Update to KB968912

Hello, my name is Scott McArthur. I am a Senior Support Escalation Engineer in the Windows group and today’s blog will cover a number of issues we have encountered here in support with the following update. These updates will eventually be incorporated into the Knowledge Base article but we wanted to get this information out as soon as possible.

968912 An update is available that allows KMS to provide activation for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;968912

Issue #1:

Windows Service Pack 2 is a requirement to install this update. If you do not have it installed you receive the following message:

"The update does not apply to your system"

We are correcting the article to include this information.

Issue #2:

Event after installing this update you may encounter the same error message you received prior to installing the update:

Error: 0xc004f050 The Software Licensing service reported that the product key is invalid

This is a known issue we are working on. The workaround is run the following commands in an elevated cmd prompt

Net Stop SLSVC

Net Start SLSVC

Note: A 2nd reboot will also correct this.

The issue is that the reboot of the update occurs before additional licenses get loaded so the service must be restarted to recognize them. We are investigating if we can address this in the update or if the workaround will need to be documented as part of the article.

Update 11/20/2009: The update has been changed to address the issue with the additional restart. You must still reboot after installing the update but you should not have to restart the SLSCVC service. Restarting the slsvc service though is a good troubleshooting step if you having problems with installing a productkey

Issue #3:

One additional caveat with this update is that if you try to install your KMS host key you may receive this error message

0xc004f015: The Software Licensing Service reported that the license is not installed.


This can occur if you are trying to install a KMS host key on the incorrect KMS Host SKU. For example

  • Installing a Client KMS host key on Windows Server 2008
  • Installing a Group B KMS host key on Windows Server 2008 Datacenter KMS host
  • Installing a Group A KMS host key on Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter KMS host

This is by design. The following lists the type of KMS host key and the operating systems it can be installed on to setup a KMS host.

Group Definitions:

Client: Windows Vista/Windows 7 VL Editions (Business, Enterprise, Professional)

Group A: Windows Server 2008 Web, Windows Server 2008 Web, Windows Server HPC 2008, Windows Server HPC 2008 R2

Group B: Windows Server 2008/2008R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008/2008R2 Standard

Group C: Windows Server 2008/2008R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008/2008R2 for Itanium Editions


Can be installed on

Can Count

Windows 7 Client



Windows Server 2008R2 KMS_A


Client and A

Windows Server 2008R2 KMS_B

A or B

Client, A, and B

Windows Server 2008R2 KMS_C

A or B or C

Client, A, B, and C

Note: KMS 1.2 for Windows Server 2003 can accept any KMS key, and can count the appropriate editions provided you have the following update installed.

968915 An update is available that installs Key Management Service (KMS) 1.2 for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and for later versions of Windows Server 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;968915

For more information on Activation, please see the Volume Activation Portal on Technet. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd197314.aspx

Hopefully this helps with your deployments and continue to watch our blog for more information activation.

Scott McArthur
Senior Support Escalation Engineer
Microsoft Enterprise Platforms Support