Change product key in windows server 2012 or windows 8

Uncategorized, Windows 2012 15 feedbacks »

While playing around with some freshly installed Windows Server 2012 machines I wanted to Activate Windows, so clicked the appropriate option and it gave me an error. Had not yet entered a key, but saw that the activation wizard seemed to think I had a key (it displays the last few characters of the key). If you wanted to change the product key in previous versions there simply was a button for that with the activation wizard. That is gone now in Windows 2012 and Windows 8.

After a little search I found the first method and after a little more searching I found a KB article talking about this and other methods.

Solutions are all simple (if you know them):

1. Use slmgr

  • Open an elevated command prompt and type the following commands:
  • slmgr -upk
    This will remove the key first
  • slmgr -ipk xyzyx-xyzyx-xyzyx-xyzyx-xyzyx
    This will add your key. Of course replace the xyzyx-xyzyx with your own real key.
  • Activate Windows (you will probably have popups already during this process)

2. Use slui.exe

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  • In the search box, type Slui.exe 0x3.
  • Tap or click the Slui.exe 0x3 icon.
  • Type your product key in the Windows Activation window, and then click Activate.

3. You can also use the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 3.0 to change the product key remotely, or if you want to change the product key on multiple computers.

The last two methods I found referenced in this KB: (and the first one is to be found there as well in a way).

Would still be nice to get that old button back somehow B)

Bob Cornelissen

System Center 2012 UR3 released

SCOM, DPM, Service Manager, System Center, SCOM 2012 2 feedbacks »

Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 has been released today. It contains a number of fixes for SCOM, DPM and SCSM.

KB 2756127 - Description of Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 explains the fixed items and the methods to download the updates and the installation instructions.

If you want to update to this version I suggest you take a close look at the KB article. The installation instructions do not reveal any strange steps. Looks the same as the UR1 and UR2 updates as far as installation order and methods are concerned.

Update 11 October -> This is the first SCOM update which also gets pushed through WSUS! Just saw the UR3 agent rollup appear on a WSUS customer at one of my customers and upon investigation found also the UR3 for the other SCOM components. If you have WSUS check out the products you can manage updates for and see the ever growing list. Always a good thing to check through the list every so many months and see what you dont need anymore and what additional items you might need.

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM 2012 - restart all SCOM agents in management group

SCOM, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

By request, hereby a script which restarts all SCOM 2012 agents in the management group. This is run from for instance a management server. It picks up the names of all agents (not the management servers!) and gets the HealthService of those machines and restarts it. The script does not yet have error handling, but it displays its information as to which machine it is handling currently and what the verbose output is of the restart-service command.

SCOM 2012 - restart all SCOM agents in management group

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM 2012 enable agent proxy for all machines

SCOM, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 8 feedbacks »

I have been seeing a number of questions where people want to know how to set the agent proxy default setting in SCOM 2012 to enabled.
For instance for SCOM 2007 I had a post which contained a command near the bottom of the post with a simple command to change the default setting to enabled, so any newly installed agent would also get proxying enabled.

Well, I have not been able to find this default setting or the command on how to get there in 2012.

One thing you could do is run a command which takes the currently installed agents and checks if any of them do not have proxying enabled and if so, change that setting for those agents. If you run it regularly you should be OK. The following command will do that.

Get-SCOMAgent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled.Value -eq $False} | Enable-SCOMAgentProxy

Note 1: My friend Kevin Greene does a trick when installing a new environment as shown in this blog post. Whenever he starts clean, he first installs agents to any machines where he knows agent proxying is needed, and then runs a script which enables agent proxying for all those current agents. Afterwards he installs the rest of the agents which do not need agent proxying. This makes for a good start in new deployments.

Note 2: Remember that enabling of agent proxy contains an inherent risk in it, as somebody could try to insert false data into those machines and it could forward that data to the SCOM database, thus causing denial of service and false data in reports and such. I have never heard of any occurance of this situation though.
Another reason why I am not very afraid of this is because there are a lot of roles which require this agent proxy setting, and those are generally the most important machines (AD, DNS, SQL, Exchange, ISA, TMG, SCCM, and so on and so on). So if anybody tries to hack machines in order to exploit whatever they would probably go for those important servers anyway. Next to having proxying enabled on those which contains that risk mentioned before, those boxes contain much more interesting data than a SCOM agent I am sure :)

Enjoy your proxying agents!
Bob Cornelissen

Operations Manager Error: The All Management Servers Pool has not reported availability

SCOM, Active Directory, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 7 feedbacks »

IMPORTANT: Do NOT use this fix anymore for any SCOM 2012 or SCOM 2012 SP1 or SCOM 2012 R2 instances. In these cases internal processes take care of this. Do NOT create these registry keys unless you really have to. They were used for pre-rtm versions, but not any more for currently used versions.

Microsoft released a KB article for cases where you get this error while running SCOM 2012 on a single management server:

Operations Manager Error: The All Management Servers Pool has not reported availability

You may also see the following events related to the Pool Manager:


The pool member cannot send a lease request to acquire ownership of managed objects assigned to the pool because half or fewer members of the pool acknowledged the most recent initialization check request. The pool member will continue to send an initialization check request.


The pool member no longer owns any managed objects assigned to the pool because half or fewer members of the pool have acknowledged the most recent lease request The pool member has unloaded the workflows for managed objects it previously owned.

The related Microsoft KB Article is 2714482 and can be found here

To resolve this issue, add the following two Registry keys on the Management Server, under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\HealthService\Parameters\PoolManager

Key Type Value

PoolLeaseRequestPeriodSeconds DWORD 600

PoolNetworkLatencySeconds DWORD 120

After doing this, restart the System Center Management Service and the errors should no longer appear.

