Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Major activation issues...

  1. #11


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Well at least you figured out what's going on. Microsoft doesn't give out much info on what they do to detect pirated systems, for good reason, so it may be difficult to sort out why modifying that file breaks activation. The sites that will discuses it are likely sites you don't want to go to.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    Well whatever Toolkit thing I used didn't mess with my system, I know I have the same key and everything. Anyways, I think I might have figured it out, and I feel a little bit stupid. It seems Windows 8.1 doesn't like certain system DLL files to be modified (specifically shell32.dll) for some reason. I'm not sure why this is, since I could modify it in literally every other version of Windows I've used. Kind of irritating.

    So for now, I think my problem has been fixed. I'll update if anything changes (which it very well might). Also, if anyone knows why I can't change shell32.dll all of a sudden in Windows 8.1, please let me know (I'm more curious than anything about why this happens).
    Desktop watermark code is located in shell32.dll
    thats probably why it breaks activation run "sfc /scannow" and restore your system integrity and remember always use genuine
    software and product key(s) from Microsoft that is properly licensed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    Well whatever Toolkit thing I used didn't mess with my system, I know I have the same key and everything. Anyways, I think I might have figured it out, and I feel a little bit stupid. It seems Windows 8.1 doesn't like certain system DLL files to be modified (specifically shell32.dll) for some reason. I'm not sure why this is, since I could modify it in literally every other version of Windows I've used. Kind of irritating.

    So for now, I think my problem has been fixed. I'll update if anything changes (which it very well might). Also, if anyone knows why I can't change shell32.dll all of a sudden in Windows 8.1, please let me know (I'm more curious than anything about why this happens).
    I'm a bit surprised you were able to modify on previous versions. Since Windows 7 - WAT has had a check for "tampered files" within the component store - either way why are you messing with these files?

    BTW: here's an activation reference that shell32.dll contains on Windows 7.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 62
    Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Windows XP Professional


    Yeah, every other version of Windows I can reshack it no problem. But now I'm wondering if it actually IS shell32.dll that's messing up my activation. Just out of curiosity, I decided to try and modify it again just to see if that was actually the file that was messing things up (if it did mess things up, I could always fix them with a system file scan). I do a lot of system file modifications, and once I figured out something I had modified was breaking activation, I had narrowed it down to two files: shell32.dll and authui.dll.

    Now I want to clarify that I was not actually modifying the dll files themselves, I was modifying their mui files (the files that contain dialog and string table resources). I was pretty sure it was shell32, but I just modified it again (just to see what would happen) and my activation is a-ok so far. I'll update if that changes.

    I really just didn't expect anything like this to happen because nothing like this has ever happened in the past for me. But I will say this: if it IS authui.dll that's causing problems (and not shell32), I will be very, very happy. Shell32 contains a lot of the system's UI elements, while the only reason I modified authui was to change the shutdown dialog box. If it's not shell32 breaking things, I will still have a lot of customization options available. I'll update when I know for sure.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Modyfilying strings within shell32.dll.mui and basebrd.dll.mui are used to remove desktop watermark on eval editions - thus they will target those...

    You can use Win8Diag to check for tampered files under the health check section...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 62
    Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Windows XP Professional


    Well I'm currently using a modified shell32, and everything is fine (also I always back up system files before I modify them). I did not modify basebrd.dll.mui, but I did modify basebrd.dll so perhaps that's what's been causing problems.

    EDIT: It's not basebrd.dll, just tried to modify it and it's fine. I'm pretty sure it's authui that messes things up.
    Last edited by Butters; 06 Aug 2014 at 21:59.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 62
    Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Windows XP Professional


    Alright then, it turns out that modifying basebrd.dll actually DOES break activation, and authui.dll.mui is safe to modify. Honestly that makes more sense, if Windows is trying to use basebrd.dll to verify the version of Windows, and it's not signed or something like that. Kind of a shame though. I really wanted to modify that file like I could in Windows Vista and 7. Oh well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    I can fix this temporarily by running a system file scan (sfc /scannow) but it never lasts
    Have you ever tried running sfc & dism & sfc again ?
    I put them in a batch file if you care to use it---

    dism.bat

    Right click it & choose Properties & Unblock it & right click it & choose Run as administrator.
    Dism hangs on 20% for a long time.
    It takes 2 hours or so to run the batch file.

    Dism may help.

    But you said you altered some things...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 62
    Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Windows XP Professional


    Well I actually figured it out, I just have to not modify basebrd.dll. That's the problem. I just wanted to update here to let everyone know what the problem was.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Yup, thanx for reporting back, although we kinda figured that one out initially, but good to get confirmation...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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