Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have some desktop and notebook computers, so I got some Windows 7 Ultimate Edition retail packages and installed on some of them.

On some machine, I entered the serial number right away, and they are fine, but on one machine, I never entered the serial number, and now I can't find the boxes, so I can't enter any serial number but surprisingly, Win 7 just say "Your copy of Win 7 may be pirated or un-licensed...", but it shows a black wallpaper and keep on running!? Is it supposed to be like that? It doesn't seem like any slower by the way...

share|improve this question
I havent used Windows 7 , but this used to happen with Windows XP too ,it just gave a message That the installation might be pirtated , but on clicking the icon(or maybe it was a pop up , dont really remember ) it gave you an option to enter a genuine license key. – Shekhar Apr 1 '11 at 6:12
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The black screen is normal behavior when a copy of Windows 7 lacks a serial number to activate, but Microsoft won't slow down the computer. According to Microsoft's website,

Until you correct the issue, you'll receive periodic reminders that Windows is not genuine. In addition, to more clearly display these messages, your desktop might turn black. You can reset it, but every 60 minutes, it will return to black until the issue is resolved.

Regardless of genuine status, Windows will still be able to get critical security updates. However, access to optional updates or benefits available exclusively to genuine Windows customers, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, might be restricted.

Typically, you will have 30 days to find a serial number that you can activate, or up to 120 days by using the command "slmgr -rearm" in the command prompt up to three times. After that you will be unable to use your computer at all unless you can find a serial number to activate with Microsoft.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .