KMS Troubleshooting

Time Synchronization is Critical

KMS Activation will not occur if the system time on the client computer varies too much from the time on  kms.ncsu.edu.   Official NC State University time can be found at:  http://time.ncsu.edu/

Check DNS for KMS SRV records

The check if a particular DNS domain has been configured for KMS, enter the following command:

For example, here is the output when checking the wolftech.ad.ncsu.edu domain:

This result indicates that the _vlmcs record exists, and is set to kms1.oit.ncsu.edu

Checking A Computer’s License And Activation Configuration

You can display the computer’s license and activation configuration with the following command:

The output for a computer that has been successfully activated looks like this:

Pay particular attention to the lines in bold. The output above shows that the computer was successfully activated and that it found the KMS service via DNS.

Convert from MS Vista, Retail Channel to MS Vista, VOLUME_KMSCLIENT Channel

If upon issuing the command:  cscript slmgr.vbs -dli    you see the following:

you need to convert the client setup key from Vista, Retail to Vista, VOLUME_KMSCLIENT if you wish to use KMS to activate the system.

To do so, enter the following commands after opening a command prompt with the “Run as administrator” option.

  • c\windows\system32\cscript.exe slmgr.vbs -ipk YFKBB-PQJJV-G996G-VWGXY-2V3X8
  • c\windows\system32\cscript.exe slmgr.vbs -skms kms.ncsu.edu
  • c\windows\system32\cscript.exe slmgr.vbs -ato

For MS Windows 7 Enterprise edition, use the key:  33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH

Other client setup keys can be found in the Microsoft document section:  KMS Client Setup Keys

KMS Server Not Appearing In SLMGR.VBS Output

You may not see the KMS server in the slmgr.vbs -dli output as shown above.  Instead, the output will look something like this:

C:\Windows\system32>cscript slmgr.vbs -dli
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Name: Windows(TM) Vista, Enterprise edition
Description: Windows Operating System – Vista, VOLUME_KMSCLIENT channel
Partial Product Key: 4BWMV
License Status: Licensed
Volume activation expiration: 259199 minute(s) (179 day(s))

Key Management Service client information
Client Machine ID (CMID): 6c50254c-9636-4ed3-bbe7-365905a39a57
DNS auto-discovery: KMS name not available
KMS machine extended PID: 55041-00142-026-826687-03-1033-6000.0000-3472006
Activation interval: 120 minutes
Renewal interval: 10080 minutes

Using an account with Vista’s User Account Control Admin Approval Mode disabled causes the KMS name to appear.  By default, all Vista accounts except the built in Administrator account have Admin Approval Mode enabled.  This includes accounts that are members of the Administrators group.

To see the KMS server name, you can either use the built in Administrator account or disable Admin Approval Mode for members of the Administrators group.

By default, the built in Administrator account does not have a password set and is disabled.  You will need to set a password, enable the account, and then log on using the account.

The other method is to disable Admin Approval Mode for members of the Administrators group by performing the following steps (you could also apply a group policy):

  • Open the Control Panel
  • Switch to Classic View
  • Open Administrative Tools
  • Open Local Security Policy
  • Navigate to Local Policies > Security Options
  • Double-click on User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode
  • Set it to Disabled
  • Reboot
  • Log on with an account that is a member of the Administrators group

 

Update Frequency

Upon initial activation from the KMS server, the activation is valid for 180 days.  Activation renewal operates as a sliding window. Seven days after the activation, the KMS clients will, again, check in with the KMS host.  If the client successfully contacts the KMS host, the activation is renewed for another 180 days. If 180 days pass without successful reactivation the KMS client falls into “Notification mode”.