You may be prompted to activate Windows Vista on a computer on which Windows Vista activation was not previously required. For example, this problem may occur on a computer where Windows Vista was preinstalled by an OEM or by using a Volume Licensing installation. The problem does not occur on Retail versions of Windows Vista. For example, the problem does not occur if you purchased Windows Vista and installed the operating system on a computer yourself.
Although this problem rarely occurs, it may occur during typical use of a Windows Vista-based computer. You may also experience Activation Error 0xC004F02A. This error may occur after you restore a customized Windows Vista image that was created by using Volume License (VL) media.
This problem may occur because a specific system setting is removed when a program runs with administrative credentials. The removal of this system setting may cause a BIOS validation check to fail. The BIOS validation check is part of the system activation process. Therefore, you may be prompted to activate Windows Vista, even though the system did not previously require activation.For example, this problem is known to occur when you use Intuit QuickBooks 2007. However, this problem may also infrequently occur when you install other programs or device drivers.
Note This problem does not occur because of an issue in the installed program or device driver. This problem is caused by a system problem in Windows Vista.
Service pack information
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows Vista. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
935791 How to obtain the latest Windows Vista service pack
To resolve this problem if it has already occurred
To resolve this problem if it has already occurred, use one of the following methods:
If you have been prompted to activate Windows Vista, and you have not used the product key to manually activate Windows Vista, install update 931573, and then restart the computer.
If you have been prompted to activate Windows Vista, and you have used the product key to manually activate Windows Vista, install update 931573, and then activate Windows Vista by telephone.
Note If Windows Vista was preinstalled by an OEM, the product key appears on a sticker on the case of the computer.
For more information about how to activate Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
925616Error message when you start Windows Vista: "Your activation period has expired"
To prevent this problem
To prevent this problem, install update 931573.To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section. This problem was first corrected in Windows Vista Service Pack 1.
For more information about how hotfix packages are named, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
816915New file naming schema for Microsoft Windows software update packages
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.