Microsoft uses software called Windows Activation Technology (WAT) and Windows Genuine Authentication (WGA) to check the status of the Windows® operating system. WAT is a set of activation and validation technologies that help determine if the copy of the Windows operating system installed on the computer is genuine or legitimate. Microsoft released an update (KB 971033) to WAT for the Windows 7 operating system on February 16, 2010.
If WAT determines that Microsoft identifies the copy of the Windows operating system as counterfeit or not genuine, the desktop background will turn to plain black and the following messages may be displayed:
NOTE: Other than the messages and background change, the functionality of the Windows operating system will not be affected.
- This copy of Windows is not genuine.
- Optional update delivery is not working. You may be a victim of software counterfeiting.
- Activate windows now. The activation period has expired.
IMPORTANT: If you use the same Sony® Windows 7 upgrade disc and product key (COA) on more than one VAIO® computer these messages may be displayed now or in the future. To resolve the issue, obtain a Sony Windows 7 upgrade kit and COA for each computer and then follow the instructions linked in the message to enter a unique COA on each computer. The Sony Windows 7 upgrade program ends March 31, 2010, so act now.
The copy of the Windows operating system preinstalled on a VAIO computer or obtained through the Sony Windows 7 upgrade program, if used on only one computer, should not be detected as non-genuine nor display any of these messages.
If you receive any of the messages listed above, information is available to help resolve the issue . You also can visit the Microsoft® Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/Genuine/ for more information.