Update Your KMS Service Key To Activate Windows Server 2012 R2 And Windows 8.1


It’s a great day as Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 bits have gone GA (“General Availability”). So it’s of to the Volume License Servicing Center to get the bits and the keys.

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Before we start the roll out we need to either bring up a Windows Server 2012 R2 (or Windows 8.1) KMS host or upgrade the existing one that runs Windows Server 2012 or lower. In this example our KMS Service is running on Windows Server 2008 R2 so we need to do a couple of things.

Install the following update: KB 2885698: Update adds support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 clients to Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 KMS hosts (see Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows 8.1 KMS Service Activation).  If you don’t install this hotfix registering a Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS key will throw an error:

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

So grab the hotfix and install it from an elevated command prompt. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine Smile

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Once you’ve clicked “Yes” the installation will start

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When the installation has finished you will be asked to restart the server. You need to do so. Just restarting the KMS service ("net stop sppsvc" and "net start sppsvc") doesn’t seem to suffice.

When your server comes back up you’ll be ready to install and activate the Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS key.

First we take a look at the current situation:

slmgr.vbs /dlv => clearly the Windows 2012 KMS key
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Uninstall the current KMS key using slmgr.vbs /upk, please use an elevated command prompt Winking smile

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Now you can install the new Windows 2012 R2 KMS key. If you run in to any issues here, restarting the KMS Service can help (("net stop sppsvc" and "net start sppsvc") . Try that first.

slmgr.vbs /ipk PIRAT-ESARE-NOTGE-TTING-AKEY!

Be patient, it’s not instantaneous.

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The key listed here is for all you wannabe pirates out there, sorry, this is the navy. If you’re, looking for illegal keys, cracks, keygens, activators or dodgy KMS virtual machine for Windows  8.1 activation and such this is not the place Winking smile.

You now need to activate your brand new KMS key running slmgr.vbs /ato

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Show what’s up and running now by running slmgr.vbs /dlv again and as you can see we’re in business to activate all our Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 hosts. I’m happy to report that our users will be enjoying Windows 8.1 on the clients in 2014 & the infrastructure in the data center will be benefiting form the goodness Windows Server 2012 R2 brings.

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32 thoughts on “Update Your KMS Service Key To Activate Windows Server 2012 R2 And Windows 8.1

  1. Pingback: Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows 8.1 KMS Service Activation | Working Hard In IT

  2. Everything went fine. Activated 2012 KMS Key on Server 2008 R2 but I can’t get windows 8.1 to activate with the KMS server.

      • just one but I have requested more then 25 times. I’m using the client setup key from the technet site for 8.1 enterprise. 8.1 workstation can’t find KMS server but windows 7 can

        • I had the wrong KMS key, I was using datacenter 2012..needed to us Datacenter 2012 R2..Thank you for your help.

      • Update always fails at 67% after restart. Running virtual Windows 8 machine as KMS currently activating windows 8,7 and office 2013

      • It´s not sure if the inplace update fixed the Problem with the update, but there is no more Need for this update if you have R2 installed you can use it as KMS for this Version and lower. Cause we have Datacenter licenced with SA, this wasn´t a Problem.

        • True. But people wwho don’t have the time or can’t find the issue can faal back to this option & get rid of the corruption even without an upgrade. Just uset the same OS version. Thx for sharing.

  3. I have a question… We have about 200 computers activated on Windows 8 ent and we are looking to start upgrading them to 8.1… We would like to do this in a staggered approach.

    If I change the key to a 8.1 key will that mean that all the win 8 machines will fall out of their activation?

    Thanks.

    Daniel.

  4. Hello, did you issue these commands on a Windows 2012 server ? I’m running a WIndows Server 2008 R2 KMS server, and after having applied the update, slmgr /dlv, I get “Windows Operating System – Windows Server(R), VOLUME_KMS_R2_B” and not “VOLUME_KMS_2012_B”.
    When I want to install my Win8.1 key (slmgr /ipk), I get an error message

  5. Pingback: Week of October 28: GA of Windows Server/System Center (and getting started) and new RDP clients for iOS, Android, and OSX - Server and Cloud Partner and Customer Solutions Team Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

  6. Hi… thanks for this awesome blog.

    One question… do I need to uninstall the old key before installing the new one?

    • Not strictly needed, no. You can install the new one over the old one. But I have only once had an issue with KMS and that was when remnants of the old key were left and I had to clean it up. So do an uninstall to be thorough before I install the new one.

  7. I was unable to get this to work after installing the listed update. My system told me that the update had already been installed and I was getting a “license is not valid” error when trying to apply the 2012r2 license key. I was able to get it to work after installing the hotfix:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2885698/en-us

    Hopefully this will help someone else. I banged my head on the desk for 3 hours.

    -Art

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