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Greg Black
New Contributor

i Have tried both Standard and Datacenter product keys and get errors with both

75 Replies

Hi Greg, based on the information we have, we are unable to replicate the issue you are experiencing.  Can you tell us what build/source the running desktop (upgrading from) is, and what build/OS you are attempting to upgrade to?

 

thanks,
Brent

Solution

Did you install, choose NOT to enter the product key, then after the install was done, try to enter and activate the key?  if so, that does not appear to work.  I ran into the same issue on 2 of my 2019 servers.  I wiped them out and this time entered the key during install, and it successfully activated.  if I were to guess, they made something in the install to take into account these testing keys, but the Activation function within Settings, has not been updated to reflect that, so it thinks you are activating a live version of Windows, and that is not a valid key there.  That is entirely a guess on my part.  I didn't bother running a wireshark or anything to see what kind of response I was getting when trying to activate from Settings.

 

Just as an FYI, based on the earlier response, the 2 machines I was seeing this issue on, were not upgrades, they were brand new installs on a blank hard drive.  I have not gotten around to trying the in-place upgrade yet.  I don't know if this will help your situation, but I can say that I saw exactly what you were describing, and if you enter the key during the actual install, it appears to work.  I have not looked into the release notes to see if there is something that says Activation from Settings is not set up to work yet.

 

Sorry, I didn't see you had a screenshot attached.  I can't explain why it fails for you during the actual install.  That was the only way I could make it work.  Hopefully you will get some kind of answer.

 

Thanks, Gregory.  That's exactly what I did wrong.

 

See ya on the OTHER side of my re-installation!  LOL.

 

Dave

 

I also installed it without entering any key. At the moment I have not had any problem. How much time do I have to enter a key? Is it only possible to validate it by reinstalling the system?

I got the "Windows Not Activated" logo no the screen after about half an hour.

 

So I followed Gregory's advice above and reinstalled, this time putting in the key as part of the install job.  So far, I haven't got the Activation logo after 24 hours straight running.

 

As to your question, there is an old adage here in Alabama that goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." 

 

I don't think you I should tell you what to do, since you aren't getting the issue I and others had, no? :)

 

Dave

I got it to work on a clean install. The only issue I have now is get .Net 3.5 to install

I find it strange that I did not show that logo, so I asked. I've been around for 3 days and for now nothing. I guess that soon I'll have that logo and I do not want to make much progress and do it all over again.

So I think I'll reinstall.

Thanks for the tips

Thanks Gregory .. wondered why the activation wasn't working. Blew the machine away and reinstalled and now working.

I have the same exact issue, but I have already installed twice now and not so thrilled that I may need to do it a 3rd time. I have ALWAYS installed windows by passing the key during install and just using my 10 Pro key from within settings. THAT has always worked for me on Windows 10 Pro.

So why that same exact thing doesnt work here is just crazy. It does however recognize that it is a Insider Build 17713 and it seems to run great. I just wish it would let me sign into my Microsoft account somewhere or at least let me Activate it using the Standard key that was given to everyone. I can't even find a Feedback Hub to give feedback as it tells me I need to install it. Jeez

Oh well... I should have just dumped Server and used Ubuntu Server, that is soooooooo much easier.

Rod

I had Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview Build 17692 installed and activated on my SRV. Just downloaded the Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview Build 17713 ISO - mounted it, end started an update. Everything went good, but now, the OS isnt activated. 

 

Windows activation not working. If i reenter the serial, the activation fails too.

I have the same exact problem :(

Hi Folks,

We apologize for the frustration this has been causing.  We have several bugs opened and are working through these.  Here is a possible solution in the meantime.  Since it is difficult to tell exact steps from this thread, here is our repro and workaround.  Step #6 is the workaround.  Hope this helps.

 

  1. Install RS_PRERELEASE 17692 (Standard Full)
  2. Mount RS5_RELEASE 17713 ISO
  3. Upgrade 17692 to 17713 (Standard Full)
  4. After upgrade check two issues that should repro.
    1. On the desktop there is no watermark for OS is not licensed
    2. When running from a command prompt, cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /dlv – OS shows as not licensed
  5. Try to activate from UI: Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation -> Activate
    1. This will error saying product key is not valid
  6. From a command prompt use cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <product_key>
    1. OS should activate
I have jumped staright to step 6., and OS activated now. Thanks for the solution!
Worked for me! Thank you so much, Brent!

Also, the issue is now fixed in 17723, so workaround should not be necessary.  Sorry, the workaround and fix came out at the same time but glad we are getting this covered for you!

Sadly, its too late now, I have already gone back to Server 2016 and probably not going to install 2019 until its time to retire 2016 in a few years. Glad they got the issue fixed though.

Thanks for the feedback, Rod.  And thanks for participating in the Insider program!

Brent you just saved me hours of re-installations... Thanks so much!

Works great!

Thank you Brent for the punctual solution

Thanks Brent. Just doing STEP 6 fixed it for us.

 

This is still an issue after the live release of 2019, October 3rd.

 

2016 Server, activated with KMS or MAK --> In place Upgrade to 2019 --> Cannot activate via the GUI with proper 2019 MAK key --> Perform step 6 above with 'cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk [mak-key]' --> Activated after 10 seconds.

Indeed, makes you wonder about the quality of the product.

