Locked Out of Windows for Validation RRS feed

  • Question

  • So, recently when I started up my computer, I was prompted to enter my Vista Product key. Well, my laptop is about 2 years old and the key has faded from the bottom so I can't entirely read it. The thing is, I try to use the validation by phone, but when I go into the reduced functionality I can't access anything.

    The best advice I found was this:

    Try this, and take the phone Option, and hold on for a real person:



      Activation FAQs at above link.


    1. Click Start, and in the Search box type slui.exe 4

    2. Press ENTER on your Keyboard

    3. Select your Country.

    4. Take the Phone Activation option, and hold on for a real person.


      If locked out except for 3 choices, use the reduced functionality option to get into Windows to do the above Activation.

    But because of me not being able to access almost anything on my computer in reduced functionality mode, the start button is gone (and the one on the keyboard doesn't work), so I can't do anything.

    Any help?
    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 9:50 PM


  • Hello Phaigne,

      If Windows is asking for a Product Key and if the product Key is unreadable, then Phone Activation (slui.exe 4) is not going to help. The only fix for that issue is to have a Product Key.

    Replace Product Key:

    KB811224 "How to identify, locate, and replace a product keyhttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/811224


    KB824433 "Lost or misplaced product key (certificate of authenticity) for Windows" http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824433
    (this doc is specific to Windows 95, 98, Millennium and Windows 2000, but should also work for XP).

    For future reference, below are the steps to Activate by Phone:

      To Activate by Phone:

    a)    If you have access to the Start button: Click the Start button, and type slui 4 in the search field and then press the "Enter" key. This will bring up the Activate by Phone dialog window. Follow the steps provided by the window. The phone activation process should only take about 6 minutes.


    b)    If you do not have access to the Start button: Reboot and login to Vista, a dialog window will come up. In that window, click the option "Access computer with reduced functionality" (or whatever option that opens an Internet Browser). Once you do that, Internet Explorer or Firefox browser will open. In the address bar type c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe press enter, a new window will come up, type: slui 4 and hit enter and follow steps to Activate over the Phone.

    Hope that helps,
    Darin MS

    Friday, December 4, 2009 9:33 PM