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Errors with KMS Activation

Posted on 2015-02-13
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Last Modified: 2015-02-26
Recently my KMS host on windows server 2012 quit issuing licenses.  I followed the MS procedure for my new KMS clients but they return an error stating they are unable to contact the KMS host.  I verifed the software protection services is running, the firewall is turned off(temporarily), and i verified the proper DNS records are present.  I can successfully check the license status of all my clients using the Volume Activation Management Tool and change product keys as well.  Any suggestions?
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Question by:bullfrog264
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by:Rich Weissler
ID: 40608340
Triple checking, just because I'd say there's a fair chance it something you already know, but is getting overlooked.
(1) "i verified the proper DNS records are present"
With apologies, lets check one more time from the client.  In nslookup on one of the clients which is exhibiting the problem... open up nslookup, and tell it to 'set type=all'.  Then '_vlmcs._tcp'
Hopefully you'll get your SRV record.  Close nslookup, and Ping the <srv hostname> that was returned... (and it's possible you're filtering icmp... no big deal, I'd really care that the exact name resolve the way you expect on that machine.)
(2) 'telnet <svr hostname> <port>' from that same client.  (You may need to install the telnet client on that workstation.)  If you get back nothing useful, but at least connect... that counts as success.  If you get connection refused... this is the path we'll need to pursue.
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by:bullfrog264
ID: 40608412
I just ran the nslookup and it did return the SRV record.  I ran telnet from one of the clients and I don't get a connection refused it just sits at connecting until i hit the escape characters.
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by:Rich Weissler
ID: 40608508
Well shoot.  That takes out all the easy fixes.  :-)  The error message says KMS isn't available, and it obviously is.

On the KMS server, in Event Viewer, "Application and Services Logs", "Key Management Service" -- what are the recent records?  (I.e. do you have ANY informational messages that "An activation request has been processed. [...]"?  Any errors/warnings?)

On the client, check the application error log, is there an event ID 12288 registered that might have more error information?
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by:bullfrog264
ID: 40608572
There is an event I'd for on the client for 12288 but it says the exact same error message.  The Kms host shows activation requests in the event viewer but none from my client.
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by:Rich Weissler
Rich Weissler earned 250 total points
ID: 40608589
So other clients are working, and are able to get to the KMS server and register.
Ports are open from this client.
I'm assume the problem clients aren't of a different operating system, and have the same DNS suffix defined.

From one of the problem clients, if you manually specify "slmgr.vbs /skms <servername>:<port>" does it register?  (And if you want to clear that at some point in the future, it's just be "slmgr.vbs /ckms")
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by:bullfrog264
ID: 40608716
I did that and it successfully added the KMS but now I get a similiar error.  Running the slui.exe command tells me the same thing.  The KMS host is unavailable.
kms-error.png
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by:Rich Weissler
ID: 40608766
Okay, now we're into odd possibilities:
Is the time on the client terribly off the time on the server?
The activation requests which are being processed by KMS successfully -- are they the same client version as the client which is having difficulty?
When you do a ping <kms servername> from the problem client, does it resolve to an IPv6 address?
If you do a tracert <kms servername>, does the request follow a path you expect?
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Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40608808
Not to overlook the obvious. What OS are you trying to activate?  A 2012 KMS server will *not* activate 2012 R2 or 8.1 clients out of the box (because those OSes hadn't shipped when 2012 KMS functionality was first written.)  You must install an update to allow an older KMS host to activate a newer client:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2885698
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by:bullfrog264
ID: 40633275
I did install the proper updates and the proper keys.  I was able to correct the issue by reactivating the host in KMS.  After that I was able to reapply the automatic virtual machine activation key.  They are activating properly.  I moved all of the VMs to another host and they activated with no issue.
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