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The situation: I downloaded Windows 8 RTM from MSDN (I have a subscription). Naturally, I downloaded the product key as well.

Windows 8 installed like a dream: lightning fast with no problems. I accepted the product key at the beginning of the install.

Next, I thought I would download Updates, but they failed, so I checked the system's activation in Control Panel > System.

Problem: It returned "Product ID: Not available."

There's nothing under "Windows activation" that I can click on, no blue links.

I had a 'Chat' with MSDN, who introduced me to SLUI.exe. On Windows 8 it did nothing. (On Windows 7 it is supposed to bring up the Activation Menu).

I phoned the Microsoft Activation number, they told me to contact MSDN. MSDN left the 'chat' by telling me to contact Microsoft! Hmm... I wonder if anyone at SuperUser can help?

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Better, ask them again over chat... – Evil Angel Oct 26 '12 at 20:49
Update: I reinstalled Windows 8 using my second product key. This time I see: Windows is not activated. However, when I try and activate, I get SLUI - Entry point not found. Also error 0xC004F012 – Guy Thomas Oct 27 '12 at 12:26
I am thinking 3 things: a) The original error may be an unrepeatable experiment - maybe file corruption. b) Maybe error C004F012 will be easier to solve. c) Support at MSDN and Microsoft is driving me mad. SuperUser brings sanity. – Guy Thomas Oct 27 '12 at 12:31
Are you doing clean install or upgrade? – pratnala Oct 28 '12 at 17:49
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I am now convinced it was a hardware problem - probably disk corruption.

Clue 1) SLUI does not run - The file exists, but it's likely corrupted.

Clue 2) I remember now, this machine has given problems since day 1.

Clue 3) Nobody else is getting a problem installing and activating Windows 8 RTM.

Confirmation. I installed Windows 8 using the same ISO medium and the same product key on another machine. It activated perfectly.

Thanks for again for the forum members' support, your ideas and suggestions propelled me to keep trying until I found the answer.

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You could try running the following in an elevated Command prompt:

sfc /scannow

This command will tell Windows to check system files, and if any of them are corrupted, Windows will replace them with original ones.

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You could try running slui 3 and re-entering your product key, it should then immediately try to activate.

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I amended my question to make it clear that slui does not execute on this machine! – Guy Thomas Oct 27 '12 at 8:21

Go to an elevated command prompt and run:

slmgr.vbs -ipk <Your Product Key Here>
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I so wanted your idea to work, but even with elevated privileges I got error 8007045A. (CMD, PowerShell and RUN command) – Guy Thomas Oct 27 '12 at 6:46

Are you using the Upgrade Edition of Windows 8 Pro but did a clean install? If so, that is why it isn't activating.

As was mentioned above, if you try to run slmgr.vbs to activate, it will throw an error. Take that error code and feed it to slui.exe. For example, this is probably the error code you're getting:

slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004F061 

Check out the description and it will tell you the problem.

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Additionally, the tried and true Windows 7 hack works on Windows 8: Change MediaBootInstall to 0, located here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/ ... then run slmgr /rearm and reboot the PC/VM. – K997 Oct 27 '12 at 5:39

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