Well, after 13 years on the Internet it looks like I have eventually been stung. I just found my Office Pro 2010 DVD’s counterfeit after two years. It looked fine and installed well on two PC’s (the package declares it is suitable for three PC’s) and it was activated on those two PC’s in August 2010. It was purchased from an Amazon re-seller and was advertised as only suitable for one PC.
However I have recently tried to install it on a third PC and I cannot activate it because MS say it is probably counterfeit. I have looked at the checks they recommend to determine this. The seal looks genuine except it may be one used on old products. However it is obvious when I look carefully that the DVD is not how it should be. The copper coloured hologram around the outside edge is stuck onto the disk post production. How can I tell? The fools that made it left the thin flimsy transparent film stuck to the wavy edged hologram label to which it was attached in production.
When I scratched at the surface of the disc near the edge with a sharp knife this film came away easily from the label. When I continued to scratch I was able to remove parts of this extremely thin label. In a genuine disc the hologram is inside the plastic of the DVD so it can’t be scratched off. Also on a genuine DVD from Microsoft the hologram area reflects like a mirror so you can see room lights in it. This label didn’t do that. Further examination showed that the label was attached eccentrically and had a wrinkle in it. It was also lying on top of some of the print on the orange coloured central area of the DVD.
The original has probably been installed on another PC. Then two copies made and sold with each buyer instructed to only install it once. If one person installs it twice the other won’t be able to install it at all and that will cause a problem for the vendor.
I Proved My Office Pro 2010 DVD’s Counterfeit
Below you can see an annotated image of the DVD showing the wrinkle, overlaps and the scratch I made to ultimately prove the hologram is a label on top.