There is nothing more frustrating for the honest computer user than receiving the error message in Windows 7 stating that “This Copy Of Windows Is Not Genuine.” Fortunately, a clever programmer has created a tool called RemoveWAT that addresses issues with Windows Activation Technologies. Windows Activation Technologies is a Microsoft licensing tool that helps prevent against software counterfeiting. Microsoft has identified software counterfeiting as being a huge risk to end users as counterfeit software frequently comes bundled with malware that could be used to steal confidential data. Needless to say, it is important for computer users to always use properly licensed software.
Take the proper actions BEFORE running RemoveWAT
If you are receiving an error message stating that you may be a victim of software counterfeiting your first step should be to contact the business or individual that sold you your Windows 7 PC. This may however be easier said than done depending on where your purchased the computer from. If this doesn’t work then you could contact Microsoft directly and report the issue to them. Often times Microsoft will provide users who report piracy with a discounted or sometimes even a free copy of Microsoft Windows.
If you are still unable to obtain a valid license for Windows 7 then you will need to run RemoveWAT in order to remove the “This Copy Of Windows Is Not Genuine” error message from your Windows 7 installation. First, you’ll need to download RemoveWAT from here. Note, this link will take you to a torrent download so you’ll have to have a working BitTorrent client in order to access this file. Once RemoveWAT is downloaded you need to double click on the .ZIP file and then double click RemoveWAT.exe to run the program.
Now you need to click on the Remove WAT button and allow Remove WAT to reboot your computer after the program has completed. You should no longer receive any error messages regarding software counterfeiting after you PC has rebooted.
Update: September 1st, 2010
Here are a few things that have changed since I had originally written this article.
1. The HTTP download for RemoveWAT seems to be a moving target. In other words, the link is frequently changed or removed from different websites. Your best bet is to download the RemoveWAT torrent and then use a BitTorrent client such as Vuze to access the file.
2. It would appear as if one of the August security packages from Microsoft “broke” RemoveWAT thus causing the “This copy of Windows is not genuine” error message to display again. This problem only occurred on one of my PC’s and I was able to fix the problem by doing the following;
a. Run RemoveWAT using the “Run as administrator” option.
b. Click on the restore WAT button and allow RemoveWAT to reboot your PC.
c. Run RemoveWAT again using the “Run as administrator” option.
d. Click the Remove WAT button and allow RemoveWAT to reboot your PC.
You should no longer receive any error messages regarding software counterfeiting after you’ve completed these steps.
Update: February 23rd, 2011
I was successfully able to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 on a computer that had RemoveWAT run on it prior to installing the service pack. I will test the ability to run RemoveWAT on a computer that is already running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 within the next couple of days.
Update: March 7th, 2011
I have confirmed that RemoveWAT 2.2.6 works properly on a computer running Windows 7 Service Pack 1. In other words, I installed Windows 7, upgraded to Service Pack 1, and then ran RemoveWAT 2.2.6. Here’s a link to the Torrent for RemoveWAT 2.2.6.