Re-activate previously activated Windows, which suddenly became not activated

If your installed, configured and activated Windows 7 suddenly becomes not activated again, after weeks or months of normal work, first thing you should do, before hanging hours on Microsoft support phone line, is to attempt to activate (re-activate?) it again. This post should help a little bit.

Note that I’m covering only a legal ways here, assuming that you have your valid, legal product key.

Before we continue, let me tell you, that most cases, when your already acticated Windows become not active is quite obvious — hardware change.

Changing certain hardware components requires only activating Windows again. Changing key ones (microprocessor or motherboard) counts as getting new computer and requires you to pay for a new key.

But, there are other situations. CMOS, BIOS or system clock malfuntioning or your Windows simply going wako — all these things may cause your system to become not activated, as you would change some hardware components, when you actually haven’t done anything like that. This is, what happend to me. 8 months working Windows, legally activated, suddenly told me, that I have three days left to activate it.

Fastest way to bring up Windows activation agent is to run (Start > Run or Ctrl+R) slui command.

Where running:

  • slui 1 or just slui will bring you standard activation window with on-line activation option etc.,
  • slui 2 will pop a message next to system clock (bottom right corner) which, when clicked, opens activation window,
  • slui 3 will open above mentioned activation window with abillity to change your current product key,
  • slui 4 will allow you (after clicking Next) to read installation idenificator required to activate Windows over phone,
  • slui 5 will open activation window with message that activation service is unreachable at this moment.

If your hardware change was minimal (minor system components) or virtual at all (no actual hardware change; just a system wako) then runing slui 4, re-entering your actual, valid product key and waiting around five minutes should solve your problem.

If activation agent still claims, that your Windows is not active, then you may try solution described in this article, which basically narrows to opening console window, navigating to c:windowssystem32 folder (cd c:windowssystem32) and executing cscript windowssystem32slmgr.vbs /ato command. I’m only mentioning this solution here, I haven’t got chance to check it, as first solution worked as a charm in my case (because my hardware change was virtual).

If after that, your problem still exists, then I’m affraid, that you have to call Microsoft support line.

BTW: slui command was told to me on mentioned Microsoft support line for the first time. After that, I found this great blog post at Symantec, where you can find many, many more useful Windows run commands.

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