Q: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1 Activation with non-SP1 product key This thread is locked from future replies

I have a problem activating Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1 clean-installed from .iso from digital river with the original product key on my laptop.


- Error Code 0xC004E003

- The original product key is not for SP1.  Since the Windows label on the laptop is worn out, I can't read it, so used a Belarc program to retrieve the product key.

- Found an article tjat non-SP1 product key cannot activate SP1 package, contrary to an answer by a moderator to a similar question.

- There is an instruction for a phone activation.  Problem is, in my activation window, no telephone option exists.  Only "Buy...", "Type a different..." and "Contact Microsoft...". options.  The last option redirect to a help window, which gives no telephone number or contact information.


Since the HDD is formatted and recovery partition is removed, clean install is the only option available at the moment.  What can I do now?





If the computer came with win 7 pre installed it is OEM.  A retail key wont work with OEM.  You need to either install the OEM version with the original key or the new version with a retail key.

OEM keys are tied to hardware and any significant hware change can kick off a non genuine re-activation pop-up

There is no hardware change, as this is a laptop. As I wrote, the COA product key is worn out and illegible.   

How can I get an OEM version? The recovery partition is gone.

Option 1:

If the COA sticker is damaged, then you would need to use the recovery partition to reinstall Windows 7, this will exempt the need to use the product key to activate your Windows 7 instalaltion.


Option 2:

If your recovery partition is not available or damaged, you should contact the manufacturer of your computer and request a recovery disc set you can use to reinstall Windows 7. They might charge a small shipping and handling fee. This will exempt the need to use the product key also.


Option 3:

If the neither options 1 or 2 is possible, then you need to invest in a new retail full version license.

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

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Views: 3384 Last updated: December 24, 2017 Applies to: