Why do I get an error when trying to activate Windows 8?

Gianna Marie January 4, 2013
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I can’t activate Windows 8 because of an error. The error code is 0xC00F074 and Windows says that:

“the software licensing service reported that the product could not be activated. No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted. Please see the Application event log for additional information.”

I’ve tried everything, how can I activate it?

  1. Achraf Almouloudi
    January 13, 2013 at 4:10 am

    If you purchased an upgrade version licence you will get this error code if you used .iso you made on a clean install. You should use it on top of a previous Windows version in order for it to work.

  2. Mihovil Pletikos
    January 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    it looks like you have enterprise version so either you have pirated version, or something is wrong with kms server in your network - if so contact IT guy and find out what's wrong....

  3. Adam Basha
    January 7, 2013 at 9:26 am

    It seems u are using a pirated version and trying to activate with the kms servers given with the activator. Try using the latest available kms server if your Windows 8 is genuine.

  4. James Bruce
    January 6, 2013 at 10:53 am

    The only reference I can find to this error is in relation to pirate copies of Windows 8 that have used a KMS disabler to prevent activation checks; is this a genuine copy of Windows that you've installed? Or is it from some torrent? Did you perform the install yourself, or did a friend do it for you?

  5. Yiz Borol
    January 6, 2013 at 4:37 am

    If you're using a volume license, but aren't connected to the proper server you'll get an error.
    I know this sounds insulting but could you make sure you've copied down that error code correctly, I can't seem to find anything like that in window's help/support websites.

    If you're having trouble activating windows with your KMS license, use one of these for the time being and then speak to MS when you get the chance. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx

  6. Alan Wade
    January 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    "I’ve tried everything, how can I activate it?"

    Help us to help you, give us a few details.

    What exactly have you tried?
    Which version of Windows 8 is it, upgrade or full product?
    How did you try to activate it?
    Did you enter the key at install, if so did it go through then or was that when you got an error message?

  7. Hayavrey Román
    January 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Hello. Is there a Microsoft Store near you? If so bring them a log of your error. They have very knowledgeable staff. Hope this helps. It is not a direct answer to your question but an assist.

  8. Alan Wade
    January 5, 2013 at 10:16 am

    You said it yourself - "Please see the Application event log for additional information.”
    So what does the event log say?

  9. FIDELIS
    January 5, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Hello, Is this an upgrade? If it is, What version of windows 7 were you using before installing 8?

    I have seen this error pop up when trying to activate windows 8 in a computer running windows 7 that was installed with a volume license.

    For more information and something reported to work with similar issues try the option given in post #2:

    http://techplex.net/postst77391_Unable-to-enter-product-key-or-activate-Windows-8-Enterprise-x64-RTM--Technet.aspx

    In my experience, it is always better to clean install an operating system instead of an upgrade. I know it is not always the best solution but you avoid trouble in the future.

  10. ha14
    January 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    is it an upgrade from windows 7 or you have a full windows 8.

    Why can't I activate Windows?
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/why-activate-windows
    If you see error 0xC004F061 when you try to activate Windows 8, it means that you're using a product key for an upgrade version of Windows 8 and a previous version of Windows wasn't on your PC when Windows 8 was installed. To install an upgrade version of Windows 8, you must already have Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP installed on your PC.

    If you formatted the drive before the upgrade version of Windows 8 was installed, you won't be able to use your upgrade product key to activate Windows 8. To activate Windows 8, you'll need to install your previous version of Windows, and then reinstall Windows 8.

    • James Bruce
      January 6, 2013 at 10:53 am

      That's the the error code though.

      • James Bruce
        January 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

        NOT the error code, i meant

      • ha14
        January 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

        is it because it is OEM version and has to be installed by the manufacturer?

        it is similar problem here the dvd was purchased from a shop
        http://answers.microsoft.com/de-de/windows/forum/windows_8-windows_install/0xc00f074-fehler-bei-aktivierung-win-8-pro/5f5f541b-248d-4e23-a7f3-2229692b3151

        • James Bruce
          January 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

          That's odd, google translate doesnt actually translate the page for me. And I cant read german...

        • ha14
          January 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

          Question
          0xc00f074 error when activated WIN 8 PRO full version (not just UP - date)

          Windows can not activate Windows 8 Pro Full version (not only up-date). Acquired in STEG computer shop. Installed on newly purchased PC. Could be activated, suddenly error message 0xC00F074. Find the error code is not power. Hot-line for days Microsoft unreachable.
          Wondows to work on personalization. Only installed on this PC.

          How do I activate it.

          Reply:
          You set a foreign virus scanner?
          What is still installed?

  11. Ahmed Musani
    January 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Well there are two simple solutions I can offer. if they work than great else you should try contacting microsoft support.
    Firstly check if your time zone is set properly or not then try activating gain.
    second try activating it by phone. Once you try to activate and it fails go to windows activation and you'll see an option of activate by phone. click that and follow the instructions,
    if any problem persists feel free to ask.
    hope i helped.

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