Solved

W7 workstations not activating with KMS server

Posted on 2014-03-14
16
1,229 Views
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Good Afternoon,

We are in the process of setting up a KMS server, but for whatever reason we cannot activate our Windows 7 clients with it.

*Our KMS server is running “Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise SP1”.
*The KMS server has been activated successfully with Microsoft using a CSVLK (KMS) key and it’s status is saying “Genuine”.
*We are using the “Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) v2.0.67.0” on our KMS Server.
*Using the VAMT we’ve added 30 “Windows 7 Professional” workstations to the tool.
*From the VAMT we’ve installed the product key using the “Install a KMS client key” option, which was successful on all 30 Windows 7 workstations.

When we attempt to activate the key with the KMS server, by right clicking on a workstation and selecting “Activate / KMS Activate” and trying both “Auto-Discover KMS host using DNS” and “Use specific KMS host and point”, inputting the host name and the port.

We receive a message saying “The Software Licensing 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.”

*We have confirmed that all of the workstations clocks are in sync with the domain and KMS Server.
*We have confirmed that all computers are using different CMIDs/SIDs.

info
Does anyone have any ideas as to why this is happening with all of the information I have provided?


Kindly advise.

Regards,
N
0
Comment
Question by:nobushi
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3
  • +1
16 Comments
 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
Comment Utility
How many workstations have you attempted to activate via VAMT? KMS has a 25 workstation minimum. Which means the first 25 workstations that attempt to activate will fail (but KMS will "remember" their SID and count then towards its 25 minimum. Workstation 26 will succeed, and then reattempting any of the first 25 will also succeed. But if you only tested activation on a few, you didn't reach the 25 minimum, hence the error.
0
 
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
Comment Utility
VAMT and KMS are two different entities. You should stick with one or the other.  I like KMS since it removes machines that have been replaced after 180 days.
0
 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
Comment Utility
VAMT is complementary to KMS, not an alternative to it. MAK and KMS are mutually exclusive, but VAMT can be used to view, change, audit, and otherwise monitor windows activations, whether they are actually activated via MAK, KMS, or even OEM or retail it doesn't replace it supercede KMS in any way.
0
 
LVL 3

Accepted Solution

by:
violageek earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
From the attached image it is clear that you Current count is not sufficient. As mentioned above it needs to be at least 25 before it will start activating.

How are you imaging/deploying these machines? Are you using SkipRearm in your unattend file? If you are then you need to remove it as using SkipRearm will not increase the KMS current count.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nobushi
Comment Utility
Thank you for your replies.

I'm aware that the min count for workstations is 25, this is why I attempted to activate 30 machines as previously stated. But it's still not working.

The image for these machines were built using "Windows PE, System Image Manager" for the "Generalize" option we set to a "1" to "Skip rearm to allow up to 8 rearms". Once built we ran sysprep on the image and deployed using Acronis.

Kindly advise.

Regards,
N
0
 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
Comment Utility
Technet has a full list of troubleshooting steps. For starters, i'd like to know how many workstations KMS thinks have attempted to activate. This can be found via slmgr /dlv

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee939272.aspx
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nobushi
Comment Utility
Cliff,

The above screenshot is of the "slmgr /dlv" command.

I've just run it again and am noticing some different stats to what I origionally posted (seen below).

info2
I am wondering if maybe I just did not give it enough time to process. How long does it normally take the VLMT to see all of the requests?

On Friday afternoon I was instructed to switch the license back to MAK, so this is what i did for all 30 computers. I understand I would use another 30 of my licenses, but this decision was beyond my control to switch everything back to MAK until i sorted out what was wrong with the KMS server.

Let me know your thoughts regarding the different of the stats in my second screenshot done a few minutes ago.
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:violageek
Comment Utility
Ok, I think the problem is the way you guys are imaging those machines. Here is how you can verify if they have unique CMIDs.

Open an elevated command prompt on one of the Windows 7 machines and type "slmgr -dli"

Note down the Client Machine ID (CMID) and run the same command on another windows 7 machine that you have imaged. If both of them are the same you haven't sysprepd them correctly.
0
Do email signature updates give you a headache?

Constantly trying to correctly format email signatures? Spending all of your time at every user’s desk to make updates? Want high-quality HTML signatures on all devices, including on mobiles and Macs? Then, let Exclaimer solve all your email signature problems today!

 
LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
I would concur. With a current count of "2" there is clearly an issue with either the activation request reaching the server or with the KMS server seeing that request as unique. With a total request count of 39, it definitely points to your image process even though your initial post said that you checked for unique CMIDs. The evidence seems to say otherwise.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nobushi
Comment Utility
Afternoon Cliff,

I’ve received some false information from my team.

Apparently the SIDs and CMID’s were just assumed to be unique. So I’ve gone ahead and checked this information on my own. I’ve generated a list of all SIDs of the Windows 7 workstations on our network and can confirm that all are unique. As for the CMIDs, I am having difficulty locating these for all of the workstations.

I have only confirmed that 2 machines CMIDs are unique.

One being my machine which I obtained by running the below command in powershell:

Get-WmiObject –computername MYCOMPUTERNAME -class SoftwareLicensingService | Select-object ClientMachineID

With the second workstation I was able to find the CMID from event viewer on the KMS server with the 12290 Event ID.

