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  1. After hard disk failure I installed a new hard disk and needed to re-install Windows 8 Media Center Edition which had originally been properly installed and activated in October 2012. After a false start (i.e. installing Windows 8 without first installing Windows Vista - why does the upgrade disk let you do this if it is not going to work?), I re-installed Windows Vista from the original OEM CD, Then I re-installed the Windows 8 Pro upgrade from the original CD pre-ordered and bought from Microsoft. This installation activated but only after I had used the telephone service and confirmed that it was being used on a single computer. I then added Windows Media Center using the free key originally sent to me on 30/10/2012. Now the computer gives me frequent instructions to activate the software but, when I click the button, it tells me "Windows could not be activated", and cites error code 0xC004C4AA unhelpfully described as "unable to find detailed error description". I have contacted Customer Support as instructed but the representative told me that I must have a technical problem and that I need to contact technical support. It seems unlikely that it is a technical problem. I suspect I have wrongly fallen foul of an anti-piracy measure following the Media Center activation deadline of 31/1/2012, and Microsoft wrongly thinks that I am trying to use the Media Center code on a different computer. I expect I am among the first of many people who will need to re-install who will experience this problem. To make matters worse, I have re-installed Microsoft Office Professional 2007 from my original OEM disk with the original key but when I start an Office program, it tries and fails to start MS Office Hybrid, which is the trial version of Windows that runs for up to 60 days on a new computer. I assume that it is doing this because it thinks that it is running on an illegal copy of Windows. What can I do? I am not inclined to go through the entire re-installation process again, partly because it takes so long, and partly because I suspect that, if I did, Microsoft would start to think that I was installing one copy of Windows on an office block full of computers.
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