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How do I fix error code 0xc004e003?

Alton Alexander
By Alton AlexanderUpdated on June 4th, 2022

The error code 0xc004e003 is a Windows activation error that occurs when the product key used to activate Windows is invalid. There are a few reasons why this error code might occur, such as if the product key was entered incorrectly, if the key was obtained from an unauthorized source, or if the key has been used to activate too many times. If you are seeing this error code, you will need to obtain a new product key from Microsoft in order to activate Windows.

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1. Use the Activation Wizard to reactivate Windows

  1. Open the Activation Wizard by clicking on “Start”, typing “msconfig” and hitting the Enter key.
  2. In the “System Configuration” window, select the “Windows activation” tab and click on the “Activate Windows” button.
  3. If you are prompted to enter your product key, enter it into the “Product key” field and click on the “Activate” button.
  4. If the activation fails, you will be notified of the error code and the recommended solution.

2. Use the telephone option in the Activation Wizard to reactivate Windows

  1. Launch the Activation Wizard.
  2. On the Welcome page, click Next.
  3. On the Activation Settings page, click the Telephone option.
  4. In the Telephone Number field, enter the telephone number that was used to activate Windows.
  5. In the Email Address field, enter the email address that was used to activate Windows.
  6. In the Password field, enter the password that was used to activate Windows.
  7. Click Next.
  8. On the Confirmation page, click Activate.

3. Run the slmgr.vbs -ato command to manually rearm Windows

To manually rearm Windows using the slmgr.vbs -ato command:

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Type slmgr.vbs -ato.
  3. If prompted for a password, enter the password for the local user account that has administrative privileges on the computer.
  4. If the command is successful, you will see a message similar to the following: The operation completed successfully.
  5. Repeat the command using the appropriate local administrator account password to rearm specific computers.

4. Repair your Windows installation

  1. Start by opening the "Command Prompt" as an administrator.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: "regedit"
  3. Navigate to the following key: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon"
  4. Right-click on the "Winlogon" key and select "New" from the menu.
  5. Enter the following values in the "New" window, replacing "X" with the number corresponding to your Windows installation: "UserInit"=dword:00000X "UserLogon"=dword:000001
  6. Click on the "OK" button to close the "New" window.
  7. In the "Command Prompt" window, type the following command and press Enter: "regedit /v UserInit"
  8. Copy the value of the "UserInit" key and paste it into the "Replace" window of the "Command Prompt" window.
  9. Type the following command and press Enter: "regedit /v UserLogon"
  10. Copy the value of the "UserLogon" key and paste it into the "Replace" window of the "Command Prompt" window.

5. Reinstall Windows

  1. Boot your computer from a Windows installation disc or USB drive.
  2. If you have a Windows installation disc, insert it into your computer. If you have a USB drive, insert it into your computer.
  3. Click Start, type "cmd" into the Start search box, and press Enter.
  4. At the command prompt, type "reboot" and press Enter.
  5. After your computer restarts, select your language and click Next.
  6. Click Install Windows.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Click Repair your computer.
  9. Click Troubleshoot.
  10. Click Advanced options.
  11. Click Startup Repair.
  12. Click Next.
  13. Click Select a startup disk.
  14. Click Choose a startup disk.
  15. Click OK.
  16. Click Repair your computer.
  17. After your computer repairs have finished, reboot your computer.
  18. After your computer reboots, check your computer for errors.
  19. If there are no errors, you can exit Startup Repair.
  20. If there are errors, repeat steps 9-17.