Activation failures and (not genuine) notifications around January 8, 2019, on volume-licensed Windows 7 Service Pack 1 KMS clients

This article provides a solution to an issue where users may receive the Windows Activation or "Windows is not genuine" notifications starting at or after 10:00 UTC, January 8, 2019.

Original product version:   Windows 7 Service Pack 1
Original KB number:   4487266

Summary

This article applies to volume-licensed Windows 7 Service Pack 1 devices that use Key Management Service (KMS) activation and have the KB 971033 update installed. Some users may receive the Windows Activation or "Windows is not genuine" notifications starting at or after 10:00 UTC, January 8, 2019.

On January 9, 2019, we reverted a change that was made to Microsoft Activation and Validation servers. For devices that continue to report activation and "not genuine" notifications, you should remove KB 971033 by following the steps in the Resolution section.

Windows editions that support volume-licensing activation include the following:

  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Professional N
  • Windows 7 Professional E
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Enterprise N
  • Windows 7 Enterprise E

For Windows editions that experience activation and "not genuine" errors that are not caused by the Microsoft Activation and Validation server change around January 8, 2019, we recommend that you follow standard activation troubleshooting.

Symptoms

  1. You receive a Windows is not genuine error message after you log on.

    Screenshot of error message.

  2. A This copy of windows is not genuine watermark appears in the bottom-right corner of the Windows desktop on a black background.

    Screenshot of the watermark.

  3. The slmgr /dlv output reports error 0xC004F200.

    Screenshot of the command output.

  4. Activations that are made by using the slmgr /ato command fails and return the following message:

    Windows is running within the non-genuine notification period. Run 'slui.exe' to go online and validate Windows.

    Screenshot of the error.

  5. The following events are logged in the event log.

Event log Event source Event ID Description
Application Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP 8209 Genuine state set to non-genuine (0x00000000) for application Id 55c92734-d682-4d71-983e-d6ec3f16059f
Application Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP 8208 Acquisition of genuine ticket failed (hr=0xC004C4A2) for template Id 66c92734-d682-4d71-983e-d6ec3f16059f
Application Windows Activation Technologies 13 Genuine validation result: hrOffline = 0x00000000, hrOnline =0xC004C4A2
Application Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP 8196 License Activation Scheduler (sppuinotify.dll) was not able to automatically activate. Error code: 0xC004F200:

Cause

A recent update to the Microsoft Activation and Validation unintentionally caused a "not genuine" error on volume-licensed Windows 7 clients that had KB971033 installed. The change was introduced at 10:00:00 UTC on January 8, 2019, and was reverted at 4:30:00 UTC on January 9, 2019.

Note

This timing coincides with the release of the "1B" January 2019 updates (KB 4480960 and KB 4480970) that were released on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. These events are not related.

Windows 7 devices that have KB971033 installed but did not experience this issue between the time of the change (10:00:00 UTC, January 8, 2019) and the time of the reversion of that change (4:30:00 UTC, January 9, 2019) should not experience the issue that is described in this article.

KB971033 contains the following text:

"Note For an Enterprise customer who uses Key Management Service (KMS) or Multiple Activation Key (MAK) volume activation, we generally recommend to NOT install this update in their reference image or already deployed computers. This update is targeted at consumer installs of Windows using RETAIL activation."

We strongly recommend that you uninstall KB971033 from all volume-licensed Windows 7-based devices. This includes devices that are not currently affected by the issue that is mentioned in the Symptoms section.

Resolution

To determine whether KB 971033 is installed, use one of the following methods.

  • Open the Installed Updates item in Control Panel (Control Panel > Windows Update > View update history > Installed Updates), and then look for Update for Microsoft Windows (KB971033) in the list.

  • Run the following command in a Command Prompt window as administrator, and then look for "Microsoft-Windows-Security-WindowsActivationTechnologies-package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~7.1.7600.16395" in the results:

    dism /online /get-packages
    
  • Run the following command at a command prompt, and then look in the results for an indication that KB 971033 is installed:

    wmic qfe where HotFixID="KB971033"
    
  • Run the following command in Windows PowerShell, and then look in the results for an indication that KB 971033 is installed:

    Get-Hotfix -id KB971033
    

    If KB 971033 is currently installed, use one of the following methods to remove the update. We recommend that you restart the system after the update is removed.

  • In the Installed Updates item in Control Panel (Control Panel > Windows Update > View update history > Installed Updates), right-click Update for Microsoft Windows (KB971033), and then select Uninstall.

  • Run the following command in a Command Prompt window as administrator:

    wusa /uninstall /kb:971033
    
  • Run the following command in a Command Prompt window as administrator:

    dism /online /Remove-Package /PackageName:Microsoft-Windows-Security-WindowsActivationTechnologies-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~7.1.7600.16395
    

After KB 971033 is uninstalled, or after it no longer appears as installed, rebuild the activation-related files and then reactivate the system by running the following commands in a Command Prompt window as administrator:

net stop sppuinotify
sc config sppuinotify start= disabled
net stop sppsvc
del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah
del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-1.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah
del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\tokens.dat
del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\cache\cache.dat
net start sppsvc
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <edition-specific KMS client key>
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato
sc config sppuinotify start= demand

Note

In the first cscript command, replace <edition-specific KMS client key> with the actual key. For more information, see KMS Client Setup Keys.

The following table lists the KMS client keys for each edition of Windows 7.

Operating system edition KMS Client Setup Key
Windows 7 Professional FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4
Windows 7 Professional N MRPKT-YTG23-K7D7T-X2JMM-QY7MG
Windows 7 Professional E W82YF-2Q76Y-63HXB-FGJG9-GF7QX
Windows 7 Enterprise 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
Windows 7 Enterprise N YDRBP-3D83W-TY26F-D46B2-XCKRJ
Windows 7 Enterprise E C29WB-22CC8-VJ326-GHFJW-H9DH4

Note

  • Scripts that contain the KMS client setup key must target the corresponding operating system edition.
  • For services that do not have KB 971033 installed but experience the issue that is mentioned in the Symptoms section, you can also rebuild activation-related files and reactivate the system by using the script that is mentioned in the list of reactivation commands.