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ED#116 : Microsoft Silently Rolls Out Anti-Hack Update For Windows 7
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ED#116 : Microsoft Silently Rolls Out Anti-Hack Update For Windows 7

It was merely a matter of time before Microsoft started cracking down on Windows 7 anti-activation exploits. Just as they did in Windows Vista, they have surreptitiously released an anti-hack detection update via Windows Update. Those who chose to have Windows 7 install updates automatically would have this update installed and running by now. If you chose to manually select updates to be installed, you should find this update listed.

You can see that the KB971033 update is listed as Important. Although the description is listed at the side, most users will probably not bother to read it, and assume that it's yet another important patch that fixes flaws in Windows 7 and just install it.

Microsoft describes the KB971033 update as such :

This update for Windows Activation Technologies helps detect validation errors and activation exploits. This update also detects any tampering attempts made to important Windows 7 system files. Be aware that some counterfeit copies of Windows include malware.

When this update is installed, it performs a validation process for the copy of Windows that is running on your computer. However, this validation process does not affect the functionality of Windows. The update process exits silently if it detects no validation errors, activation exploits, or tampered files.

Tampered Files
If the update discovers a tampered file, it tries to restore the file. This restore may require a restart. If this update cannot restore the tampered files, it will direct you more information on the Internet.

Validation Errors or Activation Exploits
Validation errors and activation exploits try to bypass the Windows activation process and are sometimes included with counterfeit copies of Windows. If a validation error or activation exploit is detected, you will be directed to more information on the Internet for resolution of the activation exploit or the validation error. When validation errors or activation exploits are removed, you may be asked to use a valid product key to activate the copy of Windows 7 that is running on your computer. If you decide not to resolve the validation error or the activation exploit at that time, you will be periodically notified that the copy of Windows 7 that is running on your computer is not genuine. Additionally, Windows will provide a link to more information online for resolution.

If any anti-activation exploits are detected, you will be sent to a Microsoft website that will teach you how to remove the exploits. Removing the exploits will require you to use a valid product key to activate Windows 7. If you refuse to remove the exploits, you will get plenty of annoying reminders that you are using a pirated copy of Windows 7. Eventually, the update may disable the exploit anyway, forcing you to activate Windows 7 using a valid product key.

If you do not wish to install this update, you can ignore and hide it. Just right-click on the update in Windows Update and select Hide update. However, Microsoft will probably require you to install this update before you are allowed to download Service Pack 1 when it's released. So it is really just a matter of time.

Do note that this update cannot be uninstalled or rolled-back. If it is installed into a PC with a hacked version of Windows 7, the only way to remove it would be to reinstall Windows 7 and avoid the update.

Update @ 12/5/2010 : We were just informed that these hacks are not affected by KB971033 :

  • Preactivated DVD installer
  • Orb30 loader
  • Leaked OEM SLP
  • Leaked Lenovo key
  • Daz loader
  • Hazar loader
  • Daz 7 loader 1.7.3
  • AIO kit builder with SLIC BIOS mod
  • Hazar loader 1.6d
  • Daz loader 1.7.7r

However, we cannot verify the authenticity of this report. If you are using any of these hacks, don't blame us if KB971033 kills your Windows 7 installation!


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Date Revision Revision History



Initial Release.



Added a list of hacks that KB971033 does not affect.

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