Matt’s Mailbag – Ask me a Question

Inspired by Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite Mailbag, Matt’s Mailbag is a weekly collection of email I receive that I feel may help a wider range of people. I can’t guarantee a response, but if you have a question, problem, or would like to make a comment, please drop me a message.

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Written by

Matthew Glover
Have a question or problem?
I can't guarantee an answer, but I'll try. Drop me a message!


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Product Key Invalid When Reinstalling Windows 7 Student Version

We were recently contacted by a reader who encountered a problem when trying to reinstall a Windows 7 Professional student version from Digital River. The product key was not accepted during installation even though it had been accepted during the first installation of the operating system.

It was possible to continue the installation without the product key. Windows 7 however did not accept the product key after installation displaying the error code 0xC004F061 in the activation window. The description read “The Software Licensing Service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not clean installations”.

Microsoft did however confirm in numerous occasions that it is possible and allowed to perform a clean install with a Windows 7 Student version.

Research on the Internet revealed another user with the same problem who posted on the official Microsoft support forums. This user received instructions from Digital River on how to resolve the invalid product key issue.

Open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/

Change MediaBootInstall from “1? to “0?. Close RegEdit.

Start Menu on the Command Line utility. Right-click this shortcut and choose “Run as administrator.” Click Yes to the UAC prompt.

In the command line window, type: slmgr /rearm press enter wait for the “Command completed successfully” dialog.

Then, close the command line window and reboot.
After Windows 7 reboots, Right Click Computer select Properties select change product Key.

If the Key does not work now please contact Microsoft technical support at:

Hope this helps everyone who is seeing the same product key invalid error when reinstalling a student version of Windows 7.

Matthew Glover
www.matthewglover.co.uk