Article ID: 933175 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary Section

This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first. This article describes a problem in which you receive a "Your activation period has expired" error message when you start Windows Vista. A resolution for this problem is included.

Symptoms of the problem

When you start Windows Vista, you receive the following error message:
Activate Windows Now
Your activation period has expired and Windows is no longer working.
To use Windows you must activate this copy of Windows.
Additionally, the taskbar does not appear. You have limited access to Windows Vista programs and to Windows Vista features.

Steps to resolve the problem

To resolve this problem, enter a valid product key. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. In the Activate Windows Now pop-up message that appears when you first log on to Windows Vista, click Retype your product key.
  2. When you are prompted to accept the specified user name, click OK.
  3. Type the product key, and then click Next.

    Note You can locate the product key on the Windows Vista CD sleeve or on the Windows Vista CD case.
Notes
  • To use the Automated phone system activation option, click Show me other ways to activate.
  • For more information about the Windows Vista activation process, click Read our privacy statement.

MORE INFORMATION

To receive support for Windows Vista, you must provide the product ID (PID) for the version of Windows Vista that you have installed on your computer. To view the PID by using Windows Internet Explorer 7 in reduced-functionality mode, follow these steps:
  1. In the Windows Activation dialog box, click Read our privacy statement. Internet Explorer 7 starts.
  2. In Internet Explorer 7, click Help, and then click About Internet Explorer 7.
  3. To determine the PID, view the Product Key line.
For more information about reduced-functionality mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
925582 The behavior of reduced functionality mode in Windows Vista

REFERENCES

For more information about Windows Vista activation, visit the following Microsoft Web sites.
To troubleshoot activation problems
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/57cc0e65-f70c-49fd-bdaa-6da83d6a35af1033.mspx
Frequently asked questions
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/62088be6-3538-46a6-99fb-05e74aeb48b51033.mspx
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
925616 Error message when you start Windows Vista: "Your activation period has expired"

Properties

Article ID: 933175 - Last Review: October 26, 2007 - Revision: 1.4
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
Keywords: 
kbceip kbtshoot kbexpertisebeginner kbactivation kbprb KB933175

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