I had this happen to me today I and I think I’ve had it happen at least once before. This is not a case of a customer losing something they had, something that came with the computer (I’ve had plenty of those). This is a situation where some local computer shop sold a PC to some unwitting customer and used a Volume Licensed Copy of Windows. In this case, it was a license that has even been blocked by Microsoft because I received a failure on the Windows Genuine Advantage program.
This kind of stuff really ticks me off because the customer is the one who gets screwed on this deal. If the only way you can sell PCs for a profit is by putting pirated software on them, then you have no business selling PCs.
So in this case, a customer had a PC full of spyware. After struggling and finally getting Malware Bytes installed and cleaning things up a bit, I was able to also install AVG. Then I did several more scans with both and continued to find problems. It seemed like every time I connected the PC to the Internet, some more junk hopped on there. So I talked with the customer about reloading Windows and of course he had no CD for Windows. I also noticed before I spoke with him that there was no Windows Product Key sticker on the side or back of the PC. So after I explained the situation to him, the customer decided to go buy a new PC (this one was going on 3 years old).
So if you decide to buy a PC from a local shop, make sure you always receive a Windows or recovery CD and have a Windows product key sticker on the PC or on a certificate or on a book (an actual printed sticker, not something somebody writes down with a pen).