A great many users encounter the error message “you may be a victim of software counterfeiting” on Windows 7. What causes this error? How to fix it? If you are also still trying to figure it out, this post of MiniTool is what you need.

What causes the “you may be a victim of software counterfeiting” error? According to a survey, this error often appears on Windows 7. It is a Windows Server Authentication error that occurs when Microsoft flags a license as non-genuine.

In addition, some other factors like missing registry keys and insufficient permissions to the Network Service account are responsible for the software counterfeiting error. If you use a license on more than one computer, you would receive the “you maybe a victim of software counterfeiting” error.

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Solution 1. Check Your Windows License

When receiving the “you may be a victim of software counterfeiting” error, the first thing you should do is to check if your Windows installation is valid and genuine. If you purchased a used laptop with an activated Windows, then you can find the activation key and try using it to reactive your Windows.

Solution 2. Reactive the Windows License

If you are sure that you have a legitimate Windows license but still receive the “you may be a victim of software counterfieting” error, you can try reactivating your Windows. To do so, follow the given steps below.

Step 1. Press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box, and then type slui.exe in it and hit Enter.

type sluiexe in the Run box

Step 2. In the Windows Activation menu, click on Retype your product key and enter it again. If the error still persists, then click on Activate Windows online now and follow the on-screen instructions to reactive your Windows license.

retype your product key

Tip: Many users encounter the “0x80070005 Access is denied” error when activating Windows. Don’t worry. This post provides several effective troubleshooting methods.

Step 3. If the above 2 options fail to work, you can click on See other ways to activate, which lets you contact a Microsoft answer tech. He will help you resolve the problem by reacting with the current product key or providing you with another one.

Once reactivated, you can restart the computer and see if the “you maybe a victim of software counterfeiting” error still appears.

Solution 3. Disable the Plug and Play Group Policy Service

Some users reported that they fixed the software counterfieting error by disabling the Plug and Play Group Policy object service on Windows. This is because sometimes the service can confuse the activation service into believing that a licensing service is not valid.

Now, follow the steps below to disable the Plug and Play service.

Step 1. Open the Run dialog box again, and then type rsop.ms and hit Enter to open the Resultant Set of Policy window.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, navigate to the following path:

Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > System Services

Step 3. Scroll down the right sidebar to find the Plug and Play service. If its value is listed as Note Defined, move on to the next solution. If not, double click it to open the Properties window, and then change its Startup type and Permission to Not Defined, and click on OK.

disable Plug and Play service

Now, you can exit the Window and restart computer to see if the “you may be a victim of software counterfieting” error disappears.

Solution 4. Add the Required Network Service Permissions

To activate the Windows license smoothly, the Network Service account needs full control and read permissions. If you still receive the “you may be a victim of software counterfeiting” error, you can try editing the permissions for the required Network Service. Here’s how:

Step 1. Open the Run dialog box again, and then type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor window.

Step 2. Navigate to the HKEY_USERS key from the left pane, and then right-click the S-1-5-20 key and select Permissions.

select permissions from Registry Editor

Step 3. Check if the Network Service is listed in the Group or user names column. If it is, skip this step.

Network Service in registry editor

Step 4. If not, click on Add to open the Select Users or Groups window. Then type Network Service in the box and click on Check Names, and click on OK to save the change.

type Network Service in the Select Users or Groups window

Step 5. Back to the Permissions window, select the Network Service from the list, and then tick the Allow check boxes for Full Control and Read, and click on Apply.

allow full control for Network Service

Once done, reboot your computer and check if the “you may be a victim of software counterfeiting” is fixed.

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