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Activating Vista By Phone

Last response: in Windows Vista
August 24, 2011 8:14:30 PM

I have managed to retrieve the genuine serial number from a dying hard drive (see this thread..)

However, online activation fails saying the key is not genuine. I know it is because in addition to the above I managed to retrieve it using UBCD4WIN and I have installed Vista Home Premium as before but I never get a chance to phone Microsoft as you could with XP.

Is there some way of phoning them or has this been disabled for situations when MS has decided that the key is invalid?

More about : activating vista phone

August 24, 2011 8:45:28 PM

THe last time I installed my old HDD to a new system and did a repair installation to update the system files for the new hardware I used the phone activation process - so it is still there in VISTA.

What happens if you open Help and support and type in "activate" and then from the list chose Activate Windows on this computer from the list of results - then click on the Click to open Window Activation link ?? (Since mine is now activated I can no longer get to the activation options - but IIRC there was a choice to activate by phone there )

Also check the code carefully as you may have transposed a number\letter somewhere when entering it !
August 24, 2011 9:17:02 PM

There doesn't seem to be any option to phone microsoft now. It does seem as if MS have decided the key is bogus and that's that..
Related resources
August 24, 2011 9:36:40 PM

Hmm- according to their troubleshooting activation problems :

I changed my computer hardware and Windows is no longer activated.

When you make a significant hardware change to your computer, such as upgrading the hard disk and memory at the same time, you might be required to activate Windows again.

To activate Windows on this computer, do the following:

Open Windows Activation by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, right-clicking Computer, clicking Properties, and then clicking Activate Windows now.‌ Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

If automatic activation fails, follow the screens that walk you through activating Windows by phone. You will have three days to activate your copy of Windows after changing your hardware.

So once automatic activation fails it should bring up the phone activation screens.

EDIT : PErhaps this will help : How to find a phone number for a Microsoft Product Activation Center
August 24, 2011 10:27:52 PM

Yes, I've seen that advice but it doesn't seem to do that on the computer I'm working on.

It just opens the help page.
August 25, 2011 10:23:41 AM

That's the weird thing. I get to that screen ok but it doesn't have the phone option. All I get is "Buy a new product key"; "type a different key" and "contact Microsoft to help resolve this problem". The last just brings up the help page and searching that doesn't lead anywhere...

Very odd...

August 25, 2011 11:46:23 AM

Well, I gave up on trying to activate Vista with the key I had and reinstalled using a long dead key and what do you know, it worked fine...