 built in, it is normal to receive this error until you run the updates. (the new cd's you buy now have SP2 built in)

-You'll probably have to do this several times to get them all, and will have to re-boot in between most of them.
-SP2 itself was a major upgrade and a very large file. (over 300mb for most people) If you're on dialup, it is normal for this to take many hours.
I thought about this a bit. It's possible that you'll get the WGA authenticity error again after you finish installing the updates. That checking utility is one of the last things it will install.

Hopefully it will be fine.

That whole WGA issue made the news several times today. Two class action lawsuits are happening, and MS supposedly announced that theyre discontinuing (or lessening) the check process.