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  • Question

  • I have a Gateway laptop running Vista Home Premium SP-2.  The computer was recently returned to Gateway for repair and in the process they replaced the motherboard and  reinstalled Vista.  I have received a auto validation failure notice and was told to enter the product key. My computer is several years old and the Product Key on the underside is partly illegible from wear.  I used a key finder to pull the OEM product key but when I entered it I got an error code 0xC004E003 License evaluation failed. I have tried contacting Gateway since it was OEM software. They told me to do a full reinstall which I did but got the same OEM key and same error code after the reinstall.  Based on other threads I've read, I will speculate that the new motherboard is not matching the OEM code.  I have asked Gateway if they can supply me with a replacement COA but they can't/won't.  I have most of the COA (about 4 characters illegible) but I have been unsuccessful at guessing the missing digits.  Is there any way I can get a replacement COA?  I have called Microsoft support twice but they kept referring me back to Gateway. I have about 10 days to validate the software.
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:57 PM

Answers

  • Hello sshagam,

    Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

    A)   OEM SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the Factory. This key is geared to work with the special instructions found only on that Manufacturer's computer hardware. So when Windows was installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) Vista looks at the motherboard and sees the special instructions and Self-Activates. (that's why you did not need to Activate your computer after you brought it home)

     

    B)    COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on the side (or bottom) of your computer. It is a valid product key, but should only be used in limited situations (sush as if the OEM SLP key stops self-activating for whatever reason). The key must be activated by Phone. (Note: All manufacturers that use the OEM SLP system are required by contract to include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker, that has a COA SLP key, on the computer)

      Since you had the Motherboard replaced, the OEM SLP key is no longer able to see the special instructions and is unable to self-activate.  This is the type of situation that the COA SLP key is to be used. As a backup to the OEM SLP key.

      If you are unable to read the COA SLP key (on the sticker on the side of bottom of the computer) you will need to contact the computer manufacturer for assistance (In your case, Gateway).  The reason for this is that even though Microsoft provides the Keys to the Manufacturer, the Manufacturer does not tell Microsoft what Key they assigned to what computer.

      When you talk to gateway, you may want to remind them that one of the stipulations of using OEM Licensed Microsoft software in the PCs they sell, is that they are required to take over Full support of that Windows.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help,
    Darin MS 
    Friday, January 29, 2010 7:18 PM

All replies

  • Hello sshagam,

    Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

    A)   OEM SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the Factory. This key is geared to work with the special instructions found only on that Manufacturer's computer hardware. So when Windows was installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) Vista looks at the motherboard and sees the special instructions and Self-Activates. (that's why you did not need to Activate your computer after you brought it home)

     

    B)    COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on the side (or bottom) of your computer. It is a valid product key, but should only be used in limited situations (sush as if the OEM SLP key stops self-activating for whatever reason). The key must be activated by Phone. (Note: All manufacturers that use the OEM SLP system are required by contract to include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker, that has a COA SLP key, on the computer)

      Since you had the Motherboard replaced, the OEM SLP key is no longer able to see the special instructions and is unable to self-activate.  This is the type of situation that the COA SLP key is to be used. As a backup to the OEM SLP key.

      If you are unable to read the COA SLP key (on the sticker on the side of bottom of the computer) you will need to contact the computer manufacturer for assistance (In your case, Gateway).  The reason for this is that even though Microsoft provides the Keys to the Manufacturer, the Manufacturer does not tell Microsoft what Key they assigned to what computer.

      When you talk to gateway, you may want to remind them that one of the stipulations of using OEM Licensed Microsoft software in the PCs they sell, is that they are required to take over Full support of that Windows.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help,
    Darin MS 
    Friday, January 29, 2010 7:18 PM
  • Thank you for your assistance.  I have reminded Gateway that my computer repairs are covered by 90-day warranty and that they have the obligation to support OEM installs. They have been making me talk with them by email or pay for phone support.  I'll see what they say. If all else fails, can I do a Windows 7 upgrade on a non-validated Vista and enter the product code from the Windows 7 upgrade to validate my OS?
    Friday, January 29, 2010 11:53 PM
  • I am sorry for stealing this thread but how do i create a new topic? i cannot find the create button anywhere. I have a problem with my vista home premium key being invalid when i attempt to get free window 7. I just bought my computer today open box from bestbuy.

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 3:52 AM
  • Zeno, use the 'Ask as Question' link in upper left corner of page.

    Darin

    Monday, February 1, 2010 9:15 PM
  •  If all else fails, can I do a Windows 7 upgrade on a non-validated Vista and enter the product code from the Windows 7 upgrade to validate my OS?

    Unfortunatly, no.  In this situation I wish it would, but I believe it's hard coded into the install process to only accept Genuine validated Windows.

    Darin MS
    Monday, February 1, 2010 9:26 PM
  • Then what if you need to re-install your OS and the COA sticker is all but gone from the bottom of your laptop? Then how would we get the product key?
    Monday, December 6, 2010 12:38 AM