Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

This Version of Windows is not Genuine


  • Please log in to reply

#1
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts
A friend of mine has a laptop that when she bought it the OS installed was Vista Home Premium. When her mother became sick she went to her aid and while there her laptop became infected. She took the laptop to a local privately owned Tech Shop in her mothers home town which is in another state. She is now back home and now when she boots the laptop up it is telling her that she needs to validate her OS. I tried to validate it for her using the product key on the bottom of the case though I get a warning that this key is not for this version of Windows. The System page states that Vista Home Basic is installed and not Vista Home Premium as displayed on the bottom of the case. I'm assuming the Tech Shop reinstalled the OS with Home Basic instead of Home Premium. I scanned with Belarc Advisory and tried the software key that was listed and was told it was a "default product key."

What options does she have here to correct this issue since the repair shop is in another state!

I do have an "upgrade" retail disc of Vista Home Premium. Would I able to use that disc to reinstall and use the product key on the bottom of the case since they are he same version? This OS on the upgrade disc is not in use at this time on any computer though I do not want use that key just in case I decide to use it for myself. I know this is legal because the key is the original to the OS that was installed at purchase of laptop.

Any ideas?

Thank you,

Donna :)
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,088 posts
Most Vista (and Win 7) laptops come with a built in recovery partition that you access via a Fn key at boot time. Any chance this one has it? If so then use it to restore the computer to it's factory new state. If not use your Retail copy then try the key on the COA sticker. If problems, use the Activate Vista by phone method. MS is usually pretty lenient with problems like this.
  • 0

#3
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts
Hi Ztrucker,

Totally forgot about the possibility of a recovery partition. I'll check that option out as soon as I get past the next pitfall I have encountered. It keeps freezing on me and even though it will get past the Windows Error Recovery and the Validate Windows screen (if I wait long enough) the cursor is froze on the desktop. Touchpad will not work, and keyboard is "dead". ARGH!

Please refresh my memory here. If/when I am able to access the recovery partition it will revert back to the original factory installed OS, correct?

Thank you! :)
  • 0

#4
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts
Hi Ztruker,

I've tried every FN key combination possible F2, F9, F10. Everything. F8 takes me to the Windows Error Recovery screen. The laptop freezes instantly when it boots to the Windows Error Recovery screen. It does continue to boot to windows after the "countdown" to boot to selected option and which takes me to the Windows Activation screen. If I let it sit it does eventually get to the Windows desktop though the keyboard and touchpad are completely useless.

She said she had a new HD installed last Spring early Summer. She also said there was a disc left in the drive when she picked it up. She kept the disc.

The disc states:

Licensed for distribution only with a new PC.
Includes Windows Anytime Upgrade.
Includes Service Pack 1.
This disc contains 32-bit software only.<-- does that also mean the drivers?
Windows Vista Home Premium.


I'm wondering why Vista Home Basic is installed and a Vista Home Premium disc was found in the drive. Makes no sense unless he knew he messed up and he was in the process of fixing it when she called to pick the laptop up because she was heading back home and his help was not informed of the mix up. Or vice versa even.

I can use that disc can't I? I'm afraid to go forward with this because if it doesn't work then I would feel obligated to pay to have it corrected and I really don't have the funds.

:)

Edited by DonnaB, 26 February 2012 - 05:46 PM.

  • 0

#5
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,088 posts
Since the COA sticker on the laptop says Vista Home Premium, you can use the disc that was in the drive to install and it should activate okay. You may need to download some drivers from the manufacturers web site.

What is the make and model number of the laptop? I can help with finding them and also check the manual to see how you start System Recovery. Often this is F11 ...

There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods.

System Recovery - includes drivers and a lot of software. A lot of the software is garbage though and should be removed.
Vista install disc - clean install, no added crapware. You may need to download and install some drivers.
  • 0

#6
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts
Thanks Ztruker,

This is a custom laptop that I've never heard of before:

I found a tag on the bottom that states:

Model: FL92

From that I found the following:

Compal FL92 15.4" WSXGA+ Notebook Computer

Custom Laptop Compal FL92 Core™2 Duo Performance Notebook, 15.4" WXGA TFT Glossy LCD, NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT 256MB Graphics

She said she purchased the laptop from a local Tech Shop called Illiana Tek. There is a name plate for that company to the left of the touchpad.

Tomorrow after work I'll try F11 and see if I can access anything. So far no matter what I try it just goes the the Windows Error Recovery as stated above. I know she has photos on the laptop so I'll have to burn a knoppix, puppy linux,etc. to see if I can retrieve those unless you know a better way.

Thank you so much for your help here Ztruker.
  • 0

#7
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,088 posts
From what *I can find, you are going to have to use the Vista Home Premium disc to install with then see if you can find any drivers that are needed. Nowhere do I see anything about Compal Notebooks having a built in Recovery.

