Activating a Windows 2012 R2 Server offline

If you're trying to activate a server which has no internet connectivity or access to a KMS server, your options for activating Windows are narrowed to calling the automated phone service.  In previous versions of Windows, it would prompt you to enter a product key, then ask if you would like to activate over the internet.  If you declined, you'd be given the phone option.

In Windows Server 2012 R2 the behavior is different, in that when you activate the product key, you are simply told that it is an invalid key.  In truth, the server is trying to validate the key over the internet, which of course doesn't work if your server doesn't have a path out.

The key (ahem) is a couple of command lines:

slmgr -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (where "X" is your product key)

slui 4

This will bring up the UI, similar to previous Windows versions, that will walk you through phone activation.

Comments (5)

  1. devesh says:

    i want to activate the windows 2k12 r2 standard

  2. Justin says:

    This worked great for me when activating Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter in our DMZ (no access to Microsoft for online activation)! Thank you.

  3. gynaty says:

    Have tried and tried but nothing shows up like the phone being activated… Ooh windows why
    why don’t you give us the code from here

  4. Cal says:

    bummer the old tecknet product key I have is a different format will not work my 2012r2 is no longer a “geniune product

  5. Cyrus M says:

    Worked perfectly, thanks!

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