Article ID: 947874 - View products that this article applies to.
Support for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) ends on July 12, 2011. To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure you're running Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2). For more information, refer to this Microsoft web page: Support is ending for some versions of Windows.
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INTRODUCTION

When you start Windows Vista, you may receive the following 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.
When this behavior occurs, Windows Vista is running in reduced functionality mode. When Windows Vista is running in reduced functionality mode, the taskbar does not appear. Additionally, you have limited access to Windows Vista programs and features.

This article describes how to install Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) when Windows Vista is running in reduced functionality mode because the activation period has expired. After you install Windows Vista SP1, you can access data.

MORE INFORMATION

To install Windows Vista SP1 while Windows Vista is in reduced functionality mode, follow these steps.

Important If you install Windows Vista SP1 while Windows Vista is in reduced functionality mode, you cannot uninstall Windows Vista SP1.
  1. Log on to the Windows Vista-based computer.
  2. After the message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section appears, click Access your computer with reduced functionality.
  3. In Internet Explorer, type one of the following URLs in the Address bar:

    Windows Vista, 32-bit versions
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B0C7136D-5EBB-413B-89C9-CB3D06D12674
    Windows Vista, 64-bit versions
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=874A414B-32B2-41CC-BD8B-D71EDA5EC07C
  4. Follow the steps to download and to install Windows Vista SP1.
Note After you install Windows Vista SP1, you will be asked to activate Windows Vista. However, access to files, to data, and to programs should not be restricted. This behavior applies only if the activation period had expired. It does not apply if any other non-genuine activity has occurred.

REFERENCES

For more information about the behavior of reduced functionality mode in Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
925582 The behavior of reduced functionality mode in Windows Vista
For more information about how exit reduced functionality mode in Windows Vista, 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: 947874 - Last Review: June 10, 2011 - Revision: 1.4
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbexpertisebeginner kbprb KB947874

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