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2011-05-19, 04:02 #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- DeKalb, IL, USA
- Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
MS Office Validation - Am I naive or what?
Because I was trying to be a nice guy for the friend of my granddaughter, I agreed to look at the friend's laptop that, among other problems, developed the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).
I finally got it to boot up in Safe Mode, when a "official" looking MS screen appeared that said that I had to fill out a name/address/email thing to get MS Office validated, and thence continue to use the computer. I filled it out, got the laptop working until the next time I had to shut it down, and had to fill the thing out again. Which I did.
Two days later, I had a visit from a manager-trainee from Aaron's, the rental company, asking if so-and-so was home. I replied that so-and-so didn't live here. Then the guy asked for John (me). I identified myself, we chatted, and he left. Only after he left did I fill in the blanks.
My wife told me she was told that the laptop had been rented from Aaron's with the option to buy. Then, she said, when the last payment was made, the laptop quit working. At that point gullible-me was asked to look at it. Which I did.
Last night we got a call from Aaron's again, asking if so-and-so was there. I explained to the caller that the reason he had my phone number was because I filled out a MS Office Validation thing, and it wasn't supposed to be used for any reason (it said) except to validate Office.
Does MS give third-parties the info gleaned from their "secure" validations, in spite of what they say, or was that a bogus scam that I filled out, and, if so, why would Aaron's stoop to putting deceptive forms on their computers.
I understand that rental companies have an investment in the goods they rent out, and have an interest in getting paid for them, but this is too much.
Can you help me?
2011-05-19, 14:16 #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2001
- St Louis, Missouri, USA
- Thanked 1,026 Times in 899 Posts
Microsoft does NOT give out that information. You are never required to give any personal information when activating a product. Activation may be manually initiated but is automatic process. If activation fails you might be required to call Microsoft.
Product registration is a different matter. However, you are never required to register a Microsoft product.
This sure reads to me like you got scammed into providing personal information.
You can use a tool such as [rul=http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902]Autoruns[/url] or WhatInStartup to see what program is starting when the PC is booted. WhatInStartup is by far the simpler of the two to use.