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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Hello Everyone,

    Two days ago, I routinely shut down my PC at the end of the day and everything was fine. Yesterday however, the trouble started when I turned on the PC, programs that normally start and run in the background did not start correctly, and I tried to manually start some of them but there is no response. Outlook and other apps fail to start, most actions within Windows explorer and the Control Panel cause non-responsiveness, and a host of other problems. I tried to restart the computer a few times, but often it worsened the condition, in several cases, I was presented with a Black Screen after login, and unable to access my desktop.

    Due to the fact that these problems seemingly appeared over-night, and the computer was working perfectly the night before, my first assumption was that an update or something was installed at shut-down or during the day and damaged some critical files within the computer. So I decided to try to use the restore points Windows makes to attempt to recover my computer to a previously well-working state. Problem here was that whenever I tried to do so, Control Panel or the Start Menu would become unresponsive.

    Finally I rebooted the PC in safe mode and restored it to a point in the previous day, thinking that it would work just like it did then. But when the computer finished and booted Windows again, I logged in and was presented with the same Black screen I had before. Unfortunately this time it happened every time the computer started up, which really hampered the measures I could take. I was able to start a browser through the Task Manager and do some research on some of the symptoms, most notably the black screen. I found a fix for what seemed to be a similar problem to mine, but it wouldn't run after downloading. I was able to fix this by once again, booting in safe mode and restoring to an even earlier restore point.

    This restored the desktop, but it was still suffering from the first symptoms. After a more through analysis and attempts to work with the computer, I noticed a few things. I have a notice on the bottom right of the desktop that denotes the OS, Build and that I'm not using a genuine copy of Windows, but it's never appeared for nearly a year of use. Whenever I attempt to launch certain programs or functions, I get error messages or they become unresponsive.

    Has anyone experienced this recently or due to some update? Is there anything I can do to better diagnose this problem? Perhaps fix the computer somehow? With the fact that many applications fail to launch, I am unable to access tools and apps that I would normally use to troubleshoot or fix problems that I encounter.

    Here is a link to a .pdf with the specs for the laptop in question. I would normally just write these specs with the output of another program, but like many others it fails to launch. VPCCW17FX

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Are you using a genuine copy of Windows?
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Karlo,

    It sounds like Windows Genuine Advantage {WGA} has decided your copy of Windows in counterfeit. Windows Vista & 7 are designed to go into degraded mode. In this mode Windows won't let you do much. If your copy is legal you need to call Microsoft Support and convince them to the fact you have a legal copy. If you can convince them they'll help you fix the problem.

    This is one of the main reasons most people don't like WGA because out of the blue it can decide that you aren't legal and then it's up to you to convince MS that is rather than for them to prove it isn't.

    Good Luck.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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  4. #4
    Lounger
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    It should be a genuine and legal copy of windows. The PC originally came with Windows 7 Premium and I later upgraded that to Ultimate using one of their Upgrade keys. I will try to pursuit that lead with Microsoft as suggested. In the meantime, I'm still looking for what may be alternate possible diagnosis. I'm thinking that it could very well be a virus or malware, since my Antivirus is unable to run since the incident.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Karlo,

    Give this a try.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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  6. #6
    Lounger
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    One problem with that solution is that if, in fact, it is WGA that rendered the problems I am facing, I am unable to see any timer anywhere. I also cannot access my computer through the Start menu or Control Panel. Whenever I click the button "Computer" in the menu I get an error from explorer.exe, "The remote procedure call failed and did not execute".

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Karlo,

    I had the same thing happen to me two weeks ago, except my Toshiba laptop was not behaving as wildly as yours. Windows 7 came installed from Toshiba so I knew it to be legitimate.

    I called Microsoft's number for Windows Activation Support. Call 1-800-936-5700. It is an automated routine. Follow the directions each step in the process. Have your Windows Product Key on hand as you will have to key it in when prompted. There is a long list of numbers you will be given, but when the call is finished, your computer should be fixed. After around five minutes, mine was back up and running normally and has behaved since. If this fails to get you activated or if you get a message that your Product Key is not valid, listen for an option to speak to a support person. There has to be some way to talk to a human being if things go that far.