Something that should work if there is a Recovery partition, is to set the Recovery partition as the active partition. Then when you boot, it should start recovery.
  • 0

#8
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts
I can't find anything about Compal Notebooks having a built in Recovery either. I google (edited search term due to rogue pop up upon access link provided to view manual) and found a link but my Avast pops up and blocks the site.

I did place the Vista Home Premium disc in the drive and it sounded like it wanted to boot to the disc but it went straight to the Windows Error Recovery screen again then continues as stated above. I was hoping the service manual would give an idea of which key to press for entering the BIOS so I could verify it is set to boot from the disc as first option.

Ztruker. Many questions if I may.

Do you think the freezing could be due to a hardware issue? RAM...HD maybe?

Could I try performing the memtest from disc? Thing is, it won't boot to the Vista Home Premium disc. Will a memtest disc be any different?

How about a HD test? Is there a test I can burn to disc for that?

We may be wasting our time with this laptop. What's your opinion?

Edited by DonnaB, 28 February 2012 - 09:12 PM.

  • 0

#9
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,088 posts
Until you can get it to boot a disc there is not a whole lot you can do.

Try pressing F1, F2, Esc, F10 and F11 during boot, see if one of them brings up the BIOS Setup screen or the Boot selection screen.
  • 0

#10
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts

Until you can get it to boot a disc there is not a whole lot you can do.


You're right. I finally got into the boot menu by pressing F12, changed the boot order, placed the disc into the drive, rebooted and it rebooted straight into windows with a moveable cursor. Went to Start > Restart and it booted right back into the Windows Error Recovery screen. Now I can't get it to boot back into the BIOS boot menu to verify the boot order was saved.

I'll have her take it to a reputable Tech Shop.

Thank you for the time you spent helping me here. I really appreciate it!
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,088 posts
Let me know what happens please, I'm curious.

Good luck.
  • 0

#12
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts
I sure will! I hate to see topics end this way. I don't want to give up but I don't know what else to do.

Donna :)
  • 0

#13
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts
I talked to my friend. She doesn't have the money to take it to a Tech Shop. :(

I did boot it up again out of curiosity. As before it went straight away to the Windows Error Recovery screen. Then to the Please wait... screen with the "thinker" orb spinning then to the Windows Activation screen. After letting it sit like that for awhile it then goes to the desktop.

I ran my fingers across the keyboard at this time and the Start Menu popped up and I was able to type into search the letter "t". Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool was in the list and I was able to use the arrows keys to navigate to it so I pressed Enter and was able to reboot after pressing Enter again and it did proceed with the test and no issues were found.

Can't figure out why this happens unless maybe there is an infection of some sort that is causing this. Thinking about posting in the removal forum to see if they can guide me with the use OTLPE or something.

Any thoughts? Am I wasting my time here?

Edited by DonnaB, 28 February 2012 - 06:05 PM.

  • 0

#14
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,088 posts
I think it's worth taking the time to have the malware folks take a look.

One more possibility to install Vista Home Premium. Do you have a 4GB or larger flash drive? If you you can use

Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3

Before using this, you need to take the Vista DVD and create an .iso file from it. You can use ImgBurnto do this, it's very straight forward. Put your Vista DVD in the drive then start ImgBurn. Select Create ISO file from disc.

Next, start the Universal USB Installer. To create a bootable flash drive that you can install Vista from. No installation needed. Just download and run it.

Under Step 1. Select a Linux Distribution ....., scroll down to Windows Vista Installer, it's right near the bottom.
Under Step 2. Browse to the ISO file you created above.
Under Step 3. Pick your USB flash drive.
Click Create.

Again though, you need to be able to get into BIOS Setup and set USB as the first boot device.
  • 0

#15
DonnaB

DonnaB

    Miss Congeniality

  • Topic Starter
  • GeekU Moderator
  • 8,448 posts

One more possibility to install Vista Home Premium. Do you have a 4GB or larger flash drive? If you you can use


Hm? That sounds easy enough. I just did that with my sons Win7 not long ago. And yes, I do have a 4GB flash drive I used for that purpose.

Again though, you need to be able to get into BIOS Setup and set USB as the first boot device.

That may pose as a problem. Can't get into BIOS now. Not sure OTLPE would be able to be used. If it won't boot the Vista disc, may not boot OTLPE either.

I'm not even sure the USB ports work ether. I tried a USB mouse the other day when the touchpad froze up though it didn't fit in any of the ports. How weird is that! I thought they were all of universal size.

If it is infected, maybe one of the guys/gals can at least get me to the point of stabilizing the system to achieve this feat.

Edited by DonnaB, 28 February 2012 - 07:37 PM.

  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP