How To: Recover from Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM) In Windows Vista
Microsoft allows you to install and use Windows Vista for evaluation without license or product key for up to 30 days. Within these 30 days, you must activate the Windows Vista system with a valid product key. Else, if you forget to activate your Windows Vista computer, or you’re using illegal and pirated product key, Windows Vista will go into Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM), where you basically can no longer use the system for productivity works until you successfully activate Windows Vista with a licensed product key.After this you will get a message as:
Your activation period has expired and Windows is no longer working.To use Windows you must activate this copy of Windows.
If you’re still not yet ready to activate your copy of Windows Vista and want to further extend the activation period another 30 days, and also want to exit or recover from Reduced Functionality Mode so that you can continue using Vista without reinstalling, here’s a simple hack to crack the RFM. The trick is made possible by Microsoft which still allow users to use Internet Explorer in RFM (probably do so so that you will can buy a license online), which can be used to break out of Reduced Functionality mode by running an explorer interface to open an administrative level command prompt and run the commands required to reset your activation period and recover use of your computer and desktop.
Here are the steps to recover your Windows Vista computer from Reduced Functionality Mode:
- On the Windows Activation – Activate Windows Now screen shown above, click on Access your computer with reduced functionality option.
- Once the Internet Explorer loads, click on File on menu bar and then select Open on the pull-down menu.3. On the Open dialog window, type in C:\Windows\Explorer.exe and then click OK.
- Click OK button on “IE needs to open a new window to open this webpage” confirmation prompt.
- Click Run button on “File Download – Security Warning” dialog prompt.
- Click on Run button on “File Download – Security Warning” warning dialog related to unknown and not verified publisher.
- User shell will load, and the desktop, taskbar, start menu and etc will be restored.
- The computer has recovered from Reduced Functionality for this session. To permanently stop RFM to happen again, Vista has to be rearmed.
- Click on the Windows Vista Start button.
- Type Cmd in Start Search box.
- A program shortcut will show up in the Start panel search results. Right click on the shortcut and select Run as Administrator.
- In the Command Prompt window, type in the following command and then hit Enter:
- Restart your Windows Vista computer.