Important foot note: Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016 requires a new KMS host key

This posting is ~4 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

Today, I have stumbled upon a fact that is worth being documented.

TL;DR: Use the “Windows Srv 2016 DataCtr/Std KMS” host key (CSVLK), if you want to activate Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016 using KMS. Or use AD-based activation. For more information read the blog post of the Ask the Core Team: Windows Server 2016 Volume Activation Tips.

A customer wants to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016. A Windows Server 2012 R2 is acting as KMS host, and successfully activates Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus. The “Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10” CSVLK was successfully installed. Nevertheless, the “current count” value does not increase. The client logged the event 12288:

The client has sent an activation request to the key management service machine.

0xC004F042, 0x00000000, kms.domain.tld:1688, eda39663-0611-4906-b443-47e937c969d5, 2016/11/29 12:49, 0, 5, 0, 2d5a5a60-3040-48bf-beb0-fcd770c20ce0, 25

On the server-side, I found the event 12290:

Description: An activation request has been processed.

0xC004F042,25,client.domain.tld,07c496ea-1a4e-487e-8668-38eff198dd97,2016/11/29 10:50,0,5,0,2d5a5a60-3040-48bf-beb0-fcd770c20ce0

Error 0xC004F042 means:

The Software Protection Service determined that the specified Key Management Service (KMS) cannot be used.

It took a time to find the root cause, because I knew that Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2015 can successfully activated with this key. At the end it’s a question of the right search terms… Finally, I found the Ask the Core Team blog post. With the rightkey, the “current count” value increased, and finally the deployed Windows 10 Enterprise VMs were successfully activated.

Patrick Terlisten
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4 thoughts on “Important foot note: Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016 requires a new KMS host key

  1. Daniel Fenn

    I emailed VLSC to get a “Windows Srv 2016 DataCtr/Std KMS” key so that we could activate Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB using our windows server 2012R2 server as the host and I got this reply:

    “Daniel, I will not be able to provide you a Windows Srv 2016 DataCtr/Std KMS because your license (OLP id removed) is only entitled for the Windows Server 2012 R2 version. You may verify this information in the VLSC under Licenses > Relationship Summary where you will find your license details.”

    Are we screwed over?

      1. Daniel Fenn

        We did have SA but it ran out. I just found that I can set up one of our win 10 machines to be a KMS host so I will do that as a work around.

  2. Pingback: Important foot note: Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016/LTSC 2004 requires a new KMS host key | @RandomGrep

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