Thursday, August 16, 2012

Activating Windows 8 Enterprise (RTM)

After downloading and installing Windows 8 Enterprise on my HP Pavilion g4-1015dx, I soon discovered that I could not activate it. Unlike when I installed Windows 8 Pro on my Dell Inspiron Duo, I was never prompted to enter a product key during the process. Try as I might, I could not get it activated. I continued to received the following error message:
Windows can't activate right now.
Error Code: 0x8007232B
DNS Name does not exist. 
I also noticed that unlike Windows 7 (and Windows Vista) there was not an option to change the product key in the System applet of the Control Panel. There was no clear way to enter my TechNet key. After some research online (Google is an IT pro's best friend), I found the solution. It seems that Windows 8 Enterprise defaults to searching for a KMS (Key Management Server) to activate, as one would expect to find in a large, enterprise networking environment.  Basically, a KMS activates Windows on a local network without the need for individual computers to connect to Microsoft as they would for consumer/retail versions. Enterprise customers are the only ones who would have a copy of this version of Windows, so this is considered normal. 

Since I do not have a KMS running at home (hmmmm), I found the quick solution from the TechNet forums:

Open a Command Prompt and run it elevated as Administrator.

Type slmgr.vbs /ipk <YOUR PRODUCT KEY> and press Enter. Remember to replace <YOUR PRODUCT KEY> with your actual, legally obtained product key from TechNet or MSDN.

If you entered the product key correctly, you should see this box on your screen.

That's it! Your copy of Windows 8 Enterprise should now be activated.