Windows 7 Activation 0XC004E003 Invalid Product Key RRS feed

  • Question

  • I quite literally JUST got Windows 7 working from a bootloader problem, but now I changed the CD drive and suddenly my product key is invalid! I'm getting error code 0XC004E003 during activation, with options to buy a new key online or "Talk to a support representative," which link is useless (it takes me to Microsoft Help and Support, from there to the MS support website, from there it runs me in circles with no options for live chat or even a way to email, much less a phone number). So I'm stuck and annoyed, please SOMEONE help!
    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 6:58 PM


All replies

  • posted here MANY times.

    Here are the steps for using the telephone option for activation:

    1. Press the Windows Logo Key+R. This will bring up the Run dialog box.

    2. In the Open: box, type   slui 4  and press OK. This will start the manual activation wizard.

    3. Select your Country in the drop down menu and click Next.

    4. The wizard will display a Toll Free phone number. Leave the wizard open on the computer and call that phone number.

    Follow any of the recorded instructions. If this activation fails, stay on the line until a live Activation Representative answers. The representative will manually activate that system for you.


    • Proposed as answer by cdobbs Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:50 PM
    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:59 PM
  • You were probably taken to this page and you wandered around a little lost when at the bottom you would have found this

    which in turn gets you to this   Yep, it does take patience and presistence sometimes ;)
    MCSE, MCSA, MCDST [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:50 PM
  • actually I tried that, I saw it online too. But when I run slui 4, it opens up to say "Invalid Product Key", even though it's the same one I entered. I re-entered it to no avail, and couldn't find any toll-free number.
    Thursday, January 21, 2010 2:44 PM
  • Is your location the US?

    From where did you obtain this windows 7 DVD and license #?
    MCSE, MCSA, MCDST [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Thursday, January 21, 2010 2:50 PM
  • Hi Sam,


    Here is the knowledge base article for error code 0xC004E003. This article also applies for Windows 7. Please check if the troubleshooting suggestion can fix the issue for you.




    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Friday, January 22, 2010 5:35 AM
  • It's an OEM disk from a different computer. This computer is custom-built, so no original manufacturer. I thought I'd try to use this disk and it seemed to work OK until now. Sorry for the late response.
    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 5:45 PM
  • Thanks for the advice, however the troubleshooting steps shown do not work for me, because when I run the activation window it takes me directly to the error "invalid product key". As it is, thanks everyone for the solutions: I'll be getting a new product key for my system to reactivate it.
    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 5:48 PM
  • For those that were following this thread, Sam has concluded what was going on in this thread
    MCSE, MCSA, MCDST [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 12:47 AM
  • Hi,

    Sorry about this thread necromancy, but I'm having quite the same problem as Sam D :

    I'm currently making a fresh Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits install on my cousin's Dell Inspiron M5030, which came without any install disc, and strangely, no Product Key label underneath the laptop, so I had to use SIW to get it (the certificate must be somewhere in my cousin's papers which I don't have access to and neither does she ATM). I also found a second Product Key, which appears to be a temporary one (more about this later).

    I used a Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits install iso I had lying around, but I can't confirm whether it's a Dell OEM or not.

    The installation went fine, but the activation fails with the same 0xC004E003 error, with no option to select a country (I live in France) and call Microsoft. I searched for it and found it stands for "The licence key could not be evaluated" (NOT "Invalid licence key" !). If I try and use the second product key I found using SIW, I get a message stating that this key is a temporary one and cannot be used for activating (I guess it's the one used for Dell's master install, which I take as a proof the other key is legit).

    So... what are my options now ? Is there a way to activate the OS ? The key IS recognized as valid by (can't remember the exact name) Windows Validation Tool, but I still can't activate it.

    Do I have to dig for an OEM install disc and start again ? Buying another key is out of the question, since it's valid (and has been paid for already !). Would a "boxed" install disc work with this OEM key ?

    Thank you in advance for your time. :-)

    • Edited by breversa Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:32 AM typo + error meaning
    Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:26 AM
  • The Product Key / COA sticker on Dell laptops is inside the battery compartment.

    To properly analyse and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the report produced by the MGADiag tool
    (download and save to desktop - )
     Once saved, run the tool.
    Click on the Continue button, which will produce the report.
     To copy the report to your response, click on the Copy button in the tool (ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your response.
      - **in your own thread**, please

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:59 AM
  • Thank you Noel for your lightning-quick reply ! :-)

    I followed your advice and started a new thread here :

    I'll do what you recommend tonight and will post the result afterwards.

    I feel silly for not checking further in the PC's innards for the licence key... but thanks for the hint ! ;-)

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:20 AM
  • This errors code 0xC004E003 might be displayed when a third party software make some changes to system files. During windows activation, to complete activation process windows need certain system files to work with and if third party software create some changes to system files in your PC, windows activation might get terminated showing this error code.

    To solve this problem you may reset your PC without affecting your personal files and data. For further assist visit Windows 10 Hub.

    Sunday, July 31, 2016 9:58 AM