But I am not able to find any other machines CMIDs. I have tried running the powershell command on other computers but it gives me nothing, just says “ClientMachineID” and underneath where its suppose to have the CMID, nothing is shown.

I also cannot see any of the other machines in the event viewer on the KMS server like how I obtained the second computers CMID.

I have attempted to run the command “slmgr /dlv” and “slmgr /dli” from the other workstations as well as the 2 computers above and the box presented does not show the CMID either.

Would you any other way I can retrieve the CMID from the other machines, perhaps a script or third party software or something to obtain this information?

Kindly advise,
N
0
 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
Comment Utility
Slmgr /dlv would definitely display the CMID if it were valid. Si Fe you aren't getting a CMID from WMI or slmgr, I don't think a 3rd party tool will solve the issue. In conjunction with the activation count, this is instead an indication that the CMID is, in fact, not valid on those other machines. Which is a problem with the image used to install those machines. You should fix the source image and redeploy.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nobushi
Comment Utility
OK i found out why i was not able to retrieve the CMID for the majority of the machines.

Reason appears to be that when a computer uses a MAK license that the CMID is not shown. As said previously I was instructed to reuse the MAK key from the pool for all those 30 machines that didn’t work with the KMS. I left 2 machines unlicensed though this being mine and another user.

So with this new information I unlicensed a handful of machines (15) and found that all the machines in my handful have "unique" CMIDs. All were deployed using the same image which as stated before was syspreped with the /generalize option. This was double confirmed by reviewing the C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\Panther\setupact.log of each machine. So the other 15 machines not in my handful should all have unique CMIDs, since they were deployed using the same image.

Now a lot of the texts ive been reading have been talking about not setting the "SkipRearm" setting. As stated previously I set ours to a "1". Reason for this is that I was just following a guide that said set it to 1, so i did. According to the below text its saying that its not recommended to set this to anything.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2009/10/16/kms-host-client-count-not-increasing-due-to-duplicate-cmid-s.aspx

So since i am guilty of setting this setting in our images I'm wondering if this is causing the problem.

Are you able to provide a clearer understanding what it is for?

Also i see that the rearm can be reset by issuing a command (slmgr.vbs /rearm). Several places including Microsoft say they don’t support this, but that it can be done. Have you or know anyone who has reset this option? If so were there any undesirable effects on the workstation?

Kindly Advise.

Regards,
N
0
 
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
Comment Utility
What is your KMS count at now?
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nobushi
Comment Utility
OK I found the problem and it is indeed multiple machines having the same CMID.

My first test with those 30 computers mentioned above was with a specific computer model (Optiplex 780)

My test with the 15 computers today were of several other different model computers (Optiplex 390), all of them having unique CMIDs.

I’ve found that only the 780s are using the same CMID. Except for my machine and another coworkers as we built our machines from scratch (no image). So here is my problem.

So after doing some more checks with the other models on our network, I went ahead and installed the KMS key and activated them against the server. We’ve been successful with activating all other models (about 160 workstations) with the KMS server without any issues whatsoever.

As for the Optiplex 780 models, I am just going to leave them with a MAK license and recreate that image file for any more 780 we may need to build in the future, definitely must have missed something on that image.

Consider this post closed. Thanks for all your help.

I will award the necessary points shortly as several of you had mentioned that the CMID would have been the problem.

Kind Regards,
N
0
 
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
Comment Utility
Why persist with thick images...  I have a usb disk 80GB that holds all the software, the operating systems for our organization and when not in the network cart the external drive around.. This drive works for all the different hp and dell machines that we have with all of the drivers for each model of machine.. The only thick images I have are for the Autocad machines since they take forever to install.  Once joined to the network, WSUS and group policy do the rest.

If you need to persist with thick images build the source in a virtual machine, build it save a snapshot, sysprep and deploy, oops , go back to the snapshot, fix, snapshot, sysprep and deploy until it works.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nobushi
Comment Utility
That's not a bad idea David. Thank you for the suggestion.

Yes all our images are thick, we were suppose to get a SCCM server but head office declined it. So I have been building the images on the specific model computers, running sysprep, then capturing and deploying using Acronis.

Can you share or provide a link on how you deployed the snapshot to the desktop. I'm assuming you used PXE but are you able to provide some steps?
0

Featured Post

Shouldn't all users have the same email signature?

You wouldn't let your users design their own business cards, would you? So, why do you let them design their own email signatures? Think of the damage they could be doing to your brand reputation! Choose the easy way to manage set up and add email signatures for all users.

Join & Write a Comment

Suggested Solutions

OfficeMate Freezes on login or does not load after login credentials are input.
Restoring deleted objects in Active Directory has been a standard feature in Active Directory for many years, yet some admins may not know what is available.
This Micro Tutorial will give you a introduction in two parts how to utilize Windows Live Movie Maker to its maximum capability. This will be demonstrated using Windows Live Movie Maker on Windows 7 operating system.
The viewer will learn how to successfully create a multiboot device using the SARDU utility on Windows 7. Start the SARDU utility: Change the image directory to wherever you store your ISOs, this will prevent you from having 2 copies of an ISO wit…

744 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

18 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now