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It's a PC that I had at my prior employer. I left the company but was able to keep the PC.
Vista is installed; and I guess it is one of the Enterprise versions that doesn't use a key.

  • Can I make this message go away?

  • Will Vista stop working at some point?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Your computer is licensed to work with the company's network, as you left the company you don't have the rights on that license anymore, thus your Windows becomes invalidated. You would have to find another Enterprise key, or this would be the ideal moment to consider moving to Windows 7.

You can't make this message disappear forever in a legal way, neither should you try to ignore it as eventually your Windows will stop working as it will run out of its trial time.

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+1 for recommending he switch to w7 – RCIX Sep 15 '09 at 9:26

the problem is not uncommon. contact Microsoft and explain the situation and if the computer was indeed shipped with an ordinary OEM license (as opposed to a Volume License Key, VLK) you'll have it re-activated in no time. MS representatives are familiar with the issue and rather helpful.

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Click this message to find out more.

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Something went wrong with your answer, there is no link available to click on. You can edit your answer to fix this. Click on the link icon, enter the URL there, then, between the first [] you should write the title of your link. – Tom Wijsman Sep 14 '09 at 23:25
I think he was implying that the OP could (or should) have clicked on "Click on this message to find out more" text in the notification bubble from the screenshot. – Roy Rico Sep 14 '09 at 23:31
Ah, makes more sense. :-) – Tom Wijsman Sep 15 '09 at 20:43

Open up Control Panel->System (or right-click Computer and click Properties). At the bottom is the Windows Activation info. There's a link to 'Change product key'. Click this and you can enter your Windows Vista product key. Then it will attempt activation using the new product key.

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Vista will likely keep on working for a good time. I believe Microsoft stopped disabling the operating system for suspected pirated versions for all versions of Windows, but I know they stopped for XP. However, you will never be able to make that pop-up go away, unless you can somehow get your previous employer to remove it. As another answer suggested, the enterprise licensing scheme requires something that you don't have to make it work. Technically, this version is in violation of the software license, so, in some minds, it is illegal.

The good news is, the BSA likely will not break down your door.

If you click on the bubble does it give you any more info?

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