Article ID: 925616 - View products that this article applies to.
When you start Windows Vista, you receive the following error message:
Additionally, the taskbar does not appear, and you have limited access to Windows Vista programs and features.
Activate Windows Now
Your activation period has expired and Windows is no longer working.
To use Windows you must activate this copy of Windows.
Note When these symptoms occur, Windows Vista is running in Reduced Functionality Mode.
This problem may occur for one or more of the following reasons:
If you believe that you have a Windows Genuine Advantage copy of Windows Vista, use these methods to troubleshoot the problem.
Note The Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program is part of a Microsoft effort to protect its customers and partners from counterfeit software and increase customer awareness of the value of genuine Microsoft software. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Method 1: Enter your product key
Note If Windows was preinstalled by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), the product key appears on a sticker on the case of the computer.
Method 2: Activate Windows Vista by using the automated telephone systemTo 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:
Method 3: Contact MicrosoftIf Windows detects that the hardware on your computer has changed significantly, and the previous method does not solve your problem, you may have to contact Microsoft for help. To view the Microsoft Activation Centers Worldwide Telephone Numbers list, go to the following Microsoft website:
For more information about how to activate Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
921471For more information about Windows Vista activation, go to the following Microsoft websites:
(https://support.microsoft.com/kb/921471/ )Windows activation fails and may generate error code 0x8004FE33
Troubleshooting activation problems
Frequently asked questions
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/62088be6-3538-46a6-99fb-05e74aeb48b51033.mspxFor more information about how to understand common validation failure scenarios, go to the following Microsoft website:
Article ID: 925616 - Last Review: January 26, 2013 - Revision: 10.0