This post lists all current known issues and their solutions. If you have an issue not listed please post here and we will attempt to get you up and running. Please note that this thread will be moderated tightly and any stray posts or abuse will be removed.


Please read the information below, the suggestions have been confirmed as fixing the issues you are experiencing.

I own a MAC – what’s the problem?

Mac users have nothing to worry about there is no activation on the game for MAC users, just the normal disc check. Mac Book Air users will need an external Optical drive in order to play – we are currently looking into options for this.


Please check the ‘Football_Manager_2009_InstallLog.log’ located in ‘C:\Program Files\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2009’ and report any errors. If you do have errors can you please also report where you purchased the game from.

When I try to activate, it says I'm not connected to the internet / other activation problems

We have created a small activator script that should help anybody having trouble activating the game online.

Step 1 – Download the activator from

Step 2 – Unzip the contents of the activator to your desktop.

Step 3 – Double click the activate.vbs file. Note the screen shot below.

Step 4 – Next you will see a dialog box prompting you for your license key.

Step 5 – Enter your license key into the dialog. Remember – to check your key at

Step 6 – Press OK - then wait 30-60 seconds and you will receive a second message. If you are successful – the message will read:

If you get this message, open the game and run it.

If the activation fails, the message will read something like:

The number in this message will help us understand the problem. For example, In this case the number -1003 indicates that your license key. If the error is -1003 enter your license key into the form at:

If it is something besides -1003, please send Muzchap or JMordetsky a PM and they will do their best to help!

I’m receiving the Error [-10] what can I do?

Fix: The error 10 is related to not being able see the server correctly; this could be due to a firewall blockage or ‘proxy’ issue. We are investigating further, but do have a workaround – please can you call one of the Customer Services numbers below and an Operator will talk you through activation:

UK* - 0871 010 8002
FR - 08 20 37 61 58
All other number for support and their territories can be found here:

I’ve installed the game where are the files located?

Fix:C:\Program Files\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2009

You are receiving a [-703] error:We were unable to process your unlock request. To receive a new key please visit

Fix: This indicates that the server is busy and has been unable to fulfill your request, please do keep trying, it will authenticate.

Phone activation fails - Drops out after 3rd key issue

Fix: This happens because the original key entered was incorrect and the phone line cannot validate the request. Please recheck the original 26 character key entered, you should validate your key (if possible) via the following URL:

ERROR: Cannot run game:Failed to set up graphics system

Fix: Please download the following update from the Microsoft Direct X SDK:

You should also check that you are running the latest graphics driver, you can do this by visiting the computer manufacturer website, or by visiting the graphics card manufacturing website.

You are receiving an Error [-821]

Scenario: Install and activate with activation code on Steam and it works then launch the game, SoftAnchor asking to re-enter activation code.

Fix: You need to delete the certificates and re-activate the game

1) On receiving the error, please uninstall the game
2) Please navigate to the following directory:

XP users: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2009 Certificate
Vista users: C:\Program Data\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2009 Certificate

3) Please ensure that it is the \certificate directory you are located in

4) Delete all content

5) Reboot the machine

6) Re-run the installation programme and retry activation - ensuring you have 'verified' your key using the following website:

7) You should now be activated

You are receiving an Error [-1003]

Fix: You are entering the key incorrectly please visit the following URL to correctly identify your key -

Error: You are receiving the Error ‘Product Key already Active’ message

Fix: You need to delete the certificates and re-activate the game

1) On receiving the er