How to confuse Windows activation



  • OK, so, I've got this laptop, right? I made the mistake of closing the lid the other night. It went to sleep - or, more accurately, it went into a coma. When I opened the lid, nada. Reboot. Windows gets to the login screen, eventually, and then deep sixes itself after I log in; eventually I get something about the host control process being taken over by demons, or something. It works fine in safemode, but I can't for the life of me get it to do anything useful normally. CTRL-ALT-DELETE will get me to the task manager option screen, but from there, nothing.

    What do I do? Well, I can't do an install-over from safemode, only a clean install. The 'fix Windows' thing on the CD doesn't work. I can't roll back to last known good, because as far as Windows is concerned, I logged in successfully. I'm facing a clean install or a ton of intarwebs searching to find a solution.

    As a last ditch, I decide to give the thing a ton of time. Turns out it does, eventually, excruciatingly slowly, pop the task manager. It often crashes, and takes minutes to respond to a command, but finally I get a command prompt. CD D:. Setup. Wham, setup starts like nothing happened and proceeds to do an upgrade install.

    I head up to my office while it's chewing away (OK, more accurately, I move two thousand pounds of wood heating pellets from my carport to their storage area and [i]then[/i] head up to my office). I do a quote for a customer, and enough time has gone by I figure, what the hey, if it's installed and sitting on the desktop, maybe I can remote in! And I'll be god damned, it works. And I'm on the 'set up windows' screen, except via remote desktop. Sure enough, it asks me for a product key, and I duly put it in and activate. Windows is genuine. Awesome! I log out and go back down to the house.

    Once home, I tap the laptop's mouse and it asks me to log in... I do, and... wait, what? Do all the 'set up windows' stuff again? Except this time it doesn't ask me for a product key; it accuses me of pirating windows. "This copy of Windows is not genuine", it says on the lower right. Screw you, Windows! OK, so, I hafta activate. It already has the product key... but it refuses to activate! It just sends me to a web page chastising me and offering to test my computer to see if it's legitimate. Fine, assholes, do your worst. I have to download and install a component of some kind.

    So, I download it... and as it updates itself, I get this:



    WTF! It seems that the component doing the updating of the component to check genuineness was unable to update because updating is disable when the software isn't genuine.

    Or something, fuck all if I know. I'm not a developer, developer, developer, developer.

    Anyway, I restart, and now the thing works, but it grabs me by the balls, says I'm not genuine, and demands that I pony up - it seems that one of the advantages of not running counterfeit software is "lower chances of running counterfeit software". Well, [i]I'm[/i] sold.

    So, I give up on that and go back to the 'about your fucking stupid useless computer' page. I decide to change the product key, even though I'd already put the key in, with the same account, and activated using that key. Bada bing (see what I did there?) bada boom, biiiig boom, it's genuine!

    Well, fuck me. That was fun.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    ...I tap the laptop's mouse...

    TRWTF


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    This makes sense if you know how the Windows setup process works. When you did that remotely, it had already started the executable for the local console. You entered your serial key from a new instance for the remote console. When you returned home, you picked up into that first instance. When the configuration process reaches the serial number stage, it checks to see if it already has a serial number defined in the registry or wherever the hell it keeps it. If it does, the only case what it does is in Volume License mode - a default serial key that won't activate but will allow basic prep usage. So It proceeds with the volume license version of the process: It reads the serial and KMS activation data off the installation cache and inputs it. However, because you haven't prepared your installation media to have a serial for it to read in, it ends up sticking the default one in on top of your real key.

     Therefore you must now change the key AGAIN.

     

     

    So really you got stabbed in the balls by a generalized config process.



  • This wouldn't have happened if the insert, sysreq, scroll lock, and pause keys worked in an intuitive manner like they do in Unix.



  • @Xyro said:

    This wouldn't have happened if the insert, sysreq, scroll lock, and pause keys worked in an intuitive manner like they do in Unix.

     

    This also wouldn't have happened if he remoted in via command line, because then it'd be all text and the computer could understand the product key.

    But either way would have been fine.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Xyro said:
    This wouldn't have happened if the insert, sysreq, scroll lock, and pause keys worked in an intuitive manner like they do in Unix.
    This also wouldn't have happened if he remoted in via command line, because then it'd be all text and the computer could understand the product key.

    But either way would have been fine.

    echo "PRODUCT_KEY" > /var/sys/genuine/key && authenticate-key -c -Df --no-drm -X 25



  • @SuperJames74 said:

    @PeriSoft said:
    ...I tap the laptop's mouse...

    TRWTF
     

     

    What? Blank screen; tap the mouse and it goes to the login screen. I guess I could have hit the space bar, or something. I guess it's something you only understand if you're a hifalutin' developer.



  • Your laptop is overheating or like that. The memory is failing or the disk is borked.



  • @alegr said:

    Your laptop is overheating or like that. The memory is failing or the disk is borked.

    Hard to believe it's overheating at idle. It's one of those monster Sager things with a desktop CPU and video card in it, and fans to match. I check to make sure they're not dusty, and the the thing sounds like a jet engine pretty much all the time. Moves as much air as my desktop.

    That doesn't rule out the disk, though. It just seems like suspend/resume always works great for the first six months, and gets progressively worse after that, no matter what the laptop or OS. It's bizarre.



  • @Xyro said:

    This wouldn't have happened if the insert, sysreq, scroll lock, and pause keys worked in an intuitive manner like they do in Unix.

    I get it.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    @SuperJames74 said:

    @PeriSoft said:
    ...I tap the laptop's mouse...

    TRWTF
     

     

    What? Blank screen; tap the mouse and it goes to the login screen. I guess I could have hit the space bar, or something. I guess it's something you only understand if you're a hifalutin' developer.

     

    I think (and hope) he was using an alternative and more...ummm..."adult" meaning of "tap".



  • @SQLDave said:

    @PeriSoft said:

    @SuperJames74 said:

    @PeriSoft said:
    ...I tap the laptop's mouse...

    TRWTF
     

     

    What? Blank screen; tap the mouse and it goes to the login screen. I guess I could have hit the space bar, or something. I guess it's something you only understand if you're a hifalutin' developer.

     

    I think (and hope) he was using an alternative and more...ummm..."adult" meaning of "tap".

    The Magic: The Gathering meaning?



  • @Spectre said:

    I think (and hope) he was using an alternative and more...ummm..."adult" meaning of "tap".

    The Magic: The Gathering meaning?

     

    I was thinking of tapping female ass, but your way works too, I guess.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Spectre said:

    I think (and hope) he was using an alternative and more...ummm..."adult" meaning of "tap".

    The Magic: The Gathering meaning?

     

    I was thinking of tapping female ass dicks, but your way works too, I guess.

     

    DTFY



  •  I am forever in your debt.


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