    As a side note, I found my product key listed in the Registry using a Nirsoft app named Produkey, and it was different from the one on my Windows 7 packaging. I was very surprised. Something had altered the key. After going through the Windows Activation Support call, and everything was back to normal, I checked the registry again, and the Product Key listed matched the one on my Win7 packaging. Go figure!

    Unfortunately, I do not remember any other details of the call, as I did not make any notes during the process. I hope this helps you get activated.
    I wish you the best.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Gerald,

    I wonder if there is a way to change the incorrect product key to the correct key by editing the registry key. I did not notice when I checked mine, but does the Nirsoft app show the registry location that can be manually changed?

    I have also had to contact MS twice to reactivate apps. They were bot Office products when I upgraded to Win 7 and reinstalled the Office product. Since they were already installed the maximum number of times allowed, I could not activate them when I upgraded until I contacted MS. It ended up being no big deal. The MS tech was very helpful in the process.

    Ted

    edit: I ran Nirsoft again and if you double click the product key another window opens that appears to allow a change. I do not wish to test this theory for obvious reasons. Karlo, it may be worth trying to input the correct key here, assuming it shows a different key. This might be great info to pass along to MS if it indeed is the cause.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  9. #9
    Lounger
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    I was just about to try the ProduKey app, to verify that both the key on the bottom of the case and the one registered in Windows were the same, but I ran into a problem. When I download the app, it comes in a .zip archive, normally I find it in Windows Explorer and open/extract it, with either Windows or 7-Zip. However Windows Explorer fails to launch, therefore I can't access it right now either.

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    If you purchased your Operating system with a computer such as Dell or HP, it may have come preactivated (No activation needed when you first set it up). If this is the case, the product number in the software and the product number on the case will NOT match.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Is this the same laptop as in your previous thread: "Doubts about clean install... "
    In regards to how I will be doing the installation of the OS, I'm not quite sure yet. The PC didn't come with a restoration CD/DVD, so I'm not quite certain how to proceed yet. I might contact Sony or check if customer support can provide me one otherwise I might have to think of something else. I can install Windows 7 Professional on the PC, but then I would be throwing away the money I spent buying the upgrade to Ultimate, since I believe both keys have to match in order to be able to use the Upgrade again.
    How did you resolve the above issue in that previous thread?
    How did you perform a clean install, if any?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  12. #12
    Lounger
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    Yes, this is indeed the same PC. I was actually about to go cut my losses and install Windows 7 Professional, since I hoped that it would help get rid of this problem I just confronted. However, this option is now unavailable to me, I had recently cleaned some temporary files in my PC, among them was the ISO copy of the Windows 7 Professional DVD. I no longer posses the physical copy of that DVD, so that option is unavailable to me right now.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Do you still have the original Windows 7 Premium installation that came with that laptop?
    You can either follow Gerald's advice in calling MS or do an upgrade install with the original W7 Premium...
    If it is a factory image located on a hidden partition you shouldn't have to validate premium until you reinstall
    ultimate from your previously "easy upgrade" installation.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  14. #14
    Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    Do you still have the original Windows 7 Premium installation that came with that laptop?
    You can either follow Gerald's advice in calling MS or do an upgrade install with the original W7 Premium...
    If it is a factory image located on a hidden partition you shouldn't have to validate premium until you reinstall
    ultimate from your previously "easy upgrade" installation.
    The laptop did not include any restore media. So right now I'm probably going to see about the Product Key, and probably end up calling Microsoft about it.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    I wonder if there is a way to change the incorrect product key to the correct key by editing the registry key. I did not notice when I checked mine, but does the Nirsoft app show the registry location that can be manually changed?
    Hi Ted,

    I did try to change the key to match the one on my documentation, but it did not work. I also tried to change it on the System page. No go. As to whether Produkey showed me the exact location of the registry key, I cannot recall. It alarms me as to how I can so easily forget details like this, but I did find on another web site where the registry key is located, but I did not copy the information or bookmark it, so i don't remember that either. I am sure it would not be difficult to find again.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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