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Getting error 0xC004E002 - Cannot log into Windows normal or safe mode

    Question

  • When I try to log into my machine, I am getting a dialog:

     

    An error has occured

     

    Code:

    0xC004E02

     

    Description:

    The software licensing service reported that the license share contains inconsistent data.

     

    In the lower right hand corner of the screen:

     

    Windows Vista (TM)

    Build 6000

    This copy of Windows is not genuine

     

    This is on a Dell Inspiron 1420 preinstalled with Windows Vista Premium.

     

    I've tried safe mode, and when I do that, it says I need to log onto normal mode to reactivate Vista.  Of course, I cannot log on.

     

    I have tried restoring from previous restore points with no luck.

     

    I believe since last reboot, all I did was install Starcraft and World of Warcraft.  Also I believe Windows Update ran.

     

    The machine is now unuseable.  I just reinstalled from the factory image a month ago to correct Windows Update no longer functioning.  This is not acceptable.

     

    Friday, September 28, 2007 11:45 PM

Answers

  • Hi dsun80,

     

      Sorry for the wait,  My testing team has been able to reproduce your issue and they beleive they have a resolution for you.

     

    1) Login to Vista and if a windows pops up, select the option "Use Vista in reduced functionality". If this does not work, log into Vista using safe mode.
    2) Type %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareLicensing into the address bar of the browser that comes up. 

    3) Rename tokens.dat to token.bak
    3) Reboot.
    4) Log in normal mode.
    5) Open a Browser and type %windir%/system32

    6) A filder will open, scroll down till you find CMD.exe

    7) Right Click the 'CMD.exe' file and select "Run as administrator"

    8) A window will open with a black background. Type in: net start slsvc

    9) Next type in: cscript slmgr.vbs –rilc

    10) Reboot computer

    11) You may be required to Activate. I suggest using the Activate by Phone method.

     

    Please contact us if you have any problems or questions.

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA

     

     

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007 5:43 PM
    Owner

All replies

  • Hi dsun80,

     

      Sorry for the wait,  My testing team has been able to reproduce your issue and they beleive they have a resolution for you.

     

    1) Login to Vista and if a windows pops up, select the option "Use Vista in reduced functionality". If this does not work, log into Vista using safe mode.
    2) Type %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareLicensing into the address bar of the browser that comes up. 

    3) Rename tokens.dat to token.bak
    3) Reboot.
    4) Log in normal mode.
    5) Open a Browser and type %windir%/system32

    6) A filder will open, scroll down till you find CMD.exe

    7) Right Click the 'CMD.exe' file and select "Run as administrator"

    8) A window will open with a black background. Type in: net start slsvc

    9) Next type in: cscript slmgr.vbs –rilc

    10) Reboot computer

    11) You may be required to Activate. I suggest using the Activate by Phone method.

     

    Please contact us if you have any problems or questions.

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA

     

     

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007 5:43 PM
    Owner
  • I spent most of this weekend dealing with a similar problem, and a small variation on this solution fixed it.

    Background: I'm running Windows Vista Home Premium  on a Sony VAIO laptop which I bought about 5 months ago.  The operating system was factory installed, so I don't have an installation CD.  Yesterday while browsing the web (with a few other programs open as well) it suddenly hung... I could still move the mouse pointer but couldn't get any other response at all, not even from ctrl-alt-delete, until I held down the power button to shut it off.  Upon rebooting, I got the message

    Windows must be reinstalled to activate,

    telling me to insert the installation CD that I don't have, and in the lower right corner it said

    Windows Vista (TM)
    Build 6000
    This copy of Windows is not genuine

    I've seen other reports of the same trouble on this forum, namely:

    http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2366898&SiteID=25

    and

    http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2206707&SiteID=25

    Just as in those reports, clicking the "close" button or just closing the dialogue box took me back to the login screen, so I had no way of getting into Windows.  The exception was safe mode, but only without networking: trying to boot safe mode with networking led to the message

    Windows cannot be activated in Safe Mode,

    and I couldn't get any further.

    Searching through everything I could find on this forum and elsewhere on the web, I saw that someone had managed to fix a similar problem by replacing their tokens.dat file, which was corrupted.  Mine appears to have been corrupted as well: I found that its size was about 17kB, much smaller than normal.  How this might have happened or what else might have been affected is a complete mystery to me, and replacing the file with one from my flatmate's Vista Ultimate machine didn't fix it.  (It did change the message I got on startup, asking me to activate Windows by typing in the product key again, but it didn't accept the key.)

    Eventually I found this thread on the forum and tried the instructions above: in the end I had to reactivate Windows by phone because the online activation didn't work, but after that everything was fine.

    Here's a serious complication though: the instructions above are not fully followable as written, specifically in steps 4 and 5.  Deleting tokens.dat did not change my situation in any obvious way, because the "must be reinstalled" dialogue box still prevented me from logging into normal mode and opening a browser.  I did eventually find a work-around, and it may or may not be the most straightforward possible way, but at any rate it worked for me:

    (1) On the login screen I have an accessibility icon: I can click it to activate features such as "magnified text" before logging in.  I tried this just for the hell of it when I had no idea what else to try.

    (2) The result was that upon logging in, I got not only the usual "Windows must be reinstalled to activate" message but also had the magnified text program running, with an extra window to control it.  Now here's the sneaky part: if you focus on that extra window and press F1, it opens a help window (as you would expect).  From here you can access the rest of Windows help, which includes any number of links to find additional information online, so clicking on one of these starts a web browser.  That's how I found out that I _was_ in fact still online, even though I couldn't even access my desktop directly.

    (3) Once you have a web browser running, you can access not only the net but also the files on your harddrive, using the "open file" or equivalent option and then browsing through directories.  I finally managed to follow through with step (5) of the above instructions by finding an HTML file on my harddrive and right-clicking on it to "Open with Internet Explorer" (which is not my default browser).  Then I was able to run "CMD.exe" as administrator and so forth.  There are surely other ways to do this.

    (4) From that point it was mostly smooth sailing, except for one minor point: for reasons that I don't understand at all, trying to copy and paste the command "
    cscript slmgr.vbs –rilc" into my command window didn't work (it claimed the option "-rilc" wasn't recognized), but it did work when I simply retyped the command by hand.

    I hope someone out there finds this information helpful and can therefore avoid the weekend full of struggle that I've had.  I'd still love to know what caused this problem in the first place, especially as various people have suggested the corruption could be caused by a bug in one of the recent Windows updates.  Does anyone have any further insight on this?  The whole experience has convinced me to shut off automatic updates and be very selective about which ones I install in the future.
    Sunday, November 11, 2007 4:59 PM
  • lmpshd... Your a genius!  Thanks for your help too Darin but that step 4 was very frustrating.  I laughed when I first read lmpshd's solution but it works!  You have to fumble around on the box.  Pressing F1 did not work but when I clicked on a link on the help box (something about reading the privacy act) it went online with the IE.  Then I just typed in C:\ in the address bar and there was my file explorer... BAM  Kind of like tuning your radio to a certain station in your car before it will start.  :-)   ridiculous, funny, and sad at the same time.
    Tuesday, October 21, 2008 1:20 AM
  • Awesome help guys. When I got the help menu I was able to search cmd and it let me open a command prompt. I was then able to change the file tokens file. I had to do this in safe mode as it said access denied for one of the folders while I was in normal mode. After the re-boot I searched again for Internet Explorer, and was able to type c:\ from the address bar. I then was able to run the cmd program as admin. It worked.
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 4:12 AM