When you try to activate a copy of Windows Vista by using the Windows Activation wizard, you receive an error message that resembles the following:
An error has occurred
The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid
This problem occurs if the license validity interval has expired, or if the license is not signed correctly.
To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods:
Method 1: Re-insert the product key by using the "Change product key" tool
To re-insert the product key, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, click Computer, and then click System properties on the toolbar.
2. In the Windows activation section, click Change product key.
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
3. In the Product key box, type the product key, and then click Next.
4. Follow the steps in the Windows Activation Wizard to complete the activation process.
If these steps do not resolve this issue, continue to Method 2.
Method 2: Activate Windows Vista by using the automated telephone system
To activate Windows Vista by telephone, you must use an automated telephone system.
To activate Windows Vista by using the automated telephone system, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, and then click Computer.
2. Click System properties on the toolbar, and then click Click here to activate Windows now in the Windows activation section.
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
3. Click Show me other ways to Activate.
4. Click Use the automated phone system, and then follow the instructions.