Activation Problem with Windows Server 2008 Standard

Discussion in 'Server Setup' started by kg1, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. kg1

    kg1 Guest

    After downloading the 2008 Server disc image from the Faculty Connection
    site, I installed the Standard (Full) version on a new machine. During
    installation, it never asked for the activation code that was supplied at the
    time of download. After installation, it said it would automatically
    activate in 3 days. After 3 days, I had an error popup that said the Windows
    could not activate. It said "Key management services (KMS) host could not be
    located in domain name system (DNS), please have your system administrator
    verify that a KMS is published correctly in DNS." I then tried to manually
    activate it and got the same error. I've installed and used previous
    versions of Windows Server, but I had no idea what this means or how to
    resolve it.

    I attempted to change the product activation key to the one provided at the
    time of product download using Method 2 described in MSFT Knowledge Base
    Article ID 929826. After a very long wait, I got a message saying that the
    key I entered was invalid. I tried again to change the product key via
    Control Panel | System, and got the same results. The product ID remains at
    the default value, which seems to be embedded in the downloaded image. Since
    I thought perhaps I missed something in the initial installation, I just
    completed a fresh install on the same machine, but it appears there is no
    opportunity to enter the product key during the installation process. So, I
    can't enter the supplied key at installation, and I can't seem to change it
    after installation either. Very frustrating.

    The role of the 2008 Server machine is just as a server (not a domain
    controller), on which I will be running the Faculty Connection versions of
    SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition and VS 2008 Team Foundation Server. I had
    not planned to set up my own domain or DNS. My goal is to (a) to learn
    enough about Team System in Windows Server 2008 to speak to my students about
    it intelligently, and (b) to incorporate Team System scenarios into my
    classroom demos. So, in theory, my needs are very simple.

    Has anyone else encountered this problem? Has anyone found a resolution?


    - kg1
    kg1, Jul 25, 2009
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  2. You don't need a key to use the trial, and you don't need to activate it.
    "This software is for evaluation and testing purposes. Evaluating Windows
    Server® 2008 software does not require product activation or entering a
    product key. Any edition of Windows Server 2008 may be installed without
    activation and evaluated for an initial 60 days"

    If you want to activate it then you need to obtain a valid key. If you think
    the key is valid but not working you can ring MS licensing to get them to
    fix it. At the moment I don't think anyone else will be able to tell you why
    the key seems to be invalid,
    Anthony [MVP], Jul 25, 2009
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  3. kg1

    kg1 Guest

    Thanks for your response. I would agree with your assessment except that my
    understanding is that this software downloaded from the Microsoft Faculty
    Connection web site is not evaluation software at all, but is in fact a full
    version (without any time limits) that is licensed for acadmic use by
    confirmed members of Faculty Connection. When I download software from this
    site, in most cases (and in this specific case), an activation key is
    generated by the web site which is supposed to be used when the software is
    installed. For all other software that I've downloaded from this site, the
    activation key that's generated works and is asked for during installation.
    But Windows Server 2008 is the only one that doesn't even ask for the
    activation key. I contacted the help folks at Faculty Connection, and after
    several days, they directed me to call MS support about it. But I thought
    I'd check here first, since I can't imagine I'm the only one who has run into
    this issue.

    According to Faculty Connection, the key provided (which is never asked for
    during the install or after) is supposed to provide full, unlimited,
    non-timing-out access to the software. It seems true in all cases except
    this one.
    kg1, Jul 25, 2009
  4. KG,
    Asking or not asking for the key at install is just a question of whether it
    has a trial key or not. Even when it asks for a key you don't need to supply
    it. It is not significant in whether your key works. All 2008 "media"
    versions are the same, and you can change between any type of key.
    If you provide a key to activate that you think is supposed to work and it
    fails you really can only ask MS Licensing to resolve it,
    Hope that helps,
    Anthony [MVP], Jul 25, 2009
  5. kg1

    kg1 Guest

    Okay, thanks for the advice. I was operating under the assumption (based on
    what the Faculty Connection people told me via e-mail and what it says on
    their download page) that the Faculty Connection disc ISO download for this
    product was set up to require the supplied activation code during install.
    This is clearly not the case. I will follow up with MS to resolve. Thanks
    again for your input and for your patience.
    kg1, Jul 26, 2009
  6. kg1

    kg1 Guest

    I have the resolution of this issue, in case anyone else is having similar
    problems activating the Faculty Connection version of Windows Server 2008

    It turns out that the activation key supplied at download will only work if
    you've installed Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition. If you're
    installing Standard Edition, you need to obtain a different key. Microsoft
    Support supplied the Standard key for me, after they figured out why the
    Facutly Connection supplied key wouldn't work. It appears that Faculty
    Connection also has a key available for Standard Edition, if you ask them for

    Also note that, if you've installed Datacenter Edition from this disc image,
    (at the time of this writing, 7/26/09) neither Microsoft Support nor Faculty
    Connection will supply an activation key for it. So, your choices are
    Enterprise Edition (using the key supplied at download time after you've
    installed), Standard Edition (using a different key, supplied by Support or
    by Faculty Connection by contacting them), or Datacenter Edition (which will
    not activate and will time out in 60 days).

    Hope this helps.
    kg1, Jul 29, 2009
  7. Anthony [MVP], Jul 29, 2009
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