It’s probably fair to say that quite a few PC enthusiasts have cracked a copy of Windows once. It’s also probably fair to say that a number of people thought “I’ll legit go and buy my Windows this time!” One such guy in South Africa had exactly that thought, but he couldn’t activate his legitimate copy of Windows, so he contacted Microsoft… who quickly fell for him.
It’s a hilarious story, and it would be hard to believe without the screenshots. Wesley Pyburn, who goes by @TCNOco on Twitter, says he contacted Microsoft Support after exhausting all automated attempts to activate Windows on his new machine. Incredibly, support was unable to help, so the request was raised to level 2 support the next day.
When he contacted the Tier 2 support technician, the Microsoft employee logged into his machine remotely with Quick Assist and immediately began running the Powershell commands, pictured above. These Powershell commands download and run a script from Massgrave, which is a site that hosts “unofficial” Microsoft (or MAS, hence the name) activation scripts.
If you guessed that “unofficial” means “unlawful”, you’re absolutely right. Massgrave’s scripts allow users to bypass Microsoft’s activation procedures and unlock full use of what is otherwise an unlicensed installation of Windows and Office. This amounts to software piracy, at least assuming you don’t actually own a Windows or Office license.
Mr. Pyburn actually does own a Windows license, however, and Microsoft’s own systems should have recognized this and automatically activated the installed operating system. It’s safe to say that the Microsoft Support Technician who ran the Massgrave script on his machine did nothing wrong, because eventually the legitimate install got activated, so all’s well that ends well, isn’t- it not?
It’s still comical that Microsoft’s own techs had to do this, though. Most people who work on PCs for themselves or others, probably including many of the readers of this site, have had the experience of dealing with a Microsoft product that won’t activate at all. just not for any reason. It’s easy to think that tired and frustrated support tech, weary of dealing with Microsoft’s terrible activation process, simply ended the issue to resolve the ticket. Kudos to the operator for his original thought.