0xc004f074 error when activating Windows7 KMS on Server 2008

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For a small client I was installing  a new KMS server on their Windows 2008 domain controller last night. They have around 25 VDI Windows 7 clients running with MAK keys and I wanted to change this to KMS as a recompose of the desktops would count activations and they would eventually stop activating.

I installed the KMS Server following this how-to, activated the other Windows 2008 servers first with the KMS client keys. All going well and according to plan.

When I was trying to activate the Windows 7 desktop error 0xc004f074 was given. (Could not communicate with the KMS Server) Searching the internet I found a lot of articles about this error. The steps I took trying to resolve the particular error:

1. I installed update KB968912 on the Windows 2008 KMS server.  Restarted the server.
2. Check if your W7 system time is different. The KMS client and KMS host must be in sync. You can run the command: w32m /resync to sync the time on the client.
3. You may also have the same problems when you insert the wrong KMS setup client key. Please ensure that the KMS setup client key for Windows 7 Professional is:

This post described exactly the problem I had… figuring the KMS key was not valid? Had a long call with Microsoft with them telling me I had to buy $299,00 support. No sorry thanks a lot. but they validated my KMS key and found it active.

The next day I figured to check the services on the Windows 7 machine… I noticed the Windows Activation Service was set to manual… checked it with  my desktop machine, this is normal… ok


let’s just start it and see what happens… now it activates and gives me the following notice:image
That looks better… question remains: Why do I have to start the service to get it working???

For some issues you can search for hours and hours and eventually you will find it.
Error messaging within Microsoft Software is not always what I would like to see…