Sunday, 19 June 2022

We can't activate Windows on this device

I encountered this problem recently while carrying out Windows 10 Autopilot testing on a customer site. My test device would step up from Windows 10 Professional to Enterprise but would not activate.

I could see the error: We can't activate Windows on this device as we can't connect to your organization's activation server. Error code 0x8007232B.

Running slmgr /dli on the device showed me that the currently installed operating system was expecting to be activated using volume licensing (MAK key). This isn't expected when provisioning devices directly from the vendor through Autopilot. However this was a test device so I figured it was re-imaged in the past.

Running wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey from a command prompt gave me what I needed. This displays the Windows product key embedded in the computer’s firmware. This is the original Windows key that shipped with the device.

I selected Change Product Key at the Activation window.

I entered the original product key and clicked Next.

I clicked Activate.

Windows was activated with a digital license. We wouldn't normally expect to see this problem with devices shipped directly from a vendor. However it could come in handy during customer testing in order to validate the process.

Until next time....

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