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Is there any setting/configuration item to avoid Windows Azure from printing that error on the screen or detecting it? I've put a screenshot below that shows the message when you RDP into the web role. My web role runs on Windows Azure Guest OS 1.17 (variant of Windows Server 2008 SP2)

enter image description here

Background: I was explaining our architecture to some outside engineers (NDA'd and all) and had to demystify the webrole as they were unfamiliar with Azure. I RDP'd into the VMs running the Web Role when one of their engineers gasped "are you guys running pirated copies of Windows in the cloud?" I also noticed that within the RDP screen, the Azure machines had "This copy of Windows is not genuine" on the bottom left corner.

Now obviously, Microsoft is running their own OS in their own datacenter with no influence from me. So no 'piracy' here, despite that obvious warning. However, they seemed so distracted by this ("how can it be? really? hmmm?") that we wasted more time talking about it than the actual matter at work. Like I said, they have little exposure to Azure but have value add elsewhere. I want to get rid of this so I don't have to explain this in the future.

PS Microsoft: If you're going to modify Windows Server <XYZ> into Windows Azure <A.B> , you should also modify the code that verifies product integrity.

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Have you seen this? social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsazuremanagement/… –  jscott Mar 19 '12 at 16:58
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@jscott: NICE! "ignore the problem, we'll fix it in another release..." –  Bart Silverstrim Mar 19 '12 at 17:25
    
@BartSilverstrim That issue is different and talks about a Windows Activation dialog. And it's specific to a very old Guest OS version (which are updated quite often), and it's specifically related to one of the OS 1.x series images (Server 2008 SP2) vs the 2.x series (Server 2008 R2). That's why it's safe to ignore. –  David Makogon Mar 21 '12 at 12:46
    
@davidmakogon - "very old?" Windows Azure from the post dated May 11th? O_o –  Bart Silverstrim Mar 21 '12 at 12:55
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Well, that doesn't mean it's old. It means they release slightly altered updates the way some people recompile from a source tree repo. Old is more of a temporal measurement than a measure of how many versions you can release into the wild, or else the Stack Exchange you're using today is very old compared to what was running last Saturday. –  Bart Silverstrim Mar 21 '12 at 13:06
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm pretty sure this only shows up with OS family 1 (Windows Server 2008 SP2). If you were to change osFamily="2"(Windows Server 2008 R2) in your ServiceConfiguration.cscfg and update your deployment, you shouldn't see that on the desktop. This is where the setting lives:

<ServiceConfiguration serviceName="GenuineTest" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2008/10/ServiceConfiguration" osFamily="2" osVersion="*">

I just double-checked this with a few of my deployments running osFamily="2". I also RDP'd into one of mine running osFamily="1" and the "This copy of Windows is not genuine" message is there.

Depending on your configuration management practices, it might not be practical to simply change an OS version and redeploy. For demo purposes, it might be worth pushing up a simple single-instance VM (worker or web role - doesn't really matter) running osFamily="2" and RDP-ing into it to show that the desktop has no warning on it.

For more info on OS families, see this page.

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