Been running a legit copy of OEM vista home premium for a while. All of a sudden I get the "You may be the victim of counterfeit" messages...

... Great ...

I do the whole online validation thing ... no success. Windows is now in lockdown. slui.exe is running and giving me the options of:

  1. reduced functionality
  2. Type another product key
  3. Contact Microsoft

There is no phone number to do the reactivation ... the online one just fails again ... and the contact microsoft stuff just opens generic support.

Any ideas?, there does not seem to be a logical path forward for activation of my perfectly legal copy of windows.

I run Linux on all my systems, and the one Windows box I have decides to lock me out without a method of resolving the issue short of buying another key.


I wouldn't bother worrying with activating Windows Vista at this point. Windows 7 is coming out soon and you can be running the Release Candidate for free until it is comes out.

At least you still have the reduced functionality option to get your stuff out of Vista.

  • I have code to write in a Java SDK that only supports Windows. I was perfectly happy with vista for this. What a pain in the arse! Thankyou for your response anyway ... have a +1 – Aiden Bell Jul 21 '09 at 18:05
  • 1
    Well Aiden the RC is free and available, so no real downsides for you ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jul 21 '09 at 19:47
  • @lvo, If I were going to go to the hassle of a reinstall of anything I would rather spend my energy getting a decent JME setup on Linux. I just want the Windows install I paid for to run :P – Aiden Bell Jul 21 '09 at 22:35

My first instinct would be to call the activation phone line and try to speak with someone regarding the issue. MS customer support is generally quite good at resolving issues such as this.

KB article with additional activation information

EDIT: Since it's OEM, you might actually need to contact your hardware supplier to get this issue resolved. There's a known bug in Vista where sometimes computers that do not require activation (like OEM installations), suddenly require it. Sounds like it might be applicable to your situation.

  • It doesn't display a phone number for me to wring, nor is there anywhere to input the automated response crap. :S – Aiden Bell Jul 21 '09 at 22:34

Microsoft checks your Vista serial against a list of known leaked serials (corporate edition keys, etc). Evidently, your serial matches one of them so it decides that you're using counterfeit software.

The only way you can make your system legit is to get in touch with an OEM support person. The OEM supplier should normally be indicated by a sticker on your computer case.

You can not make your system legit. The most you can do is turn off the nag warning. But beware that you're then considered as a counterfeiter, and that Windows Update will not be fully functioning.

Until you get somebody to give you a new serial, here's how I believe you would get rid of the nag. I suggest that you create first a system restore point, just in case.

Reboot to safe mode. Open up HijackThis and scroll down to the selection that says “020 – Winlogon Nofity: Wgalogon – …” select that, and click Fix checked.

You can also go and rename the actual executable that nags you. The full path to it should be (for most installs) C:\Windows\System32\wgatray.exe.


Try first to see if the second step is enough (followed by a reboot), because it can be easily undone once you get your legit serial number.

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