Windows Server 2008 Activation Failure / Windows Update problem

Hi there.  I just moved up to Win Server 2008 x64 (version 6.0.6002).  It's a new server with a fresh install with software I've had on the shelf for a few years, but didn't need until now with the pending 2003 implosion.  

It's the only server I have, so I know it must be MAK activated.  When I try to activate, it fails with "The product key you have entered does not appear to be a valid Windows Server product key".  I know the key is good as I have tested it with the Volume Activation Management Tool, which confirms it is a MAK key, and it has one activation valid and waiting to be used.  

I've also made activation attempts through the command prompt, all of which have failed.

I have attempted to apply hotfix 2757817, but it fails with "The update does not apply to you system".  
I have attempted to apply hotfix 2885698, but it fails with the same message as above.
I also have one recurring update (Internet Explorer 9), which has already been installed but keeps trying to install.  

I believe I may have the solution to getting this machine activated, but I can't apply it since the updates I have just mentioned will not run.  

I've exhausted google, and have no more answers.  I am a tech, but I don't know it all so I'm asking for help.  

One more idea:

1.  My exact version number is 6.0.6002.18005 (GDR - updates only).  As a possible solution, how would I get my version to move to 6.0.6002.22xxx (LDR - updates and hotfixes) so this will be taken care of for me automatically?

I have to go to work.  If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it.  

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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
6.0.6002.18005 tells me you already have SP2 installed and, recently, I had the same issue with Office 2010.  My normal process is to install all of the updates before activating and I have SP2 saved as a download which I run locally.  After installing the Office 2010 SP2 update, activation reported that the legitimate keys were invalid and, as gross as it seems, the fix was to activate before installing SP2.
What stupid bug M$ missed in the SP2 update will probably forever remain a mystery; but, I'll bet you have the same problem!
Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantCommented:
If you call Microsoft they can walk you through this--they are aware of this issue and if you tell them you have all the updates installed prior to trying to update they will give you another key to use.
leaperjdAuthor Commented:
Thx for answering!  

I reverted to SP1 to see what would happen, and on attempt to put SP2 back in, I got a 0x8000FFFF catastrophic failure.  

I had to rearm the system since M$ decided I didn't have valid software anymore.  

I then called Microsoft again, and got disconnected twice more.   I've talked to 14 people in the last 2 days, and been disconnected 6 times.  All they want is $500 and god help me if I could understand a word they are saying.  

I pulled out a spare HD last night, put it on the server, and immediately after a clean install attempted an activation.  It failed the same way.  

I am thinking this cannot be fixed.
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantCommented:
If it is not activating even before any SPs or with only SP1 then it must not be a valid license. If you have the receipt for it then MS will work with you. I know getting hold of MS is hell but all the times I called to get activation I never had any problems--if you start the activation wizard and it fails or says it is invalid then it gives tyou the option to try again or to do it manually and then they provide a number for you to call--using that number I usually always get help pretty quick.

The other thing to consider is that there may be something wrong with the media you are using to install with.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
What is the activation error code?
leaperjdAuthor Commented:
I used the Volume Activation Management Tool to verify the key.  M$ have also done so twice.  

The error code is a 0F050.  Invalid product key.  

For what it is worth, I grabbed a KMS key off the web, and it absorbed it.  But KMS won't work for me, I cannot go that route.
leaperjdAuthor Commented:
I think I'm just going to upgrade to Win Server 2012.  I'm downloading the ISO right now, and if it works, I'll be grabbing a copy.  

I wonder if this is a ruse by M$ just to force people to upgrade.
Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantCommented:
No, I just activated 2 2008 server last month one 2008 and the other 2008R2. Did you try a different media source for 2008? Is this by any chance an upgrade key?
leaperjdAuthor Commented:
No it's not an upgrade.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Your error code is missing 3 digits as they are always in the form of 0xc000F050.  The closest hits I got were for an expired trial version.  Can you get the full error code and, is it, perchance, a trial key?

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leaperjdAuthor Commented:
It's not trial.  I verified the key, and even M$ have twice checked it themselves.  A new copy of 2012 will be arriving today.  I'll be building it all from scratch tonight -- shouldn't take too long -- right?

I'm ready to split the solution points between you two because you both helped me make my decision to just move ahead.
leaperjdAuthor Commented:
I give a B because there is no solution to this, except to walk away from it.  But kudos for those who helped me make that decision with phone numbers and the idea to pull SP2 off and try again.
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Windows Server 2008

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