This issue is triggered on Windows 7 systems that have the Windows Activation Technologies (WAT) installed. WAT is applicable to Windows 7 only.
This issue affects computers for which the following conditions are true:
- The computer is running Windows 7.
- The system uses a KMS host that has a pre-Windows Server 2016 CSVLK installed and activated.
- The computer has the WAT from KB 971033 installed.
In this situation, the system communicates with the Microsoft Activation and Validation Services (AVS) servers by design. If the system cannot successfully communicate with those servers (for example, because of connectivity issues), the validation fails, a "non-genuine" state response is returned, and the system becomes non-genuine. This is one of the reasons the WAT is not intended for Enterprises. See KB 971033 for more information.
Windows 7 KMS clients can also change to a non-genuine state if the KMS host is upgraded to a Windows Server 2016 KMS host key. This is because the older protocol that is used on the AVS servers cannot parse the new information correctly.
The "non-genuine" state response is stored in multiple locations on the local system. After the "non-genuine" state response is stored on the system, the system loses its activation. The removal of the WAT does not cause the removal of those responses or restore a system’s activated state. The new protocol addresses these issues.
Windows 7 systems that do not have the WAT installed do not reach out to AVS servers to validate their "genuine" status.
All AVS servers have been upgraded to the new protocol. Windows 7 KMS clients in a "non-genuine" state must have the WAT removed and the following script run on them. This script removes the remnants from the old protocol and enables the system to return to a "genuine" state so that it can activate successfully against the KMS host.
Microsoft highly recommends that you remove the WAT from an Enterprise environment.
To get the scripted fix, follow these steps:
- Download the .zip file from the following Script Center website:
- Extract the contents of "SPPCleanup.zip" to a directory of your choice to which the following files will be copied:
- Open an elevated Command Prompt window, and then run the following command:
- “Description of the update for Windows Activation Technologies” - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/971033/description-of-the-update-for-windows-activation-technologies
- "Installing Windows PowerShell on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2" - https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/scripting/setup/installing-windows-powershell#BKMK_InstallingOnWindows7andWindowsServer2008R2