Certain KMS clients won't activate RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I work at a Community College where we have somewhere around 400 computers throughout the building. Up until this summer, we have been using MAK keys for our activation. However, to make our image deployment process easier, we have just deployed a KMS server to handle our activation.

    Our labs are slowly replaced over time, so pretty much each computer lab has PCs that were purchased in different years. I mention this because all of our newer batches of PCs have been activating just fine using KMS, but one style of PC which is a little older fails while using slmgr /ato with no specific error. It just says failed with an error, or something like that. No error codes or descriptive message. I also see no errors in the event viewer.

    Our KMS server is running 2008 R2 Enterprise with a KMS host key. I know this is the right key as like I said, our newer PCs are activating just fine. I'll post a screen capture of the /dli output on our KMS server once my account on here will let me. The current count is at 50 (the max it will display), it's status is licensed, and it's using a VOLUME_KMS_R2_B_channel key.

    Our Clients are all Windows 7 Professional, and I am using one of the generic KMS Windows 7 Pro keys with the slmgr /ipk command on those. Again, I know that's right because most of our PCs activated with it just fine. However, when running slmgr /ato on the failing clients I get that generic error.

    Now our PCs are created via an image deployment, but I made sure to use the /generalize option for sysprep. I have also verified that all other PCs created by this image have unique CMIDs or whatever the term is. I have even done a fresh install from a CD on the PCs in question with the same result.

    I have made sure windows firewall is off on these PCs, I moved one physical PC to a different area in our network to rule out some kind of network trouble, and verified several times that DNS is hosting the KMS properly using nslookup.

    We are all at a loss here, and I would appreciate any advice or suggestions on what else might be going on here.

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014 12:13 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    run slmgr /dlv to find out information on the current activation status. verify the returned information

    run slmgr /ato to attempt activation

    check event log for errors and warnings. The following article describes ways to find more information and resolve possible issues.



    • Marked as answer by Karen Hu Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:40 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Karen Hu Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:40 AM
    Wednesday, July 2, 2014 3:03 PM
  • The output from /dlv is as follows:

    Name: Windows(R) 7, Professional edition

    Description: Windows Operating System - Windows(R) 7, VOLUME_KMSCLIENT channel

    Partial Product Key: It matches the generic KMS client key used.

    License Status: Initial grace period

    Time Remaining: 41820 minutes (29 days)

    Remaining Windows rearm count: 1

    Trusted time: As it should be

    running slmgr /ato again at this point gives me the same "Error: activation failed." message. 

    Checking the event viewer for the KMS server I can see the request being processed by the server. It's reporting 0x0 for the client in question which according to the article means it was a successful request. However it's still failing to activate.

    I've gone through the article and nothing has provided a clue.

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014 5:40 PM
  • Hi,

    is it possible you are using cloned computers (that is machine OS duplicated _without_ sysprep)? does the issue occur on all computers?

    Check if you can connect to the KMS server listd in slmgr -dlv on port 1688. If non is listed, verify dns records and dns connectivity (do the clients use the appropriate dns server). you could also manually specify the KMS when performaing the activation.

    You will at least have event  12288 that shows the KMS used and the resultcode. If the result is 0 122889 might give more info why it failed in the end.

    Check this article specific on KMS issues: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee939272.aspx


    Wednesday, July 16, 2014 10:09 AM
  • Hello,

    As I said in my original post, the PC I am currently testing is a fresh install from a CD in order to rule out any duplicate CMIDs. I am also able to telnet to the KMS server from the machine n question over port 1688. Just to rule it out, I manually set the KMS server using slmgr /skms <hostname>:<port>. I still get the same error.

    As for events 12288 and 12289, there are none under the application logs. The only event I see is under Applications and Services Logs > Key Management Services, 12290 which has a response of 0x0, indicating the request was successful. Still getting the error.

    I have also determined that it is one specific set of hardware that is having the issue. We have around 60 of these PCs all the same model and they are the only ones having this error. And as I said in my first post, these boxes are spread across almost our entire network, and I have verified that other PCs in the same subnets work just fine.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:11 PM
  • Hi,

    The client should log an event 12288 in application logs (not KMS logs!)  each time it attempts activation.

    If the does not log the event, I would suggest to conact Microsoft support. Note that if the information needed to troubleshoot your issue is not already publicly available, chances are very small the issue can  be resolved through a Forums post.


    Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:29 PM