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flashinpan

Problems with DirectX product validation

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When I try to download the latest DirectX SDK for VC++ Express 2005 I get this during my Windows validation check: Validation Failure: Product Key Failed Validation The PC I am using is one I bought from my work during an auction they had. They gave me a burned copy of Windows XP Pro and a validation key on a piece of paper. At the time...I didn't care much as long as it worked. Is there any way around this? I really would like to try out DirectX 9. Otherwise...sigh...I suppose I can go with OpenGL or SDL or Allegro...right?

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Just download it while youre at work and burn it to a cd (download the offline setup version).

As for your copy of windows failing: The fact that the cd was burned would not (by itself) make validation fail (however, apparently it's now illegal to make backups of any media in the us, even for your own personal use - so that's kind of a moot point).

More importantly: Try closing as many background programs as you can, and re-run the validation tool - it DOES give false negatives sometimes (also intermittent internet connections can cause a failed authorization attempt).

If it still fails, the copy of xp you bought from your employer is pirated, or else your employer is still using it on multiple computers at the office. Either way, you're in a shitty position:
1. You are legally responsible to report them to authorities.
2. If you do not, and they get caught, you can be sued/fined/possibly jailed for the same amounts as the employer. (and ignorance is not a defense)
3. If you purchased the machine before May of this year you can try to apply for a free replacement copy from microsoft - however I haven't heard anything about this process (I know it involves detailed information about where and who you got the copy from, as well as most likely a reasoning for why you thought it was a legitimate product).

Washu, in the US they are allowed to resell a used product (for now anyways) - so long as they don't do anything illegal (ie keep the original for themselves). The problem inherent with Windows and other "expensive" software is that you need to transfer the license over to the primary user...

Anyways, the validation tool checks system settings, system files, activation info & product code information to make sure there is no cracked or otherwise pirated information enabling the use of the OS... so, since it failed for Mr. Knowlton most likely his employer didn't pay for it in the first place - and more likely downloaded it off p2p or something like that.

All of that being said, if you want to go down a grey road: Explain to the person you bought the software from that you have discovered it is an illegal copy, and that you either want your money back, or you want them to buy you a new copy. If you end up talking to an IT guy they'll most likely be fairly willing to work with you, because if they get caught by a non-government party they'll be forced to buy copies of every license they have anyways, and, more importantly, they won't want to give you an incentive (other than the legal incentive) to report them to one of the authoritative agencies that offer $500+ rewards for reports... they obviously also can't fire or reprimand you for this...

[edit]IANAL(i am not a lawyer)... I am, however, someone who has had extensive experience with bringing small & medium size businesses into software license compliance (and has also broken off plenty of contracts with companies who refused to spend the money).[/edit]

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Quote:
Original post by c0uchm0nster
Washu, in the US they are allowed to resell a used product (for now anyways) - so long as they don't do anything illegal (ie keep the original for themselves). The problem inherent with Windows and other "expensive" software is that you need to transfer the license over to the primary user...

That's the problem: They did not resell it. THey gave him a burned copy. In order to resell a piece of software you must transfer the original licence including all of the original media. Obviously a burned CD is NOT the original media.
Quote:

Anyways, the validation tool checks system settings, system files, activation info & product code information to make sure there is no cracked or otherwise pirated information enabling the use of the OS... so, since it failed for Mr. Knowlton most likely his employer didn't pay for it in the first place - and more likely downloaded it off p2p or something like that.

Or they got a copy from before those particular volume licence keys were marked as stolen. However them distributing burned copies tends to refute that.
Quote:

[edit]IANAL(i am not a lawyer)... I am, however, someone who has had extensive experience with bringing small & medium size businesses into software license compliance (and has also broken off plenty of contracts with companies who refused to spend the money).[/edit]

Yeah, I've had to do the same on some contracts.

