SOLVED: So, Why Do I get “Unable to complete Genuine Windows Validation” When I Know For A Fact It Was Already Validated???

Why am I all-of-a-sudden being required to RE-VALIDATE my copy of Windows, which I know for a fact is Genuine???

Windows Genuine Advantage Error: Taskbar Notification
Windows Genuine Advantage Error: Taskbar Notification

I started this post out looking at this article: How to Remove “Unable to Complete Genuine Windows Validation” | Well, I’ll let you know after I restart if these steps worked….

(… AFTER REBOOT …) The method in the above link did not work …

So, there is a little blue 5-pointed star in my system tray all of a sudden today. This is the first time I remember seeing this on my laptop. The star pops up a dialog balloon that says:

“Unable to complete Genuine Windows Validation”

I know I have a valid version of Windows — this installation is part of a corporate image, that has worked since 2009 — and I don’t particularly trust Microsoft so I’m not comfortable with “RE–ing” anything.

Windows Validation Plugin for Firefox: download link
Windows Validation Plugin for Firefox: download link

I checked out this post:

There are a few useful suggestions but none of them worked for me. The resolution was the the original poster’s issue was resolved by Microsoft fixing a broken issue on their end, though this may just be a clever attempt at MS bashing, because the OP repeatedly says he’s going to buy a Mac because Microsoft sux. I think he is under the erroneous impression that MS cares what he thinks specifically, probably brought on by the pervasive meme that “the customer is always right” … you will find, this is often only taken seriously by software companies when they are dealing with clients/customers who are businesses (B2B), not individuals.

Regardless, I have not found a solution as of yet. I’m considering examining more posts for answers. Right now I just am not feeling too good so if I pursue this further it will have to be when I am better.




I eventually found the solution by retracing my steps.  The laptop I was using was issued to me by a corporation I used to work for, and as such had their proprietary management software embedded on the system.  After several previous unsuccessful attempts, I was finally able to completely remove the corporate software — YAY!!! — from my laptop (BTW, the laptop was an older model and was given to me when I left said company because it was of little value to them).  Unfortunately, it eventually also became clear that the removal of said embedded corporate software was the cause of my Windows version all-0f-a-sudden reporting itself as “Unregistered”.


The solution was simply to undo the changes & put that corp software back! Once I realized that, fixing it was a piece-of-cake because, thankfully, I had the foresight to make a backup image before messing with anything. I restored the old image and everything was back to normal!

In case you are wondering, there used to be about 3 software products one could use for backing up images — Norton Ghost being the most costly, and most well known. I use a Linux-based program called Acronis True Image Home 11, which was free at the time. They only charged for the corporate version. Here is a link to their website: Their latest product is True Image 2013, which I haven’t had the pleasure of using yet. If any of you do use it, feel free to comment below and let us know how it worked for you, and what challenges or success you experienced.


Date Published: 2012-11-12
Date Updated: 2022-09-05

Eric Hepperle

Eric loves to write code, play guitar, and help businesses solve challenges with code and design.
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