Haha, the four-option window you get when regular "online activation" fails which includes the phone number for the automated system only came up for me after I installed Vista first. Before that w/ no prior version install it just straight up said "product key not valid" and that's it. No other info or direction for rectifying. I only knew from the past that this means I needed to install older first. It could at least inform you of that.
Oh I forgot to mention that unchecking "activate automatically" during install does generally seem to help this activation crap in our situations but it did not solve my difficulties this recent past time.
“i dont care what consoles have they dont have mouse and keyboard” -crazyeyesreaper