Resolve Windows activation error codes

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This article is intended for use by support agents and IT professionals. If you're looking for more information about Windows activation error messages, see Get help with Windows activation errors.

This article provides troubleshooting information to help you respond to error messages that you may receive when you try to use a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or the Key Management Service (KMS) to perform Volume Activation on one or more Windows-based computers. Look for the error code in the following table, and then select the link to see more information about that error code and how to resolve it.

For more information about volume activation, see Plan for volume activation.

For more information about volume activation for current and recent versions of Windows, see Volume Activation [client].

For more information about volume activation for older versions of Windows, see KB 929712, Volume Activation information for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

Summary of error codes

Error code Error message Activation type
0x8004FE21 This computer is not running genuine Windows. MAK
KMS client
0x80070005 Access denied. The requested action requires elevated privileges. MAK
KMS client
KMS host
0x8007007b 0x8007007b DNS name does not exist. KMS client
0x80070490 The product key you entered didn't work. Check the product key and try again, or enter a different one. MAK
0x800706BA The RPC server is unavailable. KMS client
0x8007232A DNS server failure. KMS host
0x8007232B DNS name does not exist. KMS client
0x8007251D No records found for DNS query. KMS client
0x80092328 DNS name does not exist. KMS client
0xC004B100 The activation server determined that the computer could not be activated. MAK
0xC004C001 The activation server determined the specified product key is invalid MAK
0xC004C003 The activation server determined the specified product key is blocked MAK
0xC004C008 The activation server determined that the specified product key could not be used. KMS
0xC004C020 The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key has exceeded its limit. MAK
0xC004C021 The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key extension limit has been exceeded. MAK
0xC004F009 The Software Protection Service reported that the grace period expired. MAK
0xC004F00F The Software Licensing Server reported that the hardware ID binding is beyond level of tolerance. MAK
KMS client
KMS host
0xC004F014 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is not available MAK
KMS client
0xC004F02C The Software Protection Service reported that the format for the offline activation data is incorrect. MAK
KMS client
0xC004F035 The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated with a Volume license product key. KMS client
KMS host
0xC004F038 The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The count reported by your Key Management Service (KMS) is insufficient. Please contact your system administrator. KMS client
0xC004F039 The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The Key Management Service (KMS) is not enabled. KMS client
0xC004F041 The Software Protection Service determined that the Key Management Server (KMS) is not activated. KMS needs to be activated. KMS client
0xC004F042 The Software Protection Service determined that the specified Key Management Service (KMS) cannot be used. KMS client
0xC004F050 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is invalid. MAK
KMS
KMS client
0xC004F051 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is blocked. MAK
KMS
0xC004F064 The Software Protection Service reported that the non-genuine grace period expired. MAK
0xC004F065 The Software Protection Service reported that the application is running within the valid non-genuine period. MAK
KMS client
0xC004F06C The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The Key Management Service (KMS) determined that the request timestamp is invalid. KMS client
0xC004F074 The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted. Please see the Application Event Log for additional information. KMS client

Causes and resolutions

0x8004FE21 This computer is not running genuine Windows

Possible cause

This issue can occur for several reasons. The most likely reason is that language packs (MUI) have been installed on computers that are running Windows editions that are not licensed for additional language packs.

Note

This issue is not necessarily an indication of tampering. Some applications can install multi-lingual support even when that edition of Windows is not licensed for those language packs.)

This issue may also occur if Windows has been modified by malware to allow additional features to be installed. This issue may also occur if certain system files are corrupted.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, you must reinstall the operating system.

0x80070005 Access denied

The full text of this error message resembles the following:

Access denied. The requested action requires elevated privileges.

Possible cause

User Account Control (UAC) prohibits activation processes from running in a non-elevated Command Prompt window.

Resolution

Run slmgr.vbs from an elevated command prompt. To do this, on the Start menu, right-click cmd.exe, and then select Run as administrator.

0x8007007b DNS name does not exist

Possible cause

This issue may occur if the KMS client cannot find the KMS SRV resource records in DNS.

Resolution

For more information about troubleshooting such DNS-related issues, see Common troubleshooting procedures for KMS and DNS issues.

0x80070490 The product key you entered didn't work

The full text of this error resembles the following:

The product key that you entered didn't work. Check the product key and try again, or enter a different one.

Possible cause

This issue occurs because the MAK that was entered was not valid, or because of a known issue in Windows Server 2019.

Resolution

To work around this issue and activate the computer, run slmgr -ipk <5x5 key> at an elevated command prompt.