Very nice B) as in a few smaller environments we have seen these messages before.

Update 22-7-2013: A good addition to this story has been made by Michael in the comments. If you are running multipe management servers in the resource pool and you change the mentioned settings in the registry, make sure you do the same change on all those management servers, so they use the same values. Otherwise other errors will appear.

Update April 2014: Do NOT apply this reg key stuff for SCOM 2012 SP1 or SCOM 2012 R2 anymore. It can cause the oposite effect and make resource pools become more unstable.

Good luck!

SCOM 2012 IPD guide is in beta

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

The Infrastructure Planning and Design guides (IPD) are always a great resource when working through designs for implementations of all kinds of products and solutions. CUrrently the team is working on the IPD guide for SCOM 2012.

They have released it as a beta version on Connect, giving you the opportunity to read it and react to it.

You can find this beta on the Solution Accelerators connect site over here.

Update 13 November 2012: the IPD has been released.

Bob Cornelissen

Vacation is over for me

Uncategorized Send feedback »

It has been quiet for a while on my blog due to several reasons. Some work related things, authoring of the Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager, and of course also going to my second home in Thailand.

But I will be picking it up again from now. There is always a lot of good stuff going on and things to write about.

Checking if CU6 for SCOM 2007 R2 has been applied successfully

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks Send feedback »

As I explained in the previous post on how to check for CU5 installation on SCOM 2007 R2, the way to check for successfull implementation of Cumulative updates has come up as questions in the community a number of times and I found a need as well to have this scripted. So I created a number of scripts for SCOM 2007 R2 CU5 which I discuss in the other blog post here. The method for CU6 is exactly the same as mentioned in that article with two differences.

  • The names of the scripts are with a 6 in it :idea:
  • The scripts are located on another TechNet Gallery page (see below for the link)

Refer to the post on CU5 check scripts for SCOM 2007 R2 on the procedure and screenshot.

This is the link to the TechNet Gallery page where the CU6 check for SCOM 2007 R2 is located.

Good luck and enjoy!
Bob Cornelissen

Checking if CU5 for SCOM 2007 R2 has been applied successfully

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks 3 feedbacks »

During the past year I have seen several requests from people in the community on how they can check if their servers have successfully applied a certain Cumulative Update. Lately I had a requirement to create some test scripts to determine if CU5 has been applied for the RMS (including SQL scripts and management pack import), Management servers, gateways and web console servers. So I set out to create scripts for this and make them general enough to share. :idea:

As you probably know its much easier to have a quick check for agent updates from the SCOM console. I did not include the ACS server check for the moment. This post and set of scripts is specifically for CU5, but I will post the same for CU6 today in another post. Idea is the same, scripts are on a different link. The scripts can not cover a 100% of all possible things to check, but I think we get far enough this way B)

Thus far I have tested the scripts in a few environments and have generalized them as much as possible, finding information we need from the system itself. I am sure others with more PowerShell skills can do this in fewer lines of code, but I have tried my best. Any comments are welcome of course.

The CU5 check scripts for SCOM 2007 R2 are in a zip file on the TechNet Gallery to be found through this link.

  1. You download the zip file and extract it somewhere on the machine you want to check (RMS, MS, GW, Web).
  2. Log onto the machine with the account you used to install the CU. Reason is that the script is trying to find the CU install log files in the temp folder in your profile, if it can not find it there it will give an error and skip to the next checking steps.
  3. Open an elevated command prompt en go to the folder where the scripts are located.
  4. Run one of the .cmd files belonging to the server role you have installed:
    TestSCOMRootMSCU5.cmd for the RMS (This also checks the SQL scripts and MP import you did right after RMS upgrade)
    TestSCOMMSCU5.cmd for a Management Server (not the RMS)
    TestSCOMGWCU5.cmd for a Gateway
    TestSCOMWebCU5.cmd for a Web Console server
    If you run the Web Console on a management server or the RMS than you simply run both scripts needed for that machine.
  5. Check the output for Errors. I have made the scripts stop after it found an error in some stage, except if it can not find the install log files. Errors are marked with [ERROR] and are in red. Am listing some examples below.

I tried to document the steps and checks we do in the script itself. Different roles have some different checks associated with them.

Below is an example where first a RMS check was run and finished with success. Next piece was what happens if you run two of the scripts on the box for a role it doesn't have (it gives an error :roll:). Next we run the web console checking script which starts out and finishes successfully.
And yes, this happens to be the screenshot for CU6. B)

So that is it. It should cover most scenarios.

The next post will be the same for CU6 and point back to this one on how to run it.

Also I want to extend a word of thanks to Marius van de Ven, whom I bothered a few times with some specific questions on how to do stuff in PowerShell.

Enjoy and good luck!
Bob Cornelissen

Private Cloud exam results are in and passed!

SCOM, DPM, SCVMM, Service Manager, SCCM, System Center, SCOM 2012 5 feedbacks »

At last MMS 2012 we got the opportunity to take the beta versions of the Private Cloud exams 70-246 and 70-247 for System Center 2012. I must say they were tough exams and I and many others were not sure about the results. Usually I have a feeling about an exam I took, but this time it was very mixed. The thing is with these exams that they are filled with questions on different technologies in the System Center 2012 suite and stuff around it.

Yesterday I got confirmation on the first exam and today on the second one. I am pleased to report that I passed both of them.

Very happy with that. It means I have all the prerequisites for the MCSE Private Cloud certification! B)

I will soon write a post about all the new Windows Server, desktop and System Center exams and certifications which are here or coming up within this year. It will probably not contain the same about the SQL 2012 and programming/Visual Studio related exams for 2012, but know there will be similar new exams for those as well.

Bob Cornelissen

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