Win10, Server 2016 KMS servers start rejecting Win7 client activationPosted on January 9th, 2017 at 06:31 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
It appears that Windows 2016 and Windows 10 when configured as KMS hosts, after a while reject the activation of Windows 7 KMS clients, considering them non-genuine. I don’t know the cause, but it appears to affect machines which were offline for about 2 weeks or longer, which should not happen. This became obvious after the Christmas & New Year’s break when many people took extended leave. Maybe it happens within Microsoft too, although I am expecting that their employees are not allowed to use Windows 7 any longer. ?
There is a manual fix for the affected machines by rearming the system (KMS activation does not have a limited number of rearming operations, as the counter is reset each time one such activation takes place). But there is no guarantee that it will not happen again.
The solution proposed by Microsoft is to use older OS as KMS hosts until there will be a fix available. This may be related to the known crashes of the Windows 2016 Server role Volume Activation Services.
And Microsoft’s workaround (from the same thread):
“The recommendation at this point is to leave your existing KMS system alone. Whether it is running on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012 R2, continue to service the machine via security and quality updates. Allow your KMS system to activate down-level operating systems and Office installs (Windows 7, Windows Server 2008/2008 R2, and Office 2010). Utilize Active Directory Based Activation (ADBA) for all new clients (Windows 8, 8.1, Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, Windows 10, Office 2013, and Office 2016).”