Thursday, June 20, 2013

Windows 8 got deactivated (error code: 0xC004F074 and then 0xC004C4AA)

I got a Windows 8 activation problem yesterday. All of a sudden, the Windows Action Center was telling me that Windows is not activated and I should do it soon. When I checked the system properties, it was telling me that the activation will be expired on 19th of July. I was like “what the hell”! That’s in a month. And I have a legit copy of Windows 8.

I tried few things, but I got the same error message every time. When I checked Microsoft help page, it seemed that the serial number I was using is not valid for the edition of Windows I had installed. I have a key for Windows 8 Pro edition as well as Media Center edition. I was supposed to have installed  the Media Center edition because I used that key, but apparently I had forgotten to update the Pro edition to Media Center edition. I did, and upon restart, Windows was completely deactivated!  When I tried to activate, it didn't let me. This time I got a different error code (0xC004C4AA).

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When I looked around, it seems that I first have to install the Pro version using the serial key for Pro edition. Then upgrade to Media Center edition using that key. Nobody told me this, and even Windows setup had accepted the Media Center edition key without hesitation. It's Microsoft's fault.

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So I went on the internet looking  for a solution and the only thing I could find was that I had to reinstall Windows to fix this problem. There was a slightly less time consuming method posted on the EightForums. Even then, I had to reinstall Windows while keeping my files and settings intact. I would rather do a clean install if I have to reinstall Windows anyways.

But then I found out another way. Some guy was telling that Phone activation works. That's what I did. I called the Microsoft Support's Toll Free number and went through the automated activation process. Even though it wasn't as quick or easy as online activation, it did the job. Now my Windows 8 installation is activated.

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But I don't know if this is permanent. I wonder if this problem will pop up one day. I hope it doesn't. If it does, I would rather reinstall Windows because I don't think I'm allowed to activate the same Windows copy few dozen times.

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