KMS Activation of Windows 7

alumwell used Ask the Experts™
We are a college trying to activate some Windows 7 machines from a Server (2008 R2) running KMS activation.

We have tried contacting Microsoft but unfortunately we are always put through to a call centre in India and as the assistants don't understand our question phrasing, we are being passed back and forth to the same departments without resolution

The problem is to do with activating the client.

The KMS key (beginning with B) says "it can’t be activated as the KMS server determined the key could not be used."

We have activated a couple of Win7 clients but all of a sudden this message is all we get.

Any help would be appreciated.
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works weary depend on DNS. PC should use as DNS server  domain controller


Thanks  JEREMYNO - we have looked through this prior to raising this question also.
First, is your KMS activation on the host valid?

slmgr -dli

Second, do you have the bare minimum number of physical computers to activate your KMS?
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Yes the activation is valid and we had the bare minimum (5) physical computers.
If the activations dropped and you stated that the KMS is valid then it sounds like what jeremey mentioned - DNS issue. Make sure your service record is valid within DNS management.


We don't believe that this is DNS as the KMS activation server is contacted (we use slmgr to set the KMS server), but when it comes to activating the activation server determined that the key could not be used.
If it wasn't reaching the server due to DNS then the error "KMS server not found", or similar would apply wouldn't it?
No, the KMS creates a SRV record for your domain. You need to verify this records is in place.


_LDAP._TCP.DC._mSDCS.OURDOMAIN.CO.UK  SRV service location:
          priority       = 0
          weight         = 100
          port           = 389
          svr hostname   = dcs1.OURDOMAIN.CO.UK

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SRV records seem ok...
On a Windows 7 client, try this and see if the count for your KMS gains 1.

slmgr -skms (IP address)
slmgr -ato
slmgr -dlv


We are attempting this today.
We just had to email Microsoft and ask for extra activations, why they couldn’t say that in the first place god knows :-|

They gave us unlimited, they all start with five you email them saying we need more as we are using it for KMS and hey presto all sorted.


Might save people alot of wasted time talking to India staff who are poorly trained.

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