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I need to change Vista keyocde but cannot access control panel

Hey there, I have a system that had been infected, but is now clean.  Somewhere along the way, the activation got hosed and I want to re-enter the keycode to re-activate, but the virus that was removed had messed things up so I cannot get to the System and maintenance panel to change the key for reactivation.

I would like to either.....
Whack the file holding the activation information (I seem to remember there was one somewhere) so I get prompted to enter the keycode and activate again


what can I run from the RUN prompt to manually open the system and maintenance page to enter a new keycode and reactivate.

Thank you
1 Solution

here is the comprehensive tutorial to accomplish this


bcameron70Author Commented:
When I use the SLMGR utility I get the following

windows script host
Error: Permission Denied
Code: 800a0046
Source: microsoft VBscript runtime error

I have tried taking ownership, but this does not help

it seems like you system need health check

put yours vista DVD into DVD ROM and issue this command

sfc /scannow   it wil take time

after finishing sfc(system file check) reboot pc

and then retry above link and also this link"s method


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if you can get into command prompt do this :

1. In the CMD window, type: slmgr.vbs -ipk <type your product key here>
2; To activate windows after changing the key, type: slmgr.vbs -ato

PS - Make sure you run CMD as Admin or it wont work
bcameron70Author Commented:
I am downloading an install CD to do a SFC from technet now..SLMGR.vbs is locked up tight for some reason
After downloading install cd boot from cd and click on repair options.
Then after repairing restart system. It should prompt you for activation.
You need to call microsoft to reactivate your copy of windows.
you can choose a number from the list, according to your regeion in the activation dialogbox.
bcameron70Author Commented:
Had to do a wet install of Vista (upgrade) to fix the file system.
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