The last thing you want to see during a Windows installation is an error message and particularly one which might not give you any helpful information on how to correct it (and not many Windows errors fall into that bucket). Anyway, this is a simple yet frustrating problem that I came across recently and I hope the solution will help others.
After punching in your Windows serial key and proceeding with validation you may encounter an activation error with the error code 0x80072F8F. What I have found is that this is normally caused by incorrect date, time and timezone settings on the computer which may have been overlooked as part of the prior steps in the setup despite typing in the correct serial number. Basically, you can try one of two things:
- Go backwards through the setup to review the time, date and timezone parameters and ensure that they are correct (6PM in India is not the same as 6PM in Australia),
- Proceed without entering a serial number and fix up the time, date and timezone once booted into Windows (then enter in your serial number and activate within thirty days).
Microsoft seems to want to enforce correct times and dates with its serial key validations thus the errors being thrown when a validating computer is outside of the tolerated window (presumably with settings ahead or behind the extremes of the UTC timezones). At any rate, this is simple enough to fix and put behind you!