If you are trying to activate your copy of Windows 7 and get the error “0xC004F061” it means you’re using a product key for an upgrade version of Windows 7 and a previous version of Windows wasn’t found on your computer when Windows 7 was installed. Technically, you need to install an upgrade version of Windows 7 on a machine that already has either Windows Vista or Windows XP. If you formatted the drive before starting the installation process, you won’t be able to use the upgrade product key to activate Windows 7. To activate Windows 7, you’ll need to go back and install your previous version of Windows, and then reinstall Windows 7.
For help with the activation process, go to the Microsoft Support website.
We understand users want to perform a clean install, and we discuss that in greater detail in our article about performing a clean install using windows 7 upgrade disk. If you have installed Windows 7 on a new or blank drive and are getting the 0xC004F061 activation error code, you might want to try the registry hack method in the WinSuperSite article. If you’re getting the activation error, you will probably want to backup your data and quickly reinstall your old Vista or XP media, then insert your Windows 7 DVD and tell it to perform a clean install. Windows 7 needs to be able to see the previous install to verify you have the right to use the cheaper upgrade media.