When you buy a computer from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), you might have trouble getting your Windows 7 or Vista activated on it. The following paragraph explains what happens and why.

Symptoms and Reasons

Lets talk about the symptoms first. You’ll see one of the following error messages on your screen when trying to activate your Windows.

1. “Error Code: Invalid Volume License Key

In order to activate, you need to change your product key to a valid Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or Retail key.

You must have a qualifying operating system license AND a Volume license Windows upgrade license, or a full license for Windows through an OEM or from a retail source .


2. “Error Code: 0xC004F059

Description: The Software Licensing Service reported that a license in the computer BIOS is invalid.”

3. “Error Code: 0xc004f035
The Software Licensing Service reported that the computer could not be activated with a Volume license product key. Volume licensed systems require upgrading from a qualified operating system. Please contact your system administrator or use a different type of key.”

This happens because you are most probably using a Key Management Service (KMS) to activate and your computer’s BIOS uses an ACPI_SLIC table. An ACPI_SLIC table is used to store the Software’s Licensing information by the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI). If your computer’s ACPI_SLIC table does not contain a valid Windows marker, the KMS server becomes unable to activate your Windows. There are two possible reason why that would happen. One, the computer you have purchased has a certified Windows installed onto it but the Windows marker in the ACPI_SLIC table is somehow corrupt. Two, the Windows installed on your computer is not certified. For the first issue there are two possible solutions while for the second one there’s only one solution available. Both are discussed below.


Now in case the Windows marker is corrupt in the ACPI_SLIC table, then either you have to update your BIOS or you have to change the product key through the user interface provided by Windows itself. To update you BIOS you will have to contact the provider (OEM). Only they can provide you with the appropriate version of BIOS required to run on your computer. To change the product key you can use the Windows interface provided and then activate you windows through Microsoft server on the Internet. This time although you need to enter a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) instead. You can request an MAK on phone or you can ask you OEM as well.

MAK and KMS are a part of a new feature called Volume Activation, introduced in Windows Vista and carried onwards. This is a new technology, developed to provide security and safety to customers using Volume Licensing.