Evaluation Copy watermark text is shown on the bottom right corner of Vista desktop, right above system tray (notification area) after installing Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate (actually since SP1 beta release), even if you’re not using evaluation copy, i.e. your Vista is genuine and has been activated. Microsoft gives the excuse that Vista SP1 RC1 is time-limited software, which will expire and no longer operate after June 30, 2008.

Although Microsoft has explained that having the text “Evaluation Copy” on the desktop does not mean that the system is no longer “Genuine”, and Vista is not going to restrict and ‘reduce’ user features and functionalities. It just means that Microsoft want to remind you that you have installed a test version of software which is time-limited, and should uninstall it before the dateline.

Vista SP1 RC Evaluation Copy

The problem is the Evaluation Copy. Build 6001 message is annoying. If you’re going to use your notebook computer for presentation, you probably don’t want to let people see that you’re using ‘evaluation’ copy of Vista – giving others impression that you’re engaging copyright infringement using illegitimate and unlicensed copy of Vista.

Note: Don’t be too happy or claim lucky if no watermark shown on desktop after installing Vista SP1 RC1. The “Evaluation Copy” text will only show up after the reboot (on the 2nd boot) after installing the service pack.

To remove the “Windows Vista – Evaluation Copy. Build 6001” watermark text on SP1 RC 1 desktop, download the following patched and hacked user32.dll.mui.


Log on to Vista as administrator, then take ownership and has full control permissions for user32.dll.mui located in C:\Windows\System32\en-US\ folder. For easier method to perform this step, add a right click context menu item to take ownership and assign full read-write permissions.

Then, backup the original user32.dll.mui just in case you want to revert or fall back to it. Then copy and replace overwrite the original user32.dll.mui with the patched user32.dll.mui.

Restart the computer or log off and login again to enjoy clean and clear desktop.

The patched user32.dll.mui only works for US English edition of Vista. For non-English Vista, you probably need to modify the user32.dll.mui which located in localized directory yourself to remove the watermark text using the hacking guide. If you’re using simplified Chinese (China) edition, download the following file to replace the one in C:\Windows\System32\zh-CN\


The trick to remove watermark watermark from 64-bit (x64) Vista has also been known.

Update: Remove Watermark universal remover is a universal watermark patcher that supports all versions and languages of Windows, including 32-bit and 64-bit.