Testing seems not a priority anymore. :(

Hi,
I have tried these steps and it does not appear to be working,
Also If I upgrade from 2016 to 2019 should the product key be different? as I got a different key after an upgrade?

Do you know when maybe the issue be resolved in an update?

I am on OS build 17744.1001
Thanks

What error do you get when you open an elevated rights command prompt, and run this:

 

 'cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk [2019-specific-mak-key]'

 

 

Error: 0xC004E016 I get I did an upgrade from 2016 

Stupid question... that error code is indicative to Office, you're not trying to put in your Office key into the command prompt right? You have a MAK key for Windows Server 2019 specifically? It's not the 2016 MAK key, and obviously, not the KMS key.

 

Just making sure.

Folks, a couple things.  In order to upgrade from one version of the OS to another you will need the key to the new OS.  The key from the older version will not activate the newer version.  But moreover, the pre-release keys will not activate this build number and higher.  You will need an WS2019 actual RTM product key to activate.  This is by design.

Oh Ok,

I thought you could do an upgrade for free from my current windows 2016 key 

I think there maybe miscommucation between me and where I got the key from as they said I could upgrade from server 2016 to 2019 using the same key.

 

 

Like windows 7 you could free upgrade to 10

Go and punch whatever vendor said that in the teeth.

Will Do :)

 

Will have to restore to server 2016 then.

Well, you could upgrade on earlier builds with the pre-release keys, so they acted as the key to the new version of the OS.  But use of these keys of evaluation of Insider builds of WS 2019 has been discontinued.

I also ran step 6 in Powershell as Admin and it worked great.  Make sure to have dashes in tyour product key, and take out the carrots (< and>).  Thanks a lot!

Step 6 worked for me as well! 

So,  late to the game, but glad I was. May 13, and many moons later to find that the command line is still king, but the kingdom won't allow the masses to pay/activate their secret boxes so easily? Still waiting on 2019? Maybe in hindsight, 2020 would be an appropriate adoption year;)

I successfully completed step 6 in Powershell elevated as Administrator. Thank you!

Capture.JPG

The best solution, thanks for your help!

Step 6 does not work for me now. When I try to register the AVMA key, I receive the error:

Error: 0x80070490 Element not found (SWbemObjectEx)

 

I am trying to activate a Server 2019 standard core on a Server 2019 HyperV datacenter. I was able to activate other VMs.

 

slmgr.vbs /dlv output:

Bildschirmfoto 2019-01-14 um 10.13.40.png

Just found out that despite the "Element not found" error message, the key was accepted and the activation proceeded.

The following commands worked for me

 

Run an elevated command prompt

 

slmgr /upk

slmgr /ipk <your MAK here>

slmgr /ato

 

 

So apparently this is still an issue? 

I had to run the command line activation in order to use my product key or they came up as invalid. Thanks for providing the work around! 

Step 6 works wunderfull. Thank you very much.

So far this is the best information I've found on this specific issue. So I wanted to post my update here.

 

I was able to follow step 6 and use slmgr to activate Windows as of 2-5-19. However, today I am getting a new error from that command line step that is preventing activation.

 

Error: 0xC004F069 On a computer running Microsoft Windows non-core edition, run 'slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004F4069' to display the error

 

slui output: Code:0xC004F069 Description: The Software Licensing Service reported that the product SKU is not found.

 

I've tried using all of our MAK keys, including the new one that was purchased last week.

What build are you using?  If it is pre-release, they may have all expired.

Still an issue on a retail purchased license. Come on Microsoft! Cmd line allowed me to activate.

Chris, is the issue you are hitting related to AVMA?  Is it the retail key that is giving an error during setup of the OS on the host? or is this the AVMA key being used in the guest VM?  Are these both using the GA bits of Server 2019 or pre-release?  There are a few issues discussed on this particular thread is why I ask.  Thanks.

Thanks, this worked for me as well.

What did not work is entering the key during install (boot from ISO) nor the new 'Settings' application. I was using a key and ISO media directly from the Partner Benefits download site. I have also had Windows 10 LTSB 2018 keys fail. I called MS and they first told me the key wasn't valid, then it was valid after they did some 'digging' on their end. The key never worked again though and I got tired of repeated calls to partner support and used the LTSC 2019 keys/ISO instead.
Solved with Step 6: command - c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <product_key>

Thank you very much.


@Brent Forman wrote:

Hi Folks,

We apologize for the frustration this has been causing.  We have several bugs opened and are working through these.  Here is a possible solution in the meantime.  Since it is difficult to tell exact steps from this thread, here is our repro and workaround.  Step #6 is the workaround.  Hope this helps.

 

  1. Install RS_PRERELEASE 17692 (Standard Full)
  2. Mount RS5_RELEASE 17713 ISO
  3. Upgrade 17692 to 17713 (Standard Full)
  4. After upgrade check two issues that should repro.
    1. On the desktop there is no watermark for OS is not licensed
    2. When running from a command prompt, cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /dlv – OS shows as not licensed
  5. Try to activate from UI: Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation -> Activate
    1. This will error saying product key is not valid
  6. From a command prompt use cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <product_key>
    1. OS should activate


STEP 6 WORKED PERFECTLY.  right after pressing enter got a pop up saying the key was entered correct. The activation window, activation was blank the error was gone.  had to right click the 4 start tiles click file explorer, right click this pc then click properties. in that screen at the bottom says activated.....saved a lot of work. thanks

 

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