Friday, January 20, 2012

Attempting to install a Windows 7 KMS key on a Windows 2008 R2 server throws the error: “On a computer running Microsoft Windows non-core edition, run ‘slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004F015’ to display the error text.” followed by “Error: 0xC004F015”

Problem

You attempt to install a Windows 7 KMS key on a Windows 2008 R2 server but receive the following error:

On a computer running Microsoft Windows non-core edition, run ‘slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004F015’ to display the error text.
Error: 0xC004F015

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Executing slui.exe 0x2a 0xc004f015 displays the following error message:

An error has occurred

Code:
0xC004F015

Description:
The Software Licensing Service reported that the license is not installed.

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If you try to use this Windows 7 KMS key to activate the Windows 2008 R2 server itself, you’ll get the following error:

This product key you have entered will not work with this edition of Windows Server 2008 R2.

You must either run Windows Server 2008 R2 Setup or enter a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Product key.

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Solution

Note that there are various reasons why this error would be thrown but in this situation, the reason why this error is thrown is because if you are to use a Windows Server 2008 R2 server as your KMS server, you need to install and activate the server with a KMS key and not a MAK key.  To determine what key your server has been activated with, simply open up the command prompt and execute the following command:

slmgr /dlv

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… a prompt similar to the following will show information similar to the following:

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What we’re interested in from the output is whether you see:

VOLUME_MAK

… or …

VOLUME_KMS

In the example above, we have a server that’s activate with a MAK key.  There’s actually information on what servers and desktop operating systems can activate which server or desktops.  As confusing as that sounds, what it really means is that any operating system with a newer operating system can usually activate lower operating systems.  So if I were to have a Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS key, I could have activated that server with the appropriate Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS key, then use it to activate Windows 7 clients.  If you’re confused, don’t worry, because I’m still not too sure about exactly how KMS works.  For more information about what server groups can activate what servers or desktops, see the following article:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc308698.aspx

Since I did not have a Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS key (we only had MAK keys), I ended up deploying a new Windows 7 virtual machine, activated the desktop operating system with a Windows 7 KMS key and used it as a KMS server that also activated Office 2010.

Hope this blog post is able to help someone who may run into the same problem as I did.

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