If you’re using anything but Windows Vista Ultimate, you’ll probably read about a feature that you wish you had at some point. Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, it’ll cost you a few bucks, but if youâ€™re not running Home Premium or Ultimate, you can follow these steps to upgrade:
I’ve installed Vista without the key. Now, after finding the key, I’d like to install it. How is this done?
Follow these steps:
1. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
2. The System window appears. Scroll down to the Windows Activation section, and click the link to enter your product key. The link might take a few seconds to appear, so be patient.
Scary message, eh? Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It happened to me, and I’m about the nicest guy I know, and my Windows Vista license is most definitely genuine (and provided by Microsoft via MSDN).
This message about Windows being genuine is part of the Windows Genuine Validation. That’s separate from the Product Key you put in. Windows can be activated successfully, and still not be considered “genuine”. Follow these steps to Activate Windows.
Microsoft requires that you go through Windows Genuine Validation in order to download some updates and other important files from Microsoft. It’s a pain, but it’s something you should go through. To validate your software, follow these steps:
If you skipped entering the product key when setting up Windows, or you chose not to immediately activate, Windows will eventually make you activate by showing the dialog above. Go ahead and click Activate Windows online now–even if there’s a problem, you’re not going to get into trouble.
If it doesn’t appear automatically, you can manually activate Windows by following these steps:
I install Vista all the time to test different things, and I never have the product key handy. During Vista setup, just leave it blank:
(more after the jump)