0x800706BA The RPC server is unavailable

Possible cause

Firewall settings are not configured on the KMS host, or DNS SRV records are stale.

Resolution

On the KMS host, make sure that a firewall exception is enabled for the Key Management Service (TCP port 1688).

Make sure that the DNS SRV records point to a valid KMS host.

Troubleshoot network connections.

For more information about troubleshooting such DNS-related issues, see Common troubleshooting procedures for KMS and DNS issues.

0x8007232A DNS server failure

Possible cause

The system has network or DNS issues.

Resolution

Troubleshoot network and DNS.

0x8007232B DNS name does not exist

Possible cause

The KMS client cannot find KMS server resource records (SRV RRs) in DNS.

Resolution

Verify that a KMS host has been installed and DNS publishing is enabled (default). If DNS is unavailable, point the KMS client to the KMS host by using slmgr.vbs /skms <kms_host_name>.

If you do not have a KMS host, obtain and install an MAK. Then, activate the system.

For more information about troubleshooting such DNS-related issues, see Common troubleshooting procedures for KMS and DNS issues.

0x8007251D No records found for DNS query

Possible cause

The KMS client cannot find KMS SRV records in DNS.

Resolution

Troubleshoot network connections and DNS. For more information about how to troubleshoot such DNS-related issues, see Common troubleshooting procedures for KMS and DNS issues.

0x80092328 DNS name does not exist

Possible cause

This issue may occur if the KMS client cannot find the KMS SRV resource records in DNS.

Resolution

For more information about troubleshooting such DNS-related issues, see Common troubleshooting procedures for KMS and DNS issues.

0xC004B100 The activation server determined that the computer could not be activated

Possible cause

The MAK is not supported.

Resolution

To troubleshoot this issue, verify that the MAK that you are using is the MAK that was provided by Microsoft. To verify that the MAK is valid, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers.

0xC004C001 The activation server determined the specified product key is invalid

Possible cause

The MAK that you entered is not valid.

Resolution

Verify that the key is the MAK that was provided by Microsoft. For additional assistance, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers.

0xC004C003 The activation server determined the specified product key is blocked

Possible cause

The MAK is blocked on the activation server.

Resolution

To obtain a new MAK, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers. After you obtain the new MAK, try installing and activating Windows again.

0xC004C008 The activation server determined that the specified product key could not be used

Possible cause

The KMS key has exceeded its activation limit. A KMS host key can be activated up to 10 times on up to six different computers.

Resolution

If you require additional activations, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers.

0xC004C020 The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key has exceeded its limit

Possible cause

The MAK has exceeded its activation limit. By design, MAKs can be activated a limited number of times.

Resolution

If you require additional activations, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers.

0xC004C021 The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key extension limit has been exceeded

Possible cause

The MAK has exceeded its activation limit. By design, MAKs activate a limited number of times.

Resolution

If you need additional activations, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers.

0xC004F009 The Software Protection Service reported that the grace period expired

Possible cause

The grace period expired before the system was activated. Now, the system is in the Notifications state.

Resolution

For assistance, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers.

0xC004F00F The Software Licensing Server reported that the hardware ID binding is beyond level of tolerance

Possible cause

The hardware has changed or the drivers were updated on the system.

Resolution

If you are using MAK activation, use either online or phone activation to reactivate the system during the OOT grace period.

If you are using KMS activation, restart Windows or run slmgr.vbs /ato.

0xC004F014 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is not available

Possible cause

No product keys are installed on the system.

Resolution

If you are using MAK activation, install a MAK product key.

If you are using KMS activation, check the Pid.txt file (located on the installation media in the \sources folder) for a KMS Setup key. Install the key.

0xC004F02C The Software Protection Service reported that the format for the offline activation data is incorrect

Possible cause

The system has detected that the data entered during phone activation is not valid.

Resolution

Verify that the CID is entered correctly.

0xC004F035 Invalid Volume License Key

The full text of this error message resembles the following:

Error: Invalid Volume License Key. In order to activate, you need to change your product key to a valid Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or Retail key. You must have a qualifying operating system license AND a Volume license Windows 7 upgrade license, or a full license for Windows 7 from a retail source. ANY OTHER INSTALLATION OF THIS SOFTWARE IS IN VIOLATION OF YOUR AGREEMENT AND APPLICABLE COPYRIGHT LAW.

