0xC004F038: The returned count from your Key Management Service is insufficient

by Shijaz Abdulla on 02.11.2008 at 10:19

We have a KMS Server that has been activating Vista clients for several months. A few days ago our desktop team came across the following Windows Activation error on one of the Vista Enterprise machines:

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Error 0xC004F038 The computer could not be activated. The returned count from your Key Management Service is insufficient.

The KB Article 942961, which describes this error message, did not apply to us, because our KMS count is more than 25 and the article suggests that this problem only happens when the count is lesser than 25.

We resolved the issue by re-arming the Windows Activation on the client machine and then trying to do an automatic activation after a restart. Here’s how we did it:

  • On the offending Vista Enterprise client, type:
    slmgr.vbs -rearm
  • After a restart, type the following command on the same machine:
    slmgr.vbs -ato

The -rearm switch "re-arms" or "resets" the Windows Activation on the client machine. This can be done a maximum of three times per Windows Vista installation. The re-arming also extends the grace period, so it is particularly useful if you are looking for a temporary fix to buy some time while you sort out KMS issues.

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