The Importance of Being Earnest
It started when I first built my PC. I got my hard drive and I set about installing an OS on it. I had a genuine Microsoft Windows XP CD with a genuine Product Key. I also had a pirated CD with its own Product Key. The pirated version was newer and already had Service Pack 2 included where as the genuine CD would have required the installation of Service packs 1 and 2 after installation. Being the lazy person that I am, and not wanting to go through the hassle of installing service packs afterwards, I went ahead and installed the pirated version. Life was normal, nothing happened for a while. Everything was alright.
Then good old Microsoft was tired of all this piracy and started clamping down. They released the Genuine Windows Notifier which would pop up and tell you in very diplomatic manner that "You may be a victim of software counterfeiting" which was a nice way of saying, "We are on to you fools!" The succeeded in making the notification very annoying and resorted to old fashioned guilt trip sometimes in trying to make you spend $149 to buy a genuine Product Key. I searched around the Internet and discovered methods of disabling the notification which was a momentarily relief.
Last night, Windows Media Player 10 asked to be updated and I said "why not?" and I clicked on the update button. Then I saw that I was being updated to Windows Media Player 11. after the update, the installation began and the first dialog box said that Windows needed to be validated before installation could continue, and I would see the familiar "You may be a victim of software counterfeiting" screen. Frak! WMP 10 was gone and WMP 11 wouldn't install. I was screwed.
I searched around and tried to find ways to disable the validation or make it pass some how. But after a while, I thought if I could just change the product key for the legitimate one I already had. I downloaded the plug-in from the counterfeiting page and it ran a wizard which allowed me to see my current product ID. It also gave me an option there to change the Product ID. After downloading that program from the Microsoft website and entered my new Product Key. A couple of restarts later, I was able to log in to a genuine copy of windows. no more annoying notifications, WMP 11 working fine, and most importantly, no guilt for having done something wrong. I slept blissfully last night, and the feeling has continued to this morning.