The error text is correct, but is ambiguous. This error indicates that the computer is missing a Windows marker in its BIOS that identifies it as an OEM system that is running a qualifying edition of Windows. This information is required for KMS client activation. The more specific meaning of this code is "Error: Invalid Volume License Key"

Possible cause

Windows 7 Volume editions are licensed only for upgrade. Microsoft does not support installing a Volume operating system on a computer that does not have a qualifying operating system installed.

Resolution

In order to activate, you need to do one of the following:

  • Change your product key to a valid Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or Retail key. You must have a qualifying operating system license AND a Volume license Windows 7 upgrade license, or a full license for Windows 7 from a retail source.

    Note

    If you receive error 0x80072ee2 when you attempt to activate, use the phone activation method that follows instead.

  • Activate by phone by following these steps:
    1. Run slmgr /dti and then record the value of the Installation ID.
  • Contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers and provide the Installation ID in order to receive a Confirmation ID.
  • To activate by using the Confirmation ID, run slmgr /atp <Confirmation ID>.

0xC004F038 The count reported by your Key Management Service (KMS) is insufficient

The full text of this error message resembles the following:

The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The count reported by your Key Management Service (KMS) is insufficient. Please contact your system administrator.

Possible cause

The count on the KMS host is not high enough. For Windows Server, the KMS count must be greater than or equal to 5. For Windows (client), the KMS count must be greater than or equal to 25.

Resolution

Before you can use KMS to activate Windows, you must have more computers in the KMS pool. To obtain the current count on the KMS host, run Slmgr.vbs /dli.

0xC004F039 The Key Management Service (KMS) is not enabled

The full text of this error message resembles the following:

The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The Key Management Service (KMS) is not enabled.

Possible cause

KMS did not respond to the KMS request.

Resolution

Troubleshoot the network connection between the KMS host and the client. Make sure that TCP port 1688 (default) is not blocked by a firewall or is otherwise filtered.

0xC004F041 The Software Protection Service determined that the Key Management Server (KMS) is not activated

The full text of this error message resembles the following:

The Software Protection Service determined that the Key Management Server (KMS) is not activated. KMS needs to be activated.

Possible cause

The KMS host is not activated.

Resolution

Activate the KMS host by using either online or telephone activation.

0xC004F042 The Software Protection Service determined that the specified Key Management Service (KMS) cannot be used

Possible cause

This error occurs if the KMS client contacted a KMS host that could not activate the client software. This can be common in mixed environments that contain application-specific and operating system-specific KMS hosts, for example.

Resolution

Make sure that if you use specific KMS hosts to activate specific applications or operating systems, the KMS clients connect to the correct hosts.

0xC004F050 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is invalid

Possible cause

This can be caused by a typo in the KMS key or by typing in a Beta key on a Released version of the operating system.

Resolution

Install the appropriate KMS key on the corresponding version of Windows. Check the spelling. If the key is being copied and pasted, make sure that em-dashes were not substituted for the hyphens in the key.

0xC004F051 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is blocked

Possible cause

The activation server determined that Microsoft has blocked the product key.

Resolution

Obtain a new MAK or KMS key, install it on the system, and activate.

0xC004F064 The Software Protection Service reported that the non-genuine grace period expired

Possible cause

Windows Activation Tools (WAT) has determined that the system is not genuine.

Resolution

For assistance, contact the Microsoft Licensing Activation Centers.

0xC004F065 The Software Protection Service reported that the application is running within the valid non-genuine period

Possible cause

Windows Activation Tools has determined that the system is not genuine. The system will continue to run during the Non-Genuine grace period.

Resolution

Obtain and install a genuine product key, and activate the system during the grace period. Otherwise, the system will go into the Notifications state at the end of the grace period.

0xC004F06C The request timestamp is invalid

The full text of this error message resembles the following:

The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The Key Management Service (KMS) determined that the request timestamp is invalid.

Possible cause

The system time on the client computer is too different from the time on the KMS host. Time sync is important to system and network security for a variety of reasons.

Resolution

Fix this issue by changing the system time on the client to sync with the KMS host. We recommend that you use a Network Time Protocol (NTP) time source or Active Directory Domain Services for time synchronization. This issue uses UTP time and does not depend on Time Zone selection.

0xC004F074 No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted

The full text of this error message resembles the following:

The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted. Please see the Application Event Log for additional information.

Possible cause

All of the KMS host systems returned an error.

Resolution

In the Application Event Log, identify each event that has Event ID 12288 and is associated with the activation attempt. Troubleshoot the errors from these events.

For more information about troubleshooting DNS-related issues, see Common troubleshooting procedures for KMS and DNS issues.