Common Windows Issues: Key Management Server Activation

  • Last updated on: 2017-12-03
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

Problem: Periodic activation requests to the KMS are rejected and the operating system shows as unlicensed.

Cause: Windows cannot locate the Key Management Server (KMS) after changing the time zone of the cloud server, so, as a result, your server’s system clock does not sync with the KMS.

Resolution: You must resynch your cloud cerver with the KMS server:

  1. Log in to your cloud server as administrator by clicking Start > All Programs > Accessories. Then, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.

  2. Choose the data center in the following table that corresponds to the location of your server, and run the applicable command from the command prompt.

    Data Center Command
    ORD (Chicago) ping winactivate.ord1.servers.rackspacecloud.com
    DFW (Dallas) ping winactivate.dfw1.servers.rackspacecloud.com
    IAD (Ashburn) ping winactivate.iad3.servers.rackspacecloud.com
    LON (London) ping winactivate.lon3.servers.rackspacecloud.com
    HKG (Hong Kong) ping winactivate.hkg1.servers.rackspacecloud.com
    SYD (Sydney) ping winactivate.syd2.servers.rackspacecloud.com

    Note: If there is a reply, move on to step 3. No reply means that there is an interface, hardware, or routing issue, and we recommend the following article for help resolving the issue: Update ServiceNet routes on cloud servers created before June 3, 2013

  3. Set the KMS manually within the registry.

    Data Center Command
    ORD (Chicago) slmgr.vbs /skms winactivate.ord1.servers.rackspacecloud.com:1688
    DFW (Dallas) slmgr.vbs /skms winactivate.dfw1.servers.rackspacecloud.com:1688
    IAD (Ashburn) slmgr.vbs /skms winactivate.iad3.servers.rackspacecloud.com:1688
    LON (London) slmgr.vbs /skms winactivate.lon3.servers.rackspacecloud.com:1688
    HKG (Hong Kong) slmgr.vbs /skms winactivate.hkg1.servers.rackspacecloud.com:1688
    SYD (Sydney) slmgr.vbs /skms winactivate.syd2.servers.rackspacecloud.com:1688
  4. Request activation from the KMS:

    slmgr.vbs /ato
    
  5. If step 4 returns the error 0xC004F074 The Key Management Server (KMS) is unavailable, run the following command:

     w32tm /resync
    
  6. If the time on the cloud server is drastically different than what is on the KMS the resync will fail. At this point, you should either set the time manually or configure the server to use an NTP instance over the internet.

    Data Center Command
    ORD (Chicago) net stop w32time
    w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.ord1.rackspace.com /syncfromflags:MANUAL
    net start w32time
    DFW (Dallas) net stop w32time
    w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.dfw1.rackspace.com /syncfromflags:MANUAL
    net start w32time
    IAD (Ashburn) net stop w32time
    w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.iad3.rackspace.com /syncfromflags:MANUAL
    net start w32time
    LON (London) net stop w32time
    w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.lon3.rackspace.com /syncfromflags:MANUAL
    net start w32time
    HKG (Hong Kong) net stop w32time
    w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.hkg1.rackspace.com /syncfromflags:MANUAL
    net start w32time
    SYD (Sydney) net stop w32time
    w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.syd2.rackspace.com /syncfromflags:MANUAL
    net start w32time
  7. Once the time is synced up, attempt each of the following commands:

     w32tm /resync
    
     slmgr.vbs /ato
    
  8. You must open UDP port 123 to allow the sync.

  9. Make sure your firewall allows outbound connections to TCP port 1688.

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