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Incorrect Product Key while trying to activate Windows Home Server 2011 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Downloaded from TechNet, Windows Home Server 2011. Also got 2 products keys for WHS2011 at the same time.

    Installed WHS2011 without entering product key. After installation, successfully ran all updates. Tried to "activate" WHS2011 via internet but received incorrect product key error. Tried other product key with the same results. (Neither had been used before).  The saga (and my rant) begins:

    • Called activation phone number. They sent me to TechNet.
    • TechNet checked both product keys and both are valid.
    • Called activation again. They sent me to support.
    • Spent 1.5 hours and talked to 5 people only to get to Level 2 Support's gatekeeper. She would not put me through to tech support. Repeatedly tried to pass support ownership (OEM product? No; Retail product? No; Where did you get the product? TechNet; Where did you get the product? TechNet; etc.). I repeatedly reminded her that this WAS a Microsoft Activation Issue (who else can handle an activation issue?).  I believe the issue was WHO was going to pay for the support call and whether it should be home or corporate support. OH, and by the way, I asked for support id/case id from each agent only to be told that the next agent would create one. The Gatekeeper said they would create one and then call me back. 
    • For the record, I have sold and supported Microsoft products for 25 years. I have never had a significant issue with activation. 

    Rant done! Anyone, have any ideas? Run the repair disk? Regedit? Any other way to activate this product?

    I hesitate to recommend a product that: 1) I can't activate, 2) Microsoft does not want to support.

    A perfect song for this experience: http://youtu.be/ElLpKewnxp4

    Friday, May 18, 2012 1:48 AM

All replies

  • Try this:

    Click Start, click Run, type SLUI 04, and then click OK and follow the prompts.
    Ensure Time Zone and Date/Time are correct.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <P119> wrote in message news:55d9369b-f717-45a5-9db1-295482c75dfd@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
    : Downloaded from TechNet, Windows Home Server 2011. Also got 2 products keys for WHS2011 at the same time.
    :
    : Installed WHS2011 without entering product key. After installation, successfully ran all updates. Tried to "activate" WHS2011 via internet but received incorrect product key error. Tried other product key with the same results. (Neither had been used before). The saga (and my rant) begins:
    :
    : * Called activation phone number. They sent me to TechNet.
    : * TechNet checked both product keys and both are valid.
    : * Called activation again. They sent me to support.
    : * Spent 1.5 hours and talked to 5 people only to get to Level 2 Support's gatekeeper. She would not put me through to tech support. Repeatedly tried to pass support ownership (OEM product? No; Retail product? No; Where did you get the product? TechNet; Where did you get the product? TechNet; etc.). I repeatedly reminded her that this WAS a Microsoft Activation Issue (who else can handle an activation issue?). I believe the issue was WHO was going to pay for the support call and whether it should be home or corporate support. OH, and by the way, I asked for support id/case id from each agent only to be told that the next agent would create one. The Gatekeeper said they would create one and then call me back.
    : * For the record, I have sold and supported Microsoft products for 25 years. I have never had a significant issue with activation.
    :
    : Rant done! Anyone, have any ideas? Run the repair disk? Regedit? Any other way to activate this product?
    :
    : I hesitate to recommend a product that: 1) I can't activate, 2) Microsoft does not want to support.
    :
    : A perfect song for this experience: http://youtu.be/ElLpKewnxp4
    :


    BullDawg
    Friday, May 18, 2012 2:27 AM
  • Hi,

    I think you could run the following command in the command prompt with evaluated rights:

    Slmgr /dlv
    Slmgr /dli

    Please post back the snapshot here to get further analysis.

    At the same time, please run the following command to activate your Windows Home Server:

    Slmgr /ipk <Product_Key>
    Slmgr /ato

    Then you could verify whether the activation is successful or not. If you received any errors or warnings, please post here.

    Note: Please make sure that your server is Internet Connected.

    Regards,
    James


    James Xiong

    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, May 18, 2012 9:00 AM
  • UPDATE:

    After 4 hours on the phone and 8 agents, Microsoft determined that I have an OEM version of WHS 2011 and that my TechNet product keys will not activate this version. The CATCH 22 experience is that Microsoft does not have a non-OEM version (that I can find). Therefore, the TechNet product keys will not activate the TechNet downloaded version of WHS 2011...

    One tech tried issuing a new product key that was linked to the ECS motherboard I am using. I believe it failed to activate since it is a generic server that uses ECS motherboard without any special OEM partitions/configurations. Does the activation try to poke the ROM to get this information? That would be the only validation available for an OEM validation. 

    I found a link to a Microsoft tool that allows pre-configuration of OEM server versions. Is there a way to use a tool to let the WHS2011 software know what OEM configuration I have?

    Any other ideas???

    Friday, May 18, 2012 2:31 PM
  • Thanks for your response. I tried to follow your instructions, but was not totally clear on your suggestion. I tried entering your first line (Slmgr /div) both under (Start,RUN) and under a (CMD.EXE) window. Neither way was recognized as a valid command/program.

    I updated my posting. The WHS 2011 version I downloaded from TechNet is an OEM version. The TechNet product keys are valid but fail during the OEM validation. In my research, I do not believe Microsoft offers a traditional version (non-OEM version). A support tech offered a new product key supposedly "tied" to my ECS motherboard but it failed to activate also.

    Any ideas?

    Friday, May 18, 2012 2:41 PM
  • I tried your suggestion but WHS 2011 did not recognize SLUI 04 as a valid command in either the (Start/Run) command line or in a (CMD.Exe) window.

    I updated my posting. The WHS 2011 version I downloaded from TechNet is an OEM version. The TechNet product keys are valid but fail during the OEM validation. In my research, I do not believe Microsoft offers a traditional version (non-OEM version). A support tech offered a new product key supposedly "tied" to my ECS motherboard but it failed to activate also.

    Any ideas?

    Friday, May 18, 2012 2:44 PM
  • Okay, something isn't right.  I don't have my WHS2011 test box up, but my WHS 2011 was also a TechNet download and was activated with a TechNet key. However, my keys state Retail and not OEM.  My keys were issued on April 5, 2011.  I have only activated one.

    Did you verify the SHA1 checksum of the download that appears on the TechNet Subscriber Download Page?

    How to verify the SHA1 checksum:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/841290

    To run checksum verifier in Win 7, run it in XP compatibility mode.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <P119> wrote in message news:abc5236d-4817-4a82-9a4c-8e021cc52485@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
    : UPDATE:
    :
    : After 4 hours on the phone and 8 agents, Microsoft determined that I have an OEM version of WHS 2011 and that my TechNet product keys will not activate this version. The CATCH 22 experience is that Microsoft does not have a non-OEM version (that I can find). Therefore, the TechNet product keys will not activate the TechNet downloaded version of WHS 2011...
    :
    : One tech tried issuing a new product key that was linked to the ECS motherboard I am using. I believe it failed to activate since it is a generic server that uses ECS motherboard without any special OEM partitions/configurations. Does the activation try to poke the ROM to get this information? That would be the only validation available for an OEM validation.
    :
    : I found a link to a Microsoft tool that allows pre-configuration of OEM server versions. Is there a way to use a tool to let the WHS2011 software know what OEM configuration I have?
    :
    : Any other ideas???
    :


    BullDawg
    Friday, May 18, 2012 3:24 PM