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Windows Vista - How do I activate my machine in reduced functionality from ON campus?

After you install Windows Vista Enterprise, your computer needs to be activated within 30 days. If you miss this timeline and don't activate your machine within 30 days, the machine moves into "reduced functionality" mode. Reduced functionality mode means that you can't use Vista. For example, there is no Start Menu, the desktop background changes to black, and there are no desktop icons. You still can use the Web browser and the Internet connectivity will not be blocked.

To remove your machine from the reduced functionality mode and activate it, choose the appropriate situation for you:

ist:On campus activation
Off campus activation
Restore from a previous point

Before you Begin

  1. You need to download and install the MIT Certificate Installer Tool to install the MIT Certification Authority (MIT CA) and the MIT Client Certificate. You need to run the tool only when getting MIT certificates for the first time in Internet Explorer versions 7 and above.
  2. You should then restart your machine and get an MIT personal certificate

On Campus Activation From Reduced Functionality Mode

The system will log you out without warning, but won't shut off your machine. You can log back in. You can still access the Network and system settings in the Control Panel. In the Control Panel, you can add an IP address and/or the correct domain suffix.
The steps below explain how you can activate your machine, from reduced functionality mode, when you are on campus.
Click on the thumbnails to view the full size images.

  1. A message on the Windows Activation screen tells you that your activation period has expired and you must activate your machine.
    Windows activation screen

  2. Click the option Access your computer with reduced functionality.
    Result: An Internet Explorer Security window appears.
    Internet Explorer security window

  3. Click Allow.
    Result: The Activate Windows now screen appears.
    Windows activation

  4. Click Activate windows online now.
    Result: The next screen confirms that the activation was successful.
    Windows activation success screen

Related Links

Windows Vista

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

September 15, 2014

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