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"Windows is not genuine" error in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Symptoms
When you log on to a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you receive the following Windows Activation message:



Additionally, the desktop background is black, and you receive the following error message in the lower-right corner of the screen:



Advanced error message information
When you view the System properties in Control Panel, the following information is displayed:

Note To view the System properties, click Start, click Control Panel, click System and Security, and then click System.
You must activate today. Activate Windows now.
If you use the slmgr.vbs /dlv script to view the licensing status, you receive the following message:
Error: 0x80070005 Access denied: the requested action requires elevated privileges
Notes
  • This error message may also occur when a command that is being executed requires an elevated command prompt and is unrelated to the issue discussed here.
  • If you see a message that Windows might not be genuine, and there is no error code, go to Genuine Windows: frequently asked questions.
Resolution
To resolve this problem, use the following methods, depending on your scenario.

Scenario 1: Lack of permissions
The network service account has to have full control and read permissions in the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Profilelist\S-1-5-20
The permissions may have been removed when a Plug and Play Group Policy Object (GPO) was applied.

To resolve the problem in this scenario, use method A or method B.

Method A: Edit the permissions of the Group Policy

  1. Determine the source of the policy. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the computer that is experiencing the Activation error message, run the Resultant Set of Policy wizard. To do this, click Start, type rsop.msc in the Search box, and then press Enter.
    2. In the navigation pane, expand the following containers: See image
      • Computer Configuration
      • Windows Settings
      • Security Settings
    3. In the navigation pane, click System Services.
    4. If the Plug and Play service is configured through a Group Policy setting, you see the GPO listed here with settings other than Not Defined. Additionally, you can see which GPO is applying this setting.
  2. Open the GPO that is identified in step 1, and then open the corresponding Group Policy setting.
  3. Click Edit Security, and then click Advanced.
  4. In the Advanced Security Settings for Plug and Play window, click Add, and then add the SERVICE account.
  5. Click OK.
  6. elect the following permissions in the Allow section, and then click OK:
    • Query template
    • Query status
    • Enumerate dependents
    • Interrogate
    • User-defined control
    • Read permissions
    Note These are the minimum required permissions.
  7. Run gpupdate /force after you apply the previous permissions to the Group Policy setting. To do this, click Start, type gpupdate /force in the Search box, and then press Enter.
  8. Make sure that the appropriate permissions are applied. To do this, click Start, type sc sdshow plugplay in the Search box, and then click OK.

    The following are the permissions that are applied to the Plug and Play service in the security descriptor definition language (SDDL):
    D:(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;IU)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;SU)S:(AU;FA;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;WD)
    Note "(A;;CC LC SW LO CR RC ;;;SU" is an Access Control Entry (ACE) that allows the following rights to "SU" (SDDL_SERVICE – Service logon user):
    A: Access Allowed CC: Create Child LC: List Children SW: Self Write LO: List Object CR: Control Access RC: Read Control SU: Service Logon User
    If there are no GPOs in place, the default registry permissions have been changed. To work around this problem, follow these steps:
    1. Start Registry Editor on the computer that is receiving the error message. To do this, click Start, type regedit in the Search box, and then press Enter.
    2. Right-click the registry key HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-20, and then click Permissions. See image
    3. If the NETWORK SERVICE is not present, click Add. See image
    4. In Enter the object names to select area, type network service, click Check Names, and then click OK. See image
    5. Click NETWORK SERVICE, and then select the Full Control and Read permissions. See image
    6. Click OK.
    7. Restart the computer.
    8. After you restart the computer, you may have to activate the copy of Windows. Complete the activation.

Method B: Disable the Plug and Play GPO



Note This method is intended for advanced computer users and cannot be performed on computers that are running Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Basic, or Windows 7 Starter. For help with advanced troubleshooting, ask your system administrator or Contact Microsoft.

To disable the Plug and Play GPO, follow these steps:
  1. Determine the source of the policy. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the computer that is experiencing the Activation error message, run the Resultant Set of Policy wizard. To do this, click Start, type rsop.msc in the Search box, and then press Enter.
    2. In the navigation pane, expand the following containers:
      • Computer Configuration
      • Windows Settings
      • Security Settings
    3. In the navigation pane, click System Services.
    4. If the Plug and Play service is configured through a Group Policy setting, you see the GPO listed here with settings other than Not Defined. Additionally, you can see which Group Policy is applying this setting.
  2. Disable the Group Policy settings and force the Group Policy to be reapplied. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Edit the Group Policy that is identified in Step 1 and change the setting to “Not Defined.” Or, follow the steps in Method A to add the required permissions for the Network Service account.
    2. Reapply the Group Policy setting. To do this, click Start, type gpupdate /force in the Search box, and then press Enter.

      Note You may have to restart the computer.


Scenario 2: Missing registry entries


One or more of the following registry subkeys is missing:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Profilelist\S-1-5-18
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Profilelist\S-1-5-19
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Profilelist\S-1-5-20

To have us fix this problem in this scenario for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me



To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.




Notes
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Then, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.



Let me fix it myself

To resolve this problem in this scenario, follow these steps:
  1. Copy the text below into a text editor such as Notepad, and then save the text file as Profilelist.reg.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-18]"Flags"=dword:0000000c"State"=dword:00000000"RefCount"=dword:00000001"Sid"=hex:01,01,00,00,00,00,00,05,12,00,00,00"ProfileImagePath"=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,\00,6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,\5c,00,63,00,6f,00,6e,00,66,00,69,00,67,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,\00,6d,00,70,00,72,00,6f,00,66,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,00,00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-19]"ProfileImagePath"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,64,00,6f,00,77,\00,73,00,5c,00,53,00,65,00,72,00,76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,\66,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,5c,00,4c,00,6f,00,63,00,61,00,6c,00,53,00,65,\00,72,00,76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,00,00"Flags"=dword:00000000"State"=dword:00000000[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-20]"ProfileImagePath"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,64,00,6f,00,77,\00,73,00,5c,00,53,00,65,00,72,00,76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,\66,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,5c,00,4e,00,65,00,74,00,77,00,6f,00,72,00,6b,\00,53,00,65,00,72,00,76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,00,00"Flags"=dword:00000000"State"=dword:00000000
  2. Merge profilelist.reg. To do this, right-click the file that you saved in step 1, and then click Merge.
  3. Restart the computer.
  4. Activate Windows.

Did this fix the problem?

  • Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me" blog or send us an email.

Advanced information

Because the Licensing service uses Plug and Play to obtain hardware ID information and binds the license to the computer, this setting can result in an activated system appearing to be out of tolerance. The default permissions of the Plug and Play policy do not grant the Licensing service the appropriate rights to access the Plug and Play service. The Licensing service runs under the Network Service account.
References
For more information about error 0x80070005, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2584824 Windows 7 displays "Windows is not Genuine" with an error code of 0x80070005
fixit fix it fixme
Properties

Article ID: 2704233 - Last Review: 11/02/2012 02:44:00 - Revision: 2.0

  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows Server 2008 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems
  • kbprb kbsmbportal kberrmsg kbfield kbmsifixme KB2704233
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