You receive a message when you run Windows Vista with a prerelease build of Service Pack 1: "Your Windows License will expire"

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Article ID: 954753 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

This article describes messages that you receive when you run Windows Vista with a prerelease build of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). You must uninstall the Windows Vista SP1 update package before the license expiration date. Steps are provided to uninstall the prerelease SP1 package.

SYMPTOMS

When you run Windows Vista with a prerelease build of Windows Vista SP1, you receive one of the following messages.

Message 1
Your Windows License will expire in n days.
Note The placeholder n is a number from 14 through 2.

Message 2
Your Windows license will expire in n hours.
Note The placeholder n is a number from 24 through 0.

Message 3

Your computer session ends unexpectedly two hours after startup. In this situation, you receive the following error message:
END_OF_NT_EVALUATION_PERIOD
By restarting the computer, you obtain an additional two hours.

Note On Windows Vista Enterprise or Windows Vista Business editions that have been installed by using a volume license key, you will receive message 3 only after two hours, and the Windows Vista prerelease system stops functioning without any additional warning. Additionally, Windows Vista performs one of the following actions, and any unsaved work is lost:
  • The system restarts.
  • The system displays message 3.

RESOLUTION

Before you reach the license evaluation expiration date, you must uninstall the Windows Vista SP1 update package.

To uninstall the Windows Vista SP1 update package, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Programs.
  3. Click Programs and Features.
  4. Click View installed updates.
  5. Click Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB936330).
  6. Click Uninstall.
For more information about how to uninstall Windows Vista Service Pack 1, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
948537 How to uninstall Windows Vista Service Pack 1 as a troubleshooting step
Note If you installed a slipstream version of Windows Vista SP1 (the full installation of Windows Vista together with the service pack), you must perform a full reinstallation of Windows Vista by using a valid license.

MORE INFORMATION

Prerelease build information

Prerelease versions of Windows Vista SP1 were made available to the public together with an evaluation license that expires on a pre-arranged schedule. The schedule is stated in the Microsoft Software License Terms of the Windows Vista SP1 update package. The prerelease builds are known as the following:
  • Beta
  • RC / CPP release
  • RC Refresh

Evaluation time period for the Windows Vista SP1 update package

Windows Vista SP1 includes an evaluation expiration date and a limited license that both expire on a pre-arranged schedule. This schedule is stated in the Microsoft Software License Terms of the Windows Vista SP1 update package. The evaluation period is for three months, and then the limited license expires. When the limited license expires, you receive a warning message to uninstall the service pack or to install a valid Windows Vista license. The following table lists the full schedule for the public build releases:
Collapse this tableExpand this table
Windows Vista SP1 prerelease buildBuild numberEvaluation expiration dateLicense expiration date
Beta16659April 7, 2008July 15, 2008
RC / CPP release17052June 30, 2008October 15, 2008
RC Refresh17028June 30, 2008October 15, 2008

Timeline for license expiration

  • Starting June 17, 2008: Every time that the computer starts and one time per day, you receive the following message, where the placeholder n is a number from 14 through 4:
    Backup Important data from Windows Now.

    The Windows License will expire in n days. Back up your files and then install any edition of Windows Vista.
  • Starting June 28, 2008: Every time that the computer starts and every 4 hours, you receive the following message, where the placeholder n is a number from 3 through 2:
    Your Windows License will expire in n days and Windows will stop working. Back up your files, and then install any edition of Windows Vista.
  • Starting June 30, 2008: Every time that the computer starts and one time every hour, you receive the following message, where the placeholder n is a number from 24 through 1:
    Your Windows license will expire in n hours and Windows will stop working. Back up your files, and then install any edition of Windows Vista.
  • Starting July 1, 2008: Every time that the computer starts, you receive the following message:
    Your Windows license will expire in 0 hours and Windows will stop working. Back up your files, and then install any edition of Windows Vista.
    After 2 hours, the Windows Vista prerelease system stops functioning without any additional warning. Additionally, Windows Vista performs one of the following actions, and any unsaved work is lost:
    • Restart
    • Display the following message:
      END_OF_NT_EVALUATION_PERIOD
  • License expires and computer access is lost: After the license expiration dates that are listed here (This date is October 15 for most users), you can no longer log on to Windows Vista. Additionally, you lose all access to the computer. You must install a valid copy of Windows Vista. To do this, start the installation by starting the computer from the Windows Vista DVD.

Evaluation time period for an integrated installation of Windows Vista SP1

If you installed a prerelease version of Windows Vista SP1 as a clean installation and not through the update package, you must reinstall Windows Vista by using a valid license. In some cases, you may be able to upgrade to a version of Windows Vista that includes SP1. See the documentation that is included with your Windows Vista licensed software to determine what installation methods are available.

Properties

Article ID: 954753 - Last Review: July 13, 2008 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Business
    • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Business N
    • Windows Vista Business N 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Enterprise
    • Windows Vista Home Basic
    • Windows Vista Home Basic N
    • Windows Vista Home Basic N 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Home Premium
    • Windows Vista Starter
    • Windows Vista Ultimate
Keywords: 
kbprb kbtshoot kblicensing kberrmsg kbexpertisebeginner kbinfo KB954753

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