Error message when you try to activate a copy of Windows Vista: "The Software Licensing Service reported that the license evaluation failed: 0xC004E003"

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Article ID: 950755 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to activate a copy of Windows Vista, you receive an error message that resembles the following:

An error has occurred

Code:
0xC004E003

Description:
The Software Licensing Service reported that the license evaluation failed

CAUSE

This problem occurs if the license validity interval has expired, or if the license is not signed correctly.

RESOLUTION

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

Method 1: Re-insert the product key by using the "Change product key" tool

To re-insert the product key, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , click Computer, and then click System properties on the toolbar.
  2. In the Windows activation section, click Change product key.

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    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
  3. In the Product key box, type the product key, and then click Next.
  4. Follow the steps in the Windows Activation Wizard to complete the activation process.
If these steps do not resolve this issue, continue to Method 2.

Method 2: Restore your computer to an earlier date and retry the Activation process

To restore the operating system to an earlier time, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , type system restore in the Start Search box, and then click System Restore in the Programs list.

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    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
  2. In the System Restore dialog box, click Next.
  3. In the list of restore points, click a restore point that was created at least oneweek before the current date, and then click Next.

    Note If you do not find a restore point that is at least one week old, select the earliest restore point that is available.
  4. Click Finish.
The computer restarts. The system files and settings are returned to the state that they were in when the restore point was created.

Note If you have no previous restore points, or if restoring to a previous restore point does not resolve the issue, continue to Method 3.

Method 3: Activate Windows Vista by using the automated telephone system

To activate Windows Vista by telephone, you must use an automated telephone system.

To activate Windows Vista by using the automated telephone system, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , and then click Computer.
  2. Click System properties on the toolbar, and then click Click here to activate Windows now in the Windows activation section.

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    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  3. Click Show me other ways to Activate.
  4. Click Use the automated phone system, and then follow the instructions.

MORE INFORMATION

To verify the Windows Vista activation status, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , and then click Computer.
  2. Click System properties on the toolbar, and then view the Windows Vista activation status in the Windows activation section.
To view frequently asked questions about Windows Vista activation, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/62088be6-3538-46a6-99fb-05e74aeb48b51033.mspx

Properties

Article ID: 950755 - Last Review: April 9, 2008 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
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