Microsoft Office volume license editions have used the Volume License 2.0 mechanism to manage activation since Office 2010. Microsoft Office will activate against our campus Key Management Service (KMS), without user intervention, in a manner similar to the way current versions of Windows activate.
Occasionally, the activation process doesn’t work. Problems are usually related to network communication with the KMS. Below are some steps to identify and resolve problems that might occur during activation.
Gathering data is essential to fixing problems. If you ask me (or other IT staff) for help with Office activation, the first thing I will ask from you is the output of the commands in the steps below.
There are a few steps that will make it easy to collect all the output of your troubleshooting steps.
- Open an elevated Command Prompt (Run As Administrator)
- Run cscript /h:cscript, which changes the default script host to cscript, so that output will go to the command prompt instead of a pop-up dialog box.
- Change the Properties of the command prompt window to increase the Screen Buffer
height to, say, 3000 lines. This will prevent you losing earlier steps as the lines scroll off the screen.
When you are ready to copy the text from the command prompt, right-click the title bar of the window, select Edit > Select All, and then Control-C to Copy the text to the clipboard. Then you can paste the text to any place you want; an email message, a footprint entry, or a text file in notepad. (No need for images pasted into Word documents; please no!)
[UPDATE: Removed Vista info. instead of troubleshooting Vista, upgrade it. Added Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 info.]
Here are some troubleshooting steps — for my future reference as much as anyone else’s — for for gathering information for diagnosing and resolving Windows KMS client activation issues.
Quick Fix: Try this first!
Most Windows activation issues I’ve encountered are resolved by entering the appropriate product key (not a secret; see footnote):
|Windows 7 Enterprise Volume:
|Windows 8 Enterprise Volume:
|Windows 8.1 Enterprise Volume:
|Windows 10 Enterprise Volume:
Enter the code above and attempt to reactivate. If it works, you should be all set. If it doesn’t, the following steps will help identify the issue.
Gathering data is essential to fixing problems. If you ask me (or other IT staff) for help with Windows activation, the first thing I will ask from you is the output of the commands below.
I recommend opening a text editor and copying all the commands and output into a file, which you can send to us if you need additional help resolving the activation issue.
NOTE: All these steps require running commands from a console window (cmd.exe), which you may need to run As Administrator. These commands work in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
1. Run ipconfig /all to capture current IP configuration information.
This could tell us whether the system is in a netreg-ed subnet and needs to register at http://netreg.uvm.edu, or if there are other basic network configuration problems. We really just need the Ethernet adapter, assuming that’s what is being used to connect the system to the network. We don’t need all the additional tunneling adapters, etc. If someone is using a wireless adapter, possibly with the VPN client, then info about those adapters also should be captured.