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Windows Product Activation Troubleshooting

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2


What problem are you having?

I can't find Activate Windows program.

Cause: The key icon for Windows Product Activation is located in the Notification Area of the Desktop and may not be obvious.

Solution: Locate the icon on the lower right side of the Desktop. Alternatively, click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Activate Windows.

My Windows operating system has been activated, but I need to read the online Help.

Cause: Once the operating system has been activated, the icon for activation is removed from the Notification Area on the Desktop.

Solution: Open the Help and Support Center from the Start menu. Click Getting Started and select "Windows Product Activation" from either list. Alternatively, click Start, then Run. Type "hh wpa.chm", click OK.

  1. Click Start.


    • Help and Support/Getting Started/Windows Product Activation

See also: Windows Product Activation.

I didn't activate the product, and now I can't logon.

Cause: After the grace period, Windows Product Activation does not shut down the computer, but it does prevent interactive logon. For example, if the computer or its service is running on the 30th day, it will continue to run on the 31st day if the computer is not activated and not rebooted. On the next reboot and login, the user will be blocked from logging on.

Solution: The user can still boot into the Safe Mode minimum (without networking) to activate, upgrade, or simple retrieve data.

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