Windows Server 2012 R2 Activation RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have just set up a number of Windows Server 2012 R2 VMs.  They all are prompting me for Activation.  What should I do?

    If I can ignore it how can I make the prompt go away?


    Andy Smith

    Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:49 AM


All replies

  • Are you using a Datacenter R2 edition Host? If so is that activated?

    Have a look at this - http://blogs.technet.com/b/supportingwindows/archive/2013/11/13/activating-virtual-machines-via-automatic-virtual-machine-activation-in-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx - it explains a new method of activating R2 VMs

    Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:54 AM
  • Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for the quick response.  The article is spot on in so far as it describes what should happen but I don't see any instructions where there is a failure of this process.

    I checked the event log and found the following:

                 License Activation (slui.exe) failed with the following error code:


                 Command-line arguments:

    Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:03 AM
  • So is that message from the host or the guest?

    Thursday, December 5, 2013 4:07 PM
  • I am running the Windows Server 2012 R2 instances as VMs on Azure.  This same message is to be found in the event log of all guests.

    To me it seems as if it is a config issue with the VMs being created by Azure.  If this is the case it would be helpful if someone from Microsoft could offer a suggestion as to what needs patching to make this work.



    Thursday, December 5, 2013 4:35 PM
  • hi Andy, 

    Did you make sure your command-line is right? I guess your input arguments may have some thing wrong.

    Please try those steps:


    Whilst this is not obvious, this is caused by having the wrong product key.

    In my case I had installed Windows 2012 server  and had not yet entered a product key. On the Windows Activation screen it showed:

    Windows isn't activated

    Current edition
    Windows Server 2012 Standard

    Current product key

    Why a meaningful error couldn't be displayed or the option provided to change the product key, I don't know.


    The solution is simply to enter a new or correct product key and try activating again.

    There are two ways to enter (or change) the product key, use whichever you are most comfortable with:

    1. Use  Windows Activation Tool:
      1. Click the "Start" button until the Start screen is shown.
      2. Type "slui.exe 0x3" (without the quotes)
      3. This should bring up the search box and you should see "slui.exe 0x03" highlighted on the left in a box - click that box.
      4. A dialog box should now display titled "Windows Activation". Enter your server product key there, and you should then be able to activate windows from that dialog.
    2. Use Software Licensing Manager Tool:
      1. Run "Command Prompt" using "Run as administrator".
      2. In the command prompt box enter:
        slmgr -upk
        and press return. You should then see a box titled "Windows Script Host" and containing the message "Uninstalled product key successfully."
      3. Now that the previous product key has been removed you can enter a new product key, so in the same command prompt box enter:
        slmgr -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
        inserting your product key in the above.
      4. You will then need to go back to Windows Activation to activate windows.
      5. Enter:
        and press return to bring up the Windows activation dialog, from where you should now be able to activate windows.

    Also, you could refer to this:




    • Edited by Billgiee Friday, December 6, 2013 1:48 AM
    Friday, December 6, 2013 1:46 AM
  • Hello Andy,

    This usually happens when new VIPs are added to the data center, which are not yet added to the activation server whitelist.

    If you need to activate this VM as soon as possible, you can recreate it in a different cloud service so it gets a different virtual IP (VIP).


    This posting is provided AS IS, with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Friday, December 6, 2013 5:29 AM
  • Sorry have I missed something?

    Why given the VM in question is a guest instance would I ever ever have to enter a product key?

    Friday, December 6, 2013 8:50 AM
  • Ok.  So are you saying this will go away when the left arm catches up with the right arm - so to speak?
    Friday, December 6, 2013 8:51 AM
  • Hi Andy,

    Thanks for posting!

    I guess some tutorial may help you to active the VM,pleaes refer to this document:http://mythoughtsonit.com/2013/11/automatic-virtual-machine-activation-step-by-step/ and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn303421.aspx.

    Please try it.



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    Wednesday, December 18, 2013 11:28 AM