Article ID: 947519 - View products that this article applies to.
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After you install a Windows Vista service pack, you may be prompted to activate your copy of Windows Vista. You may be prompted to do this even if the computer was previously designated as "Genuine and Activated." Additionally, the Vista System Properties dialog box may indicate that your copy of Windows Vista is not activated.


Cause 1: Changes to hardware or to hardware device drivers are detected

Part of the Windows Genuine process requires you to reactivate your computer when certain hardware is changed or when certain hardware device drivers are changed. Windows Vista service packs may update some installed device drivers. Therefore, you may be prompted to activate Windows Vista again.

Cause 2: The copy of Windows Vista that is installed on your computer was not activated

Before you installed the service pack, an activation exploit may have been installed on your computer. This activation exploit may have been created to circumvent the Windows Vista activation process. This kind of exploit can cause extreme alterations to important system components in Windows Vista and can affect system stability. Service packs address exploits that are created to circumvent the activation process. These service packs also include updates that target and disable these exploits.

Note For more information about how to determine whether a copy of Windows Vista is genuine, visit the following Microsoft Web site:


To resolve this behavior, use one of the following methods.

Resolution for Cause 1

Activate your copy of Windows Vista again. For more information about how to activate Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
940315 How to activate Windows Vista

Resolution for Cause 2

After you install a service pack on a Vista-based computer that is running this kind of exploit, the Vista activation process is reactivated. You may be prompted to activate Vista and to provide a current and valid Windows Vista license key.


Article ID: 947519 - Last Review: January 18, 2008 - Revision: 1.6
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 2
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Starter
kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb KB947519

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