I bought a laptop from someone who said it came with Windows 7. Started it up, everything looked good. Even did some updating with Windows Update. A day later, my background goes black and a message pops up saying my Windows & is not genuine. It is also permanently in the lower right corner of my screen. I tell the guy it is pirated and he sends me a link for a Windows_7_patch.rar file from RapidShare. I am pretty sure I know what the answer is, but this guy says that it is NOT pirated, but that he had that happen to him also. Other than him putting Windows 7 on several computers with the same license key, would I be safe to assume that this is pirated software? Thanks!
You got scammed. Dont bother with the patch it just takes your nag screen away, you still cant get updates, and the OS might be modified with various loggers and such.
He obviously used a Windows 7 activator with a VLC key, but MS has issued a update to disable the loaders, and you obviously downloaded it, if he was a smart pirate he would have unchecked it to ever show again.
It is possible that the copy is legit, but not properly activated. Possible, but not likely.
The update that broke your machine was Microsoft's KB971033 - and, apparently, it broke a lot of pirated versions of Windows 7 - otoh, I personally know of at least 6 machines with legally-purchased copies that have that nice black screen background. However, if you really need to use that machine without the black screen you could hunt for RemoveWAT 2.2.5 which bypasses KB971033 by removing it. Then, of course don't download that KB again. At least until you get that situation straightened out.
I always review the MS "upgrades" and try to avoid the ones that have anything to do with "Activation" as this just seems to add more junk to an already bloated product.
If you bought that machine on eBay - PayPal can reverse the purchase. And so can eBay since the item is, effectively, "not as listed".