Windows Server 2019 install product key not working

New Contributor

i Have tried both Standard and Datacenter product keys and get errors with both

80 Replies

The following commands worked for me


Run an elevated command prompt


slmgr /upk

slmgr /ipk <your MAK here>

slmgr /ato



So apparently this is still an issue? 

I had to run the command line activation in order to use my product key or they came up as invalid. Thanks for providing the work around! 

Step 6 works wunderfull. Thank you very much.

So far this is the best information I've found on this specific issue. So I wanted to post my update here.


I was able to follow step 6 and use slmgr to activate Windows as of 2-5-19. However, today I am getting a new error from that command line step that is preventing activation.


Error: 0xC004F069 On a computer running Microsoft Windows non-core edition, run 'slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004F4069' to display the error


slui output: Code:0xC004F069 Description: The Software Licensing Service reported that the product SKU is not found.


I've tried using all of our MAK keys, including the new one that was purchased last week.

What build are you using?  If it is pre-release, they may have all expired.

Still an issue on a retail purchased license. Come on Microsoft! Cmd line allowed me to activate.

Chris, is the issue you are hitting related to AVMA?  Is it the retail key that is giving an error during setup of the OS on the host? or is this the AVMA key being used in the guest VM?  Are these both using the GA bits of Server 2019 or pre-release?  There are a few issues discussed on this particular thread is why I ask.  Thanks.

Thanks, this worked for me as well.

What did not work is entering the key during install (boot from ISO) nor the new 'Settings' application. I was using a key and ISO media directly from the Partner Benefits download site. I have also had Windows 10 LTSB 2018 keys fail. I called MS and they first told me the key wasn't valid, then it was valid after they did some 'digging' on their end. The key never worked again though and I got tired of repeated calls to partner support and used the LTSC 2019 keys/ISO instead.
Solved with Step 6: command - c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <product_key>

Thank you very much.

@Brent Forman wrote:

Hi Folks,

We apologize for the frustration this has been causing.  We have several bugs opened and are working through these.  Here is a possible solution in the meantime.  Since it is difficult to tell exact steps from this thread, here is our repro and workaround.  Step #6 is the workaround.  Hope this helps.


  1. Install RS_PRERELEASE 17692 (Standard Full)
  2. Mount RS5_RELEASE 17713 ISO
  3. Upgrade 17692 to 17713 (Standard Full)
  4. After upgrade check two issues that should repro.
    1. On the desktop there is no watermark for OS is not licensed
    2. When running from a command prompt, cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /dlv – OS shows as not licensed
  5. Try to activate from UI: Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation -> Activate
    1. This will error saying product key is not valid
  6. From a command prompt use cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <product_key>
    1. OS should activate

STEP 6 WORKED PERFECTLY.  right after pressing enter got a pop up saying the key was entered correct. The activation window, activation was blank the error was gone.  had to right click the 4 start tiles click file explorer, right click this pc then click properties. in that screen at the bottom says activated.....saved a lot of work. thanks


Thank you! This worked for me.
Worked for me! Thank you!

This worked for me using our Organization VLK MAK : cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk MAK KEY


Replace the word MAK KEY with your VLK MAK Key.

step 6 worked for me I am on build 17763.107 that was the ISO that I just downloaded a half hour ago from the volume license service center.


I absolutely share 10000% the sentiments about Ubuntu and I use it whenever I can get a customer to use it.


Windows Server had some promise with version 2008 R2 but it's gone downhill ever since - there's no new features other than the ability to backup GPT volumes with Windows Backup that are of any real interest to the SB crowd - and all of this activation stuff should have been worked out ages ago - in fact it WAS worked out ages ago!  There's no excuse for new bugs in what should be the most rock solid part of any commercial software that is involved in antipiracy copy protection of this nature.  Microsoft would do well to recall that an entire company - Copy II PC - later PC Tools, - later Symantec - was founded on problems with ill-conceived software "protection"

@Brent Forman


Same here.  Just download 2019 from VLSC and had the issue of not being able to activate post install (server was patched through March 2019 patch Tuesday).  Still a bug in 2019 but step 6 worked for us.!!




@bill_63 I have also faced the same issue in Build 17763 (windows 2019 std). The workaround worked fine, thanks.




Step 6 worked for me:

From a command prompt use cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <product_key>


@Brent Forman - Worked like a charm! Thank you! (also, don't forget those pesky dashes in the activation code...)

slmgr /upk
Restart server
slmgr /ipk <your MAK here>
slmgr /ato
Restart server