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WAT do you mean, non-genuine Windows?

June 17, 2013

Scofflaw Dell in all it’s shiny, 64-bit glory.

After cashing out bottles today, I stopped in to see a friend. He was having a problem with his shiny Dell laptop. I asking him why he was on a Microsoft page describing something called the  “Windows Genuine Advantage.” He closed the page to reveal the black desktop of non-genuineness, with the little white text in the bottom right-hand corner: “This copy of Windows is not genuine.” I knew he’d had to recently replace his hard drive, so it was easy to guess what had happened — His original hard drive failed, taking with it, the Windows 7 restore partition. The company he took the laptop to, installed a new hard drive, and installed a pirated copy of Windows 7, a week-or-three went by, and the inevitable black screen appeared.

It’s a trivial fix (Google “remove WAT”), but it was a needlessly unethical thing the company did to him. if he hadn’t happened to have a similarly unethical friend, He might have taken the black screen problem back to the same company, who I expect, would’ve charged him to fix the problem. They should have told him straight up, about the choice between buying or pirating Windows 7. He would have likely asked how much to switch to Windows 8 — Ka-ching!

MochaThis also illustrates my dislike for restore partitions — if they’re useless in a hard drive failure, they’re useless period; how many people take the time to make backup DVDs off the restore partition? And, I see Apple has gone over to restore partitions. Good for them — bad for their customers. Click on images to enlarge them.

My beautifully decorated, and delicious dark mocha, at Waves, was instrumental in restoring my general sang froid. ►

3 Comments
  1. ~xtian permalink

    I went through this with my grandfather’s Vista machine when one of those “computer support” cold callers from India got into it. I just used it as an excuse to switch him over to Ubuntu. Of course recently I switched him back to Vista because I was sick of being the sole goto. Now I’m still the sole goto but I have to work on Windows. So it goes…

    • I will say, if a machine has the juice, Vista can be a perfectly good computing experience. I had a touchscreen Pavilion TX1000 laptop running Vista, for a few months (aka, the “headache tablet,” cost me $5). It certainly didn’t have the juice, but I found it endlessly diverting. Such a joy when it worked — on a par with the relief you get when you stop banging your head against the wall. And the Black Screens of Death! There was a laptop-OS combo that made you work to get to your desktop.

      • ~xtian permalink

        I hate to admit it but you’re right. Himself’s machine has had no disasters whatsoever since I put Vista back on there and I think I’m a bit disappointed. It also helps that he knows to hang up the phone when someone calls from a call centre in Chennai telling him there’s something wrong with his unspecified version of Windows on his unspecified PC.

        Meanwhile I wouldn’t mind getting myself a junker to pound my head on too. My XP era Inspiron 6400 runs Debian too reliably to be any fun.

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