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Weird PC Happenings

RT800RT800 Registered User regular
edited July 2023 in Help / Advice Forum
So I've been running a non-activated version of Windows 10 for years.

All it's really meant for me is that I've had to put up with a "Activate Windows" watermark in the bottom right corner of my screen. Easy enough to ignore.

But recently the color scheme for my PC seems to have just... randomly changed itself. My desktop background image disappeared, and background screens that used to appear in black now appear in a sort of maroon red color.

Since my copy of windows in not activated, I can't just try and adjust this stuff under the "personalize" section.

But it strikes me as weird that such a thing would even happen.

I guess what I'm asking is if anyone knows if this is just Windows fucking with me for not activating for half a decade, or if there could be some other problem?

RT800 on

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    AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Yeah that's Windows being grumpy with you.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited July 2023
    Try something for me. Hold left alt and left shift, then press the print screen key. Let me know if anything changes.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Try something for me. Hold left alt and left shift, then press the print screen key. Let me know if anything changes.

    It turned high-contrast mode on and off, but the weird new color scheme remains.

    Maybe it has something to do with recently updating my video card drivers or something.

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    BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    Please report back if you make any discovery. I think this happened to my computer 2-3 weeks ago. My copy of Windows is activated though.

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    RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    BlazeFire wrote: »
    Please report back if you make any discovery. I think this happened to my computer 2-3 weeks ago. My copy of Windows is activated though.

    I'm pretty sure it's just the color scheme being changed under preferences. If your copy of windows is active, you might be able to fix it by just right-clicking your desktop and selecting "personalize"

    Since my copy is not active, Windows won't allow me to fiddle with those settings, which is why it's so irritating that they just randomly changed on me.

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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Try something for me. Hold left alt and left shift, then press the print screen key. Let me know if anything changes.

    It turned high-contrast mode on and off, but the weird new color scheme remains.

    Maybe it has something to do with recently updating my video card drivers or something.

    Oooh sorry. I went and reread what you typed originally and now see the issue.

    So am unactivated Windows install is supposed to not let you set your own background. That's normal. The color scheme is probably just picking something, probably from an update. Unfortunately, yeah, this all sounds normal.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Sounds similar to what happened with my previous PC. It was an activated copy of Windows for over a decade then suddenly decided it wasn't and the colors went wonky. Can't really offer any suggestions how to fix it though, mine just stopped being stupid after a day or two and went back to normal.

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    GilgaronGilgaron Registered User regular
    Do you have any old Win7 or newer PCs laying around? Might be able to call MS up and sweet talk them into transferring the license. My old desktop started off with Win7 and updated to Win10 and after enough hardware changes it decided it might be a new computer, and I had to call and chat to get it activated, but it was fairly painless.

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    RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    Gilgaron wrote: »
    Do you have any old Win7 or newer PCs laying around? Might be able to call MS up and sweet talk them into transferring the license. My old desktop started off with Win7 and updated to Win10 and after enough hardware changes it decided it might be a new computer, and I had to call and chat to get it activated, but it was fairly painless.

    Alas, I do not.

    I've just been cheap and unwilling to pay $130+ to unlock OS features I don't really use.

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    GilgaronGilgaron Registered User regular
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/get-windows-10-free-or-cheap,5717.html

    Here's some ideas that will cost less... as an old man the trick I used to do back in the day was buy an OEM copy along with a hard drive from Newegg but Tom's there implies third party sellers on NewEgg are to be avoided so I guess be careful if you go that route?

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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Gilgaron wrote: »
    Do you have any old Win7 or newer PCs laying around? Might be able to call MS up and sweet talk them into transferring the license. My old desktop started off with Win7 and updated to Win10 and after enough hardware changes it decided it might be a new computer, and I had to call and chat to get it activated, but it was fairly painless.

    I know you just responded saying you don't have win7, but in case anyone else sees this, you don't have to call up Microsoft and wrangle them into allowing your old key to work, you can just do it.

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

    The free upgrade to win10 that ended 5 years ago, or whatever, is still active and works. I had a friend do this 6 months ago, and the zdnet article was updated thos month, so I assume it's still going.

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    MugsleyMugsley DelawareRegistered User regular
    There are grey market options that some people frown upon but I've used successfully in the past. You can PM me if you're interested.

    Also - and take this with a grain of salt because I'm making a LOT of assumptions - you may "simply" need to set up a MS account and Windows will activate.

    I say this because I've been messing with some laptops lately: one a Dell from Ebay that said the keyboard didn't work - I reinstalled Win10 and it's fine now; the other a Framework laptop with a base Win10 install.

    I signed into my MS account on both and neither asked me about activation or a license key.

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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Gilgaron wrote: »
    Do you have any old Win7 or newer PCs laying around? Might be able to call MS up and sweet talk them into transferring the license. My old desktop started off with Win7 and updated to Win10 and after enough hardware changes it decided it might be a new computer, and I had to call and chat to get it activated, but it was fairly painless.

    I know you just responded saying you don't have win7, but in case anyone else sees this, you don't have to call up Microsoft and wrangle them into allowing your old key to work, you can just do it.

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

    The free upgrade to win10 that ended 5 years ago, or whatever, is still active and works. I had a friend do this 6 months ago, and the zdnet article was updated thos month, so I assume it's still going.

    Yes, this works. Yes it will activate Windows 10 with the old 7 key.

    I will say that, from experience, you may find that Windows will eventually go back to unlicensed. It's not guaranteed to happen, but occasionally your computer might get hit in an audit and lose its genuine activation. I've seen it happen multiple times, and the store I work out of has had to key out a few copies of Windows 10 to satisfy angry clients.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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