Activation Error 0xC004F061


I paid £30 for the Windows 7 Professional Upgrade as I'm a student. Yesterday I bought a new 500GB HDD and some more RAM to use for Windows 7. I downloaded the files from the link provided in the e-mail I got, and extracted. I was then given a strange error message, which upon Googling turned out to be because I was running XP 32bit whilst trying to install a 64bit O/S. One of the workarounds was to burn the setup to a disc using OSCDIMG and Nero, and install from boot. All worked well, and I didn't enter my product key during the installation because it was in an e-mail and I forgot to write it down. Now it's all setup and working fine, and when I try and activate Windows 7 I get the error message "The software licensing service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not for clean installations". !!!!!!

I would like to point out that if the setup had worked in the first place from within Windows XP, then I wouldn't be having this problem!

Anyone got any suggestions, other than re-install (I stupidly setup e-mails, photoshop and other software before activiation!)?



Never mind, solved it now. For future reference here is what I did (from the beginning):

  • Downloaded Windows 7 Pro 64bit Student onto Windows XP Pro 32bit
  • Unpackaged the download with the downloaded program
  • Received an error telling me some rubbish about the installer not being able to run.
  • Followed some instructions online to create an ISO of Windows 7 installer
  • Burnt the ISO to a disc, then booted off the disc.
  • Installed Windows 7 Pro without a licence key onto a brand new unused hard disk with the Windows XP disc unplugged.
  • Attempted to enter my licence key once installation had finished to be presented with an error telling me that I'd done a clean install and I was only allowed to use the key for an upgade.
  • Inserted the Windows 7 install disc I burnt earlier.
  • Clicked 'Upgrade' to Windows 7.
  • Waited ages for the 'Upgrade' to complete (to be clear: this is an Upgrade from Windows 7 Pro 64bit to Windows 7 Pro 64bit, but it still allowed it!).
  • Entered my product key at the end of the upgrade with no problems.
  • Activated Windows.
Seems like a pain, but it seems to have tricked Windows 7 into thinking that it's an upgrade from an older version of Windows.



Hi there
That's how it works (and this method will work if you get an upgrade disc even with No previous OS installed).

MS have shot themseleves in the foot here as why would anybody get a FULL retail version whne the upgrade works fine so far in 100% of the cases tried. Maybe when SP1 is released this will change.


Here's a much easier way.

Just use Daz boot loader (google search) and install one of its random keys. This will activate windows and require a restart. Run Daz bootloader again and uninstall the key and restart. When your computer is restarted go to control panel -> System and change the product key to your own.

Problem solved, no need to install windows twice or not format your HDD.

I know this post is old but its still in the top 10 search results for the error code so I thought I would help everyone else who has this problem as well.

So over MS and this.. My HDD crash and I had to replace the HDD. 24 hours later new HDD, fresh install of My win 7 ultimate (upgrade) installed , and was happy to install but could not register it at install time (no error code about why).

Now I cant activate it because I didnt install Vista out of the box first. There was no warning no problem.
Even the MS web pages ("") says "If you want to format the hard drive, and you are using an upgrade version of Windows 7, you'll need to start your computer using the Windows 7 installation disc or a USB flash drive, click Custom (advanced), and then click Drive options (advanced)."

Can someone help me out short of reformatting my drive and re-installing everything!!!!!!! MS is tottaly screwy on this.

Joe S

Excellent Member
You are bordering on trouble here. We don't get involved with cracks or hacking here. Most of these activators and boot loaders get caught by MS in time anyway.

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You are bordering on trouble here. We don't get involved with cracks or hacking here. Joe
Excellent I am not hacking and I have a legitmate licence and upgrade. Any idea how I can activate? Can the help line (phone) help out or are they following a set script and not so useful.

Sorry, I didn't think it was illegal to crack something you own.

Do you have another copy of windows or know a friend that does? Use that product key and then immediately change it to your own. Works the same way as the daz boot loader. You just need a working key put in first and then your upgrade key will work without a problem.

If your waiting for someone to tell you to edit a registry key and type a few commands in a dos prompt then your wasting your time, windows closed those loop holes. Take it or leave it.

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