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washu
to your first response: true, my explanation does take a few more liberties in this (what once was) grey area, but your's is clearer and probably the more assumed interpretation.
As to your second response - I doubt they gave him their vlk. No company is that stupid - not to mention the OP would probably have noticed if his company was filing for bankruptcy after having to buy hundreds of new copies of xp when it wasn't expected ;). Besides, just making a "backup" of a corporate edition doesn't invalidate it, and neither does having a copy of it installed at a seperate location (OP's house) - they would have either had to release their key to the Warez community, or sold a whole shitload of burned copies ;)
One MS guy I used to talk with on occassion said they can pretty confidently tell when someone is using their copy of xp on more than 1 machine - they just don't do anything about it until they detect it on more than 4 or 5 machines. Point is, if they don't do anything about a 1-license copy being used for 3 or 4 times as many workstations as is paid for, I doubt they'd do anything about a 100-license vlk being used on 101 machines.

telastyn - I wasn't aware of that, it's a good piece of info, thanks.

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Original post by c0uchm0nster
washu
to your first response: true, my explanation does take a few more liberties in this (what once was) grey area, but your's is clearer and probably the more assumed interpretation.
As to your second response - I doubt they gave him their vlk. No company is that stupid - not to mention the OP would probably have noticed if his company was filing for bankruptcy after having to buy hundreds of new copies of xp when it wasn't expected ;). Besides, just making a "backup" of a corporate edition doesn't invalidate it, and neither does having a copy of it installed at a seperate location (OP's house) - they would have either had to release their key to the Warez community, or sold a whole shitload of burned copies ;)
One MS guy I used to talk with on occassion said they can pretty confidently tell when someone is using their copy of xp on more than 1 machine - they just don't do anything about it until they detect it on more than 4 or 5 machines. Point is, if they don't do anything about a 1-license copy being used for 3 or 4 times as many workstations as is paid for, I doubt they'd do anything about a 100-license vlk being used on 101 machines.


The original vlk that were stolen were used by dell (iirc) and ended up on a great many PCs that were purchased legit, those keys were later deactivated for SP1, however SP2 doesn't care if you have a legal key or not. Also, Microsoft does have an At Home program for using corporate copies on personal machines. However, those are NOT burned copies either, and are clearly labeled as being part of the At Home program. While burning backups may be legal, distributing those backups is.

Yes, I do know that they can tell when their keys have been used on more than one machine (the whole windows activation setup actually has provisions for that in it). It's the whole distributing burned CDs part that really throws this thing into the fire, as that's usually the first and most powerful sign that they aren't using legit copies.

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Yes, I think the Key I was given must have been a Volume License Key. And the copy of Windows XP Pro is obviously pirated. I never intended to use it for anything but a back-up in case the OS became corrupted.

I feel really dumb now. I guess I should have insisted that I get original software with my machine.

By the way...this is an old company...I haven't worked for them in over 6 months.

I don't have much money to spend on buying Windows XP Pro off the shelf, otherwise I would and just be done with this whole mess. For a few hundred dollars more (beyond the cost of buying Windows XP Pro) I could buy an entire PC that comes with the software installed legitimately, couldn't I?

The only reason I am interested in DirectX is because I write games as a hobby and I thought DirectX was what everyone is using.


It sounds like maybe I should just go with Allegro or SDL or OpenGL.


I really don't think there is anything I can do to get a legitimate copy of WindowsXP from my old employer at this point in time.

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If you have any proof of purchase you should still go to them and make them buy you a new copy of XP... as an ex-employee they should be even more eager to appease you.

If they still refuse, report it to microsoft, and you'll be able to apply for a free, legitimate, copy of xp... obviously after you've given them your pirated copy and reported, in detail, who you bought it from...

If you have no proof of purchase (anything, even a smaller pay check that notes your purchase of the computer) then you're s.o.l.

Yes, you can get a new pc from dell for 300$... you can get some other brands for as low as 150$ this black friday (tomorrow). a professional copy of xp costs 150$, home costs 100$

Also consider: if you have a legitimate copy of an older windows, ie win 2000, or maybe even ME, 98, or 95... you can download the offline sdk on one of those... hell, you can even go to a cyber cafe and download it on their pc's. basically anywhere that has internet connectivity, a cd burner, and a legitimate copy of windows, download the offline version (i think it's 450mb), that way you only have to validate the machine you're on, not your home machine.

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