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I have some Windows 2008 servers I setup for development purposes, that fall under my MSDN subscription.

It's been a while, but I thought I properly activated them using the command line and the volume license keys I got through my MSDN account. However, now when I try to login I get an activation error message, but no choices on how to fix it. I click close and it logs me out.

How can I go about fixing this? I can't get a command line, so I can't see how to enter a new activation server or key, or anything. The whole volume license thing is making 2008 server a total pain.


When I click on "more information" this is what I get. Clicking on the 'you can also contact Microsoft" link just brings up a help screen.

Any idea what service it's talking about with error 0x80070426? I can remotely connect from computer management to start the service. :

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Can you post the error? generally you should be in reduced functionality mode- not locked out alltogether. – Jim B Jun 8 '09 at 15:25
I concur with Jim B. Also, an FYI: I've had pretty good luck, almost every time contacting MS regarding MSDN licensing, (seriously, as opposed to other issues. :) Might be a good option for you. – Greg Meehan Jun 8 '09 at 15:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Just a thought, but did you install while Win2008 was still in RC?


Ok, here's a post of a similar problem from the MS Forums related to Vista where the error was thrown because the software licensing service had stopped. It also mentions getting the latest SP from KB931573 (again, Vista related).

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No, it was a regular release DVD I installed from. – kevin42 Jun 8 '09 at 15:53

Some license types of Windows Server 2008, Vista (and I am assuming Windows 7) look for an instance of the Key Management Service (KMS) on your network. I think the error you are receiving is Win2k8 saying it cannot find this service.

This quote is from MS's Volume Licensing page:

Volume Activation (VA) applies to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems. It helps automate and manage the activation process while addressing the piracy and product key management problems associated with keys issued for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

You can use either or both VA methods in your organization:

Key Management Service (KMS) uses a KMS key to activate a KMS host machine and establish a local activation service in your environment. Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 systems connect to the KMS host for activation.

A Multiple Activation Key (MAK) is used to activate Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 systems directly with Microsoft's hosted activation servers.

If this is not what is wrong in your case, then a call to your MSDN rep may be needed as there may be a problem with your key.

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Just seconding the answer from Rob Allen... I recently installed a volume licensed version of server 2008 and it required getting a MAK key. In my case, I had to go to the e-open site and check my entitlement, etc. Then I got a MAK key and a KMS key. Since I was not setting up a KMS server, I downloaded the Volume Activation Management Tool to use with the MAK key.

It gave me, I think, 15 days before I had to get activation sorted out. If you have a volume license issue here is a link for you:

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