Windows Vista Total Lock Out on old computer that suddenly needs a product activation key? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have an old Toshiba Satellite that runs Windows Vista. About a month ago it crashed and I had to use the recovery disc and also used the anytime upgrade disc that had come with the computer. It was running fine, but recently locked me out requesting a product activation key. Being that the computer is so old, the key is worn off from the sticker on the bottom of the computer. It does not allow me to go into safe mode, nor does it allow me to use the reduced functionality feature. In addition, I won't let me access Internet Explorer or any other internet sites.  It seems I am completely locked out and would like some help to override these features in order to access the documents and software on the machine - two of my boys do their schoolwork on it. Microsoft suggested upgrading to Windows 8 for $120, but I hate to add the expense to an already old computer plus we would still lose the data and graded homework on their school software programs we run on the computer. Any help is appreciated, but remember, I can't access safe mode, reduced functionality, or the internet from that computer. Thanks.
    Saturday, October 11, 2014 3:24 PM


  • Upgrading to Windows 8 wouldn't work anyhow - because the upgrade has to be run from within Windows. You'd have to do a clean install.

    You should be able to get into Safe Mode, even if your computer is in a non-genuine state - it sounds to me as if you have more than just a WGA problem.

    Please see if you can get into the Repair Environment -

    Start the computer, and immediately begin tapping the F8 Key - this should get you ro the Advanced Boot Menu

    At the top of the menu there should be the option 'Repair my Computer' - pick that, and then pick the option to repair startup. If that fails, or finds nothing to repair, go into the option to open a Windows Command Prompt - and run a CHKDSK from there...

    Log into your normal account.

    You'll get a set of options - pick the Command Prompt one.

    At the command prompt, type  DIR C:\

    - if we're lucky this will bring up a listing of your normal C: drive contents, including the Program Files folder(s) and the Windows folder.

    If not, try D:\ or E:\ (etc. until you get the right letter)

    then type the following command

    CHKDSK <drive>: /R

    and wait for it to complete - it could take a few hours, depending on the size of the drive.

    Once complete, type  

    sfc /scannow /OFFBOOTDIR=<drive>:\ /OFFWINDIR=<drive>:\Windows

    where <drive> is the letter you found above.

    (example - sfc   /scannow    /OFFBOOTDIR=P:\    /OFFWINDIR=P:\Windows)

    Wait for the command to complete. (make a note of the response!).

    Once it has, type  EXIT and the pick the option to reboot.

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Saturday, October 11, 2014 4:35 PM