System Error 5 / Vista Re-Install RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I am getting the vista not genuine error.  I have done the " net start slsvc " thing from cmd.exe running as admin and I get the system error 5 apparently massive file corruption and I need to re-install vista.  My question is since I have a Vista Ultimate Upgrade will I have to call microsoft again to get another activation key?

    I'm pretty sure its a retail version of the upgrade so it is my understanding that I can install it as many times as I want... its only the OEM versions that are limited to one set of hardware.  Is this the case? I am also looking at getting windows 7 retail version and am hoping this will apply as well as I upgrade my computer often and do tend to reformat it quite a bit and don't want to have to buy multiple copies of an OS for the same computer whenever I upgrade it.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:58 AM


  • Hello TuckerP,

      Yes, Retail Windows (including Win 7) is licensed so that it can be installed on as many computers as you wish but only installed on one computer at a time.

      Activation is required within 30 days after every install/reinstall and may also be required after a substantial hardware change and/or driver update (drivers sometimes change the 'Hardware ID' of the hardware it controles. Hardware IDs are what Windows uses to tell if a peice of hardware has been changed. So it will sometimes look to Windows like a new peice of hardware was added/changed when only a driver was update).  There are two ways to Activate Windows.

    Activate by Phone: This is where you talk with the Activation Rep (or Phone Prompt) and exchange big long numbers such as you refer to. The long numbers are a code (not a key) that tells Vista that it can Activate. 

    Activate by Internet: This is the same as Activate by Phone, but the computer transmites those long number codes back and forth so you don't have to type them in.  Note: after a certain number of Activations by Internet, Windows may require you to Activate by Phone instead of the Internet.

    Hope that helps,
    Darin MS
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:14 PM
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:13 PM