Some Microsoft customers started to report activation issues that they experienced on Windows 7 devices on January 8, 2019, after installation of the latest security updates for the operating system.
Microsoft updated the list of known issues quickly to highlight the issue but did not provide explanation other than that.
Administrators had to find a way to work around the issue elsewhere, and the article that we published here on this site helped several administrators.
Microsoft published a new support article, KB4487266, on January 10, 2019 that explains the activation issue and provides a solution to fix it.
Microsoft confirmed the activation issue on Windows 7 KMS clients that have the update KB971033 installed. The issue started on January 8, 2019 at 10:00 UTC and lasted until January 9, 2019 when Microsoft "reverted a change" that it made to Microsoft Activation and Validation servers.
Microsoft made a change to Microsoft Activation and Validation that caused the activation issue on Windows 7 KMS devices. Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise editions were affected by the issue (and probably any other edition using Key Management Service activation).
Microsoft notes that the issue was not caused by the release of security updates for Windows 7 in January 2019.
Systems displayed a "Windows is not genuine" error message after log on and enforced non-genuine changes to the system; in particular, a notification on the desktop that the copy of Windows is not genuine and the enforcing of a black desktop background.
The command slmgr /dlv, a command to display detailed license information, displays the error code 0xC004F200 in the output when run. Similarly, attempts to activate using slmgr /ato fail with the error message "Windows is running within the non-genuine notification period. Run ‘slui.exe’ to go online and validate Windows".
Administrators may find the following events in the Event log:
Microsoft published a resolution to fix the issue on devices that still show up as non genuine. The company recommends that administrators remove KB971033 from affected devices and run the following commands if that is the case:
wusa /uninstall /kb:971033
The edition specific KMS keys are:
|Operating system edition||KMS Client Setup Key|
|Windows 7 Professional||FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4|
|Windows 7 Professional N||MRPKT-YTG23-K7D7T-X2JMM-QY7MG|
|Windows 7 Professional E||W82YF-2Q76Y-63HXB-FGJG9-GF7QX|
|Windows 7 Enterprise||33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH|
|Windows 7 Enterprise N||YDRBP-3D83W-TY26F-D46B2-XCKRJ|
|Windows 7 Enterprise E|
Administrators who have not resolved the issue until now can do so using Microsoft's fix. It is puzzling that something that major could remain undetected. (via Born)
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.