S h o r t S t o r i e s

// Tales from software development

Windows Server 2008 activation failed, error code = 0x800705B4

with one comment

I recently rebuilt a test server and re-installed Windows Server 2008 on it. I used the DVD that I’d previously used some time ago. The following day I noticed, in the Control Panel System applet, that it was not activated and clicked the link to activate it. After about 10 seconds an error message was displayed indicating that the activation had failed with an error code of 0x800705B4. I clicked the link for more information and the associated error message text was displayed: “The operation returned because the timeout period expired.” It took me a while to even guess what the problem might be and it’s still just a suspicion.

The DVD I had been created from an .ISO image downloaded from the subscribers section of the MSDN website. It was preconfigured with a product key and should have successfully activated. Except… it was associated with a subscription for 2008. I’m guessing that Microsoft configures KMS servers for current MSDN subscriptions and at the end of the subscription period a new set of .ISO images are made available and the KMS servers are updated to support these. I’d guess that the product keys associated with the earlier subscription are supported for a while (i.e. a grace period) but are removed from the KMS server at some point.

Because the MSDN subscription I was using only had access to the .ISO images with preconfigured product ids and did not have any MAK keys, the only solution was to re-install Windows Server 2008 all over again using the .ISO image for the current subscription. There may be a way of working around this but none of the things I tried worked.


Written by Sea Monkey

October 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Environments

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One Response

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  1. A comment was received from Lars that I can’t post in full for legal reasons:

    “You are actually heading the right way. Im running WS2008 and have encountered a similar situation. Im trying the following. Control-panel > system > change product key (found in the bottom section). Search Internet for product keys and change.”

    Sea Monkey

    July 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm

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