Windows Genuine Advantage: Where’s the advantage?

Ok, so anyone who has read my blog knows I am a big fan of Vista and of Microsoft in general.  Tonight, though, I was getting so fired up, I almost wanted <GASP!> to get a Mac.  The problem started when I logged my son off of my HP laptop and attempted to log myself in.  It took longer than normal and, when it started to show the desktop, I was greeted with the pleasant little dialog box informing me that my copy of Vista needed to be activated.  What?  So I clicked ‘Activate Windows Now’.  After a minute or so, I was informed that my copy of Windows was not GENUINE.  Huh?  It’s the same bloody copy that with with the machine, I’ve had it nearly two years.  Then I remembered that I did a factory restore last month, but, still, it is the SAME BLOODY COPY.  So I restarted into safe mode.  That worked.  I then went and checked the most recent app installs and updates.  Updates were made on December 12, but the machine has been restarted at least twice since then.  I had installed a couple of apps over the weekend, but I could not uninstall them since the installer service does not run in safe mode.  So, I searched the internet for a solution.  The usual came up:  SATA drivers, some RAID drivers and a few other things can trigger this whole damned mess.  After about an hour and a half, I finally restarted the machine, let the ‘do not activate’ button show (Microsoft makes you WAIT) I clicked it.  Vista started normally.  Lord only knows how long you can use it this way, but I don’t like things being broken.  So I go and uninstall the two apps I had installed and restarted.  NOTHING CHANGED.  So I restart, wait for the damned button to show and click it.  I then went to the About this computer page and tried to activate from there.  It failed, but then I got another message:  I should re-enter the key.  So, I did.  It then went through the activation and it activated just fine. 

Now, the only thing I can think of is that when I did the factory restore, Vista did not activate. It has been about thirty days, but I never, NOT ONCE, got the damn pop up telling me to activate.   This whole dis-Ingenuous program they have is ludicrous. The only thing it manages to do is harm honest users. It is things like this that make Microsoft look utterly stupid and misguided.  It obviously does nothing to deter pirates-look to China and all of the illegal copies running there.  I sincerely hope that the Windows 7 team has it’s act together and leaves this garbage out.

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