when starting it asks for activate now or later in windows vista RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently bought a laptop with Windows vista .  Wanting Remote Desktop, I chose the Anytime Upgrade option and entered a Windows vista upgrade product key (which I had previously obtained through an academic discoung program).  Anytime Upgrade accepted the key, and the upgrade went forward.  But 1-2 weeks later, Activation messages began to appear, indicating that I need to activate.  And when I reenter the Professional key I provided during the Anytime Upgrade install, I am now rejected.  The message tells me: "Invalid product key - The following failure occurred while trying to uset he product key: Code: 0xC004F061  Description: The Software Licensing Service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not for clean installations."

    Any idea what went wrong here?  During the 1-2 weeks, I installed a larger hard drive and used a cloning tool to copy the original drive to the new drive -- potentially triggering Activation concerns of hardware changes.  But even that wouldn't explain the Activation system now refusing my key.  If the key was accepted during the Anytime Upgrade install, doesn't that mean the key is acceptable for this upgrade context?  My understanding is that an anytime upgrade is still an "upgrade" for purposes of acepting my existing Professional key -- and the Anytime Upgrade system certainly seemed to think so, in that it happily accepted my upgrade key.

    Sunday, February 7, 2010 5:11 PM


  • Hello jaan81,

      To use the Anytime Upgrade, you need to use an Anytime Upgrade key. You used the Anytime Upgrade and tried to use a Retail Upgrade key.  Retail Upgrade and Anytime Upgrade are different skus and require different Product Keys.

      The resolution for your issue is to use the Upgrade Product Key with the Upgrade Software that it came with. In your specific situation, I am not sure the best/easiest way to get you to that end goal.  I recommend posting in the 'Install, Upgrade and Activate' section of the Windows Answers forum http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/windowsvista.

    Thank you,
    Darin MS 
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, February 9, 2010 7:40 PM
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 7:40 PM