Windows Server License Activation Failed

In our environment, we use a KMS, Key Management Server to automate licensing in our environment.

If you have ever worked with Windows servers, I am sure you have seen issues where suddenly, sometimes after years of operation, a server fails activation.

When this occurs, you should first check that there are no firewalls blocking port 1688 between the server and the KMS. This is by far the biggest issue.

If the problem is not firewall related, then you may be able to use the slmgr script to get activation working properly once again.

First, Download the slmgr.vbs script. which is likely already on your system.

Once downloaded, open an elevated command prompt and run the following commands.

  1. slmgr /ckms
    • This option removes the specified KMS host name, address, and port information from the registry and restores KMS auto-discovery behavior.
  2. slmgr.vbs /ato
  • For retail editions and volume systems with a KMS host key or a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) installed, /ato prompts Windows to attempt online activation.For systems with a Generic Volume License Key (GVLK) installed, this prompts an attempt at KMS activation. Systems that have been set to suspend automatic KMS activation attempts (/stao) still attempt KMS activation when /ato is run.Note: Starting with Windows 8 (and Windows Server 2012), the /stao option is deprecated. Use the /act-type option instead.

    The parameter [Activation ID] expands /ato support to identify a Windows edition installed on the computer. Specifying the [Activation ID] parameter isolates the effects of the option to the edition associated with that Activation ID. Run Slmgr.vbs /dlv all to get the Activation IDs for the installed version of Windows. If you need to support other applications, see the guidance provided by that application for further instruction.

    KMS activation does not require elevated privileges. However, online activation does require elevation, or the Standard User Operations registry value must be set to allow unprivileged users extra access to the Software Protection Service.



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