Dealing with Windows Vista Error Code: 0xC004F061

Error code 0xC004F061 may generate when you attempt to activate your Windows Vista operating system using the upgrade product key. When the error occurs, the following message is displayed:

"The following failure occurred while trying to use the product key:


The Software Licensing Service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not for clean installations."

Cause of the Error

Error code 0xC004F061 is generated when one of the following conditions holds true:

  1. You insert Windows Vista setup disk in your DVD drive and then restart the computer. After this, you use the upgrade product key to activate your operating system.
  2. You try to use the upgrade product key to activate Vista after performing a keyless or clean installation of the operating system.
  3. The Windows Anytime Upgrade (WAU) product key is held invalid by the Windows Vista setup component.

Resolution Method

Depending on the condition in which the error occurred, you may use the following methods to resolve your error, respectively.

  1. Instead of restarting your PC after inserting the Windows Vista setup disk, log on to your current Windows operating system and then start the Vista installation from here.
  2. If you only have the Windows Vista upgrade key with you, then you first install a previous version of Windows operating system and then install Windows Vista. Remember, to start the installation from this old Windows operating system-without restarting your computer. However, if you want to perform a clean Windows Vista install, then you will have to acquire the Full Package Product (FPP) product key instead of the upgrade key.
  3. If Windows Vista setup component determines your upgrade key as invalid, then you will have to use the Full Package Product (FPP) product key to activate your operating system.

At times, Windows Vista upgrade error messages may occur if there are problems in the Windows registry or your computer is infected with a virus or malware. If this is the case, then before upgrading your operating system to Vista, first use an efficient registry cleaner tool, such as RegServe to repair and clean your registry. You may also use antimalware tools, such as AntiVirus Plus and Spyware Cease to perform a thorough scan of your computer and then get rid of all malicious data from it. It is also recommended that before starting the upgrade, you use the Disk Cleanup tool to get rid of all the junk files stored in the hard disk. Finally, use the Disk Defragmenter tool to rearrange the data stored on the hard disk and make it contiguous. This will not only help you prevent several errors, but will also enable you to speed up the upgrade process.