Upgrading your current KMS Server (Server 2008 R2) to support Windows 8 and Server 2012 activation

If you’re in an enterprise environment, chances are that you have a KMS server running (usually either Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2).  So now that Windows 8 and Server 2012 has hit VLSC for SA customers you’ll most likely want to begin testing and performing pilot deployments but we need to get our Key Management Server to accept these new clients.  If you have tried to activate your KMS keys with existing KMS hosts you will receive the following error message:

Error: 0xC004F050 The Software Licensing Service reported that the product 
key is invalid.

Thankfully for us, Microsoft has released an update that will upgrade Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 KMS Hosts to support Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, you can view the KB article by clicking here (KB2691586).  You will need to request the hotfix from the KB.  Once downloaded, open up an elevated command prompt and execute the update (which acts as a windows update package).  When it finishes installing you will need to restart your server.

Now that our server is back up, we need to replace the KMS Host key with one for 2012 or Windows 8.  Open an elevated command prompt and enter slmgr.vbs /upk which will show us Uninstalled product key successfully when complete.  Now we install our new key with slmgr.vbs /ipk product-key-here

You should now be presented with a product activated successfully window.  You can also run
slmgr.vbs /dlv and under description you should see VOLUME_KMS_2012.  Now you can start to activate your new Windows 8 and Server 2012 clients.

24 thoughts to “Upgrading your current KMS Server (Server 2008 R2) to support Windows 8 and Server 2012 activation”

    1. Hi Sandy. Yes the key should support Windows 7and Server 2012. Like previous versions of KMS, the Server keys will activate both clients and servers. So you would add your Server 2012 key to activate them all.

  1. Hello,
    i have just a KMS Host key with one for Windows 8.

    My KMS server is a Server 2008 R2 and when i install the new key , the key is refused.

      1. I would assume that Antony is having the same error message that I am having since I am in the same situation. (We have Windows Server 2008 R2 as our KMS host but don’t have a Server 2012 license. We also have a Windows 8 license and would like that activated through the same KMS host.)
        The error code I get is: 0xC004F015
        From what I found, it looks like we would need a Server 2012 KMS key for the Server 2008 R2 KMS host to activate both Server 2008 R2 and Windows 8. Hopefully I am wrong on this?

        1. Hi Martel. You are correct. The Server KMS Host keys will activate both client and server operating systems. So a KMS Host key for Windows 8 will only activate Windows 8 and not Server 2012 and can’t be installed on a 2012 host. You can have a Windows 8 machine act as a KMS Host in this case.

  2. Which type KMS host is required to activate KMS HOST to support windows8 and windows server 2012.

    is it windows server 2012 KMS Type B key? or

    is it windows server 2012 KMS Type C key? or
    is it windows server 2012 KMS only?

    becuase in our license only one type kms key listed and that is Windows Srv 2012 DataCtr/Std KMS.

  3. hello,

    you may need to run:

    cscript %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

    to activate the server. When replacing my key the Server did not activate until this was ran, leaving the default 30 DAY LIC. period.

    1. Trevor, the server would eventually activate with the key you install. This would just for it to activate then and there…Better to be sure I guess.

  4. You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for additional information
    about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views
    on this website.

  5. Hi Guys,

    I just want to confirm one thing , we have a KMS server in the environment which is supported for windows 7 and office 2010 only now windows server 2008, now as we have windows 8.1 and office 2013 in envoriment we need to upgrade the existing KMS server to Support windows 8.1 and Office 2013 only including windows 7 and office 2010, what will be the best practice to do so.

    looking forward any comments on this.


    1. Hi Bilal.
      We’ve moved to Active Directory Activation for these versions, Only requirement are a 2012 domain controller.

  6. Hello,

    I am in need to get Windows 2008 R2 KMS server to activate Windows 8 and Windows 2012. I un-installed the current 2008 key, I have applied the require hotfix and installed the new 2012 key. Now the server is reporting that Windows is not activated.

    Any help in getting this working….Thanks

  7. Hi Everyone,

    Can you please let me know , that can i host KMS Server on windows 7 Enterprise to activate Windows server 2008 and windows server 2012 all version with Office 2010 and office 2013 , on my current KMS server which is hosted on windows 7 , i am serving for windows 8.1 and windows 7 and office 2010 and office 2013 Professional version.

    Looking for best soluation to upgrade my kms server for servers infrastucture.


  8. Hello,
    im trying to setup kms host for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 in Windows Server 2012 but I am getting Error: 0xC004F050 The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid.

  9. Hello, I read your description of the issues and also went to the table to verify your point. From my understanding I cannot install my KMS license with my current configuration Im guessing. I have Windows 2008 R2 Standard and I want to install a Windows 8.1 KMS. It dos not matter how many patches I have downloaded and hot fix, I cannot seem to make it work. Do I need to upgrade to Windows Server 2012. I do not know what to do. HELP! I have done tons of research on this and it seems yours the closes to an answer.

    1. Hi Isha, you need to use a KMS Host key for Server 2012 as you are on Server edition. Once you install the update it should allow you to install the key, which will active both server and client editions.

  10. 2012? I am confused, I have Windows 2008 R2 on my server that I want to use as a host. So that means I have to upgrade my server to 2012 in order to used the key for Windows 8.1 that I received? My clients will be Windows 8.1.
    Sorry if Im not being clear but that confused me a bit more.

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