I have a strange problem with a Server 2012 R2 KMS Server which has been migrated from a 2008 R2 Server - and by migrated I mean removed, and followed all instructions found here: http://www.rivnet.ro/2013/02/how-to-remove-a-kms-server-from-your-infrastructure.html

The new server is Windows Server 2012 R2: Mercury

The old server is Windows Server 2008 R2: Europa

What I am finding is that when doing a ospp.vbs /dstatus the server is coming back as the old server:

KMS machine name from DNS: europa.:1688
KMS machine registry override defined: europa.:1688

I manually change the kms host:

\ospp.vbs /sethst:mercury.

Then do a /dstatus again which shows:

KMS machine name from DNS: europa.:1688
KMS machine registry override defined: mercury.:1688

If I run:

nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp

on the troubled clients, I get:

_vlmcs._tcp.(domain)   SRV service location:
      priority       = 0
      weight         = 0
      port           = 1688
      svr hostname   = mercury.
      internet address =

So from that, I can gather that the DNS is set correctly, but for some reason there is an over-riding setting that is forcing the client back to the old server, even after manually setting the server name.

I ran:

ipconfig /renew


ipconfig /flushdns 

on these machines and most have been rebooted too.

As soon as I try to activate, either using "/ato" or using the Volume Activation Management Tool 3.0 it will immediately revert to using the old server name.

What could be the cause of this as it is doing my nut in!

Thanks all.

  • Try increasing the weight of the new servers _vlmcs dns record, if it is getting the wrong name from dns this would at least prioritise it over the other – michaelhbt Oct 29 '14 at 12:01
  • I have done as you say michaelhbt, did this yesterday and by the looks of it today I can activate successfully if I do a /sethst:mercury and then /act. It still shows Europa as the preferred DNS host for KMS though. The Europa server is definitely not making any SVR entries, unless they are hidden from DNS Manager. – user1693454 Oct 31 '14 at 4:15

Well, looks like it was Registry that was causing it. The key must have been set at some time and was forcing the KMS server address. Look in here for the culprit (and it's sub keys):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform]

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