How To: Fix Windows Vista Error “Windows Must Be Reinstalled To Activate”
Sometimes you get the following error message in Windows Vista:
Windows must be reinstalled to activate. Please insert the Windows CD or DVD to begin reinstallation
and also in the lower right corner of the Windows Vista desktop a notification message appears as:
This copy of Windows is not genuine
To fix this issue,do the following steps:
- Open Internet browser from Windows Vista start menu(Like Internet Explorer,Mozilla Firefox)
- Type %windir%\system32 into the browser address bar.
- Find the file CMD.exe
- Right-Click on CMD.exe and select ‘Run as Administrator‘
- Type the following commands in the opened elevated command prompt window:
net stop slsvc (it may ask you if you are sure, select yes)
rename tokens.dat tokens.bak
net start slsvc
cscript slmgr.vbs -rilc (It may take a long time for this to complete, please be patient)
- Reboot your Windows Vista computer twice(It is important)
- You may be required to Re-Activate your Windows Vista. Use the Activate by Phone method outlined below:
Activating Windows Vista by Phone
If you have access to the Windows Vista Start button:
- Click the Start button, and type in “slui.exe 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 Windows Vista phone activation process should only take about 6 minutes.
If you do not have access to the Windows Vista Start button:
- Reboot and login to Windows Vista, a dialog window will come up.
- In that window, click the option “Access computer with reduced functionality”.
- 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 Windows Vista over the Phone.