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.
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.
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