Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 – Activation Error 0xC004F074

KB ID 0000766


I jumped on a clients remote desktop services server today and saw;

2012 Needs Activating

However when I went to activate;

Error Code: 0xC004F074

Windows couldn’t be activated
Error Code: 0xC004F074
Error Description:the Software Licensing Service reported that the product could not be activated. No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted. Please see the Application Event Log for additional information.


Out of the box this version of Windows has installed with a KMS Key, that’s fine if you are going to run KMS, here’s how to set it up. But if you want to activate with MAK key or a retail key then you need to manually change it.

1. Press Windows Key+R > cmd {enter} and execute the following command;

slmgr.vbs /ipk 12345-ABCDE-12345-ABCDE-12345

Where 12345-ABCDE-12345-ABCDE-12345 is your MAK or retail key

2012 Change Product Key

2. Now attempt to activate the machine again,

2012 C2012 Sucesfully Activated

Note: You can also activate by running the following command;

slmgr.vbs -ato

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

Windows 8 – Changing the Unlock Code and Activating

Author: Migrated

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