How to Fix Microsoft Security Essentials Non Genuine Errors

Microsoft Security Essentials is a great free solution to safeguarding your PC from viruses, spyware, and malicious software. Unfortunately for many XP users, this is accompanied by a Genuine Windows validation error. Even though copies of XP SP3 were bought legally, or included with their original system purchase, this error can still appear if Microsoft is unable to access a particular file on the system.

Receiving a validation error doesn’t actually mean that your copy of Windows is pirated, so before you give up all hope, try these steps:
How to Fix Microsoft Security Essentials Non Genuine Errors

  • Log on to the computer using an Administrator user account.
  • Click Start followed by My Computer.
  • In the Tools menu, select Folder Options.
  • Click the View tab.
  • Check Show Hidden Files and Folders.
  • Clear the Hide Extensions for Known File Types box.
  • Click OK.

At this point, you should be able to locate the data.dat file in the following location:

C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataWindows Genuine Advantagedata

Once you’ve found the file, here are the steps you’ll want to take:

  • Right-click on it and select Properties.
  • Access the Security tab.
  • Select Advanced.
  • Under the Name tab, make sure that Everyone is listed.

If not:

  • Click the Add button.
  • Enter the name Everyone.
  • Press Enter.
  • Choose Full Control in the resulting pop-up window.
  • Click OK.

If Everyone is already present:

  • Select the Exit button.
  • Click Full Control.

Once this is done, you should be able to try installing Microsoft Security Essentials after a system reset. Giving Microsoft access to data.dat should allow the validation process to continue without a problem.

If you’re running Windows XP Professional and you’re having trouble with the Security tab, try this:

  • Click Start followed by My Computer.
  • In the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
  • In the View tab, unselect the Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended) option.
  • Click OK.
Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip Chris. I use MSE on my XP machine. It is such a great AV.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip Chris. I use MSE on my XP machine. It is such a great AV.