Microsoft protects its software copyrights with validation codes and product keys. One way they do this is through a program called "Windows Genuine Advantage." This program requires that you validate your copy of Windows to make sure it is "genuine" before you can access the "advantages" of the Microsoft website. When you purchased your Windows software, you were supplied a product key that is necessary for Windows to install. Validation simply checks that product key against Microsoft's database to ensure your copy of Window has not been pirated.
Go to the Windows validation website (See Resources).
Click "Validate" in the menu bar beneath the page title "Genuine Microsoft Software." Microsoft download websites typically support Internet Explorer, but if you are using Mozilla Firefox, you will be redirected to a download page that is compatible with your browser.
Click the "Validate Windows" button on the left side of the page.
Install the program that will validate your copy of Windows. For Mozilla Firefox, this will require you to install the validation plug-in that pops up. For Internet Explorer, this will require installing the ActixeX control that appears in your browser's information bar.
Check your validation results. Once the program is installed and runs, the results will appear in your browser. A successful validation with have the message "Validation Complete."
Depending on your browser's settings, you may have to allow pop-ups or accept other security warnings through this process in order to download and install the validation program.