Activation Error in Windows 7 Enterprise

September 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm 1 comment

My wife’s company is renewing computers and offering the old equipment for the employees to buy. My wife’s former PC was in a very good condition and the price tag for it was also very accessible so we decided to buy it for the kids.

We had to wait a week before the tech guys made a complete wipe of the HDD and reinstallation of the operative system but as soon as my wife brought the computer at home I started to configure it for our wireless network, install antivirus, Microsoft Office and other software for kids I have bought online. Finally I decided to make sure the Windows license was properly activated and I found out this step hasn’t been completed so I decided to get it done right away.

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I clicked the familiar “Activate Windows online now” option

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and after a couple of seconds I got these error descriptions:

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The message “DNS name does not exist” and the type of Windows version, Enterprise, made me suspicious this error was related to the type license key which had been used to install the operative system. I also found the following entry in the Windows Application Log pointing precisely to a problem of that nature: “Windows could not be activated.
Key management services (KMS) host could not be located in domain name system (DNS), please have your system administrator verify that a KMS is published correctly in DNS.
Error: 0x80092328
Description:
DNS name does not exist.”

Because this copy of Windows was installed in an enterprise infrastructure with a Key Management Service (KMS) host  if I wanted to activate it the operative system was going to look for the KMS server. This type of server administers all the licenses in the organization an periodically shares this information with Microsoft. This way companies have a better control of the software activations performed with their Volume License Media.

As no KMS server exists in our home network I needed to change our Windows copy product key to a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). I searched the Microsoft Support site on how to do this and it turned out to be quite simple: I only need to open an Administrator elevated command prompt and execute the following command substituting the x with the proper MAK provided by my wife’s company tech guys:

slmgr -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

You can find more information on this quick fix and other alternatives at Microsoft Support Article 929826

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Entry filed under: Windows 7. Tags: , , , , .

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