Windows Vista OEM Product Key can't be reused?


Jun 3, 2009
Hello, I have this Acer laptop that somebody gave me to restore because it had a ton of viruses on it, so I popped in my Vista disc that has all editions of Vista on it. During the installation, the code on the sticker did not work on the disc, so I decided to install Home Premium (32-bit) and worry about activation later. Well now it has 21 days to activate and still the code (for Windows Vista Home Premium OEMAct) does not work. It says "The product key you have entered does not appear to be a valid Windows Vista product key. Please check your product key, and type it again."
When I click the error details link, it says " Code: 0xC004C003 Description: The activation server determined the specified product key is in use"

Are OEM codes not valid for a reinstall in Vista? I've done this many times in XP, and it works perfectly...


I think you are using a retail copy of vista to install.

Have a look at this Microsoft article!

It'll explain how to activate Vista, if some errors occur during activation.

If you are trying to install a legitimate copy of Vista, with a fresh Key, the possibility of this error code is almost zero.

If you are trying to use a pirated version of Vista, this forum is definitely not the place.

All the best