Microsoft Reverts Changes to KMS Servers that Caused Widespread Problems with KB971033

UPDATE: What seemed like yet another problem with yet another Microsoft patch has turned out to be something else. The issue, as it turns out, was a combination of customers installing KB971033 and Microsoft making changes to its license activation servers.

From Activation failures and “not genuine” notifications around January 8, 2019, on volume-licensed Windows 7 KMS clients:

A recent update to the Microsoft Activation and Validation unintentionally caused a “not genuine” error on volume-licensed Windows 7 clients that had KB 971033 installed. The change was introduced at 10:00:00 UTC on January 8, 2019, and was reverted at 4:30:00 UTC on January 9, 2019.

Note This timing coincides with the release of the “1B” January 2019 updates (KB 4480960 and KB 4480970) that were released on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. These events are not related.

The article goes on to recommend uninstalling KB971033.

Microsoft has yet to apologize for causing the widespread panic, only taken time to explain it.

— original article —

UPDATE with Workaround – Tracking: KB971033 Affecting KMS for Windows 7 Clients

According to new reports, there’s a bug in the KB971033 update that is causing problems with Windows 7 clients and KMS.

UPDATE:  A poster to a thread on Reddit concerning this issue offers a workaround that was obtained by Microsoft:

Action Plan :Uninstall KB971033

Reboot

Run Command Prompt as administrator

i. Type: net stop sppsvc

ii. Type: del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

iii. Type: del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-1.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

iv. Type: del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\tokens.dat

v. Type: del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\cache\cache.dat

vi. Type: net start sppsvc

vii. Type: slmgr /ipk 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH

Type: slmgr /ato

As others have correctly pointed out, the key in step vii is for Windows 7 Enterprise. Use the correct key for your environment. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/kmsclientkeys