0xC004C008 online activation error for Windows 7

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Windows has always been messy with its online activation and authentication tools, including the much maligned Windows Genuine Advantage(WGA) suite of tools, online product license key activation systems.

Yet another error thrown up by Windows is 0xC004C008, which sometimes appears when you activate Windows 7 online.

0xC004C008 error causes complete failure of Windows online activation, leaving the user to much frustration. Causes of the error may be one of the following:

  • Your system hardware has been modified.
  • Windows 7 license serial used is intended for another PC.
  • Windows 7 activation key is already in use on the allowed number of computers (usually in case of multi-use license).

As frustrating as it might be, as per Microsoft’s rules, change of hardware, Windows 7 reinstallation, transfer of the product key to a different PC etc. require activation by telephone. Also note that transferring licenses is possible only if you bought a retail license, and not an OEM one that your PC manufacturer bundled.

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Fixing 0xC004C008 online activation error

  1. Go to Start > right-click Computer > Properties. Hit “Activate Windows now”.
  2. Hit “Show me other ways to activate” button.
  3. Enter your license number, then hit Next.
  4. Hit “Use automated phone system”, then hit Next.
  5. Select your location (or if not available, the one nearest to you), then click Next.
  6. Call any of the numbers listed and follow the automated instructions.