How to resolve Windows Activation error 0xC004F074?

By ivan.diskin | November 7, 2019 |

greater than 9 minutes

Since you saw the Windows Activation error 0xc004f074, we can safely infer that you tried to activate your copy of Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 but things did not go as expected. In this guide, we intend to tell you everything you need to know about this particular Windows error code. You will learn about the issues associated with it and solutions to them.

What is error code 0xc004f074 on Windows 10?

Before we tell you what Error 0xc004f074 is, there are certain terms you must know. One of them is KMS.

MS (an acronym for Key Management Service) is a program or setup that handles activation operations or processes in the Windows operating system environment. Through this service, users get to activate Microsoft Windows (the OS itself) and Microsoft Office (consisting of applications) automatically. Normally, when you download and install a supported version of Windows or Microsoft Office, your system will try to discover the Key Management Service server on your network. If things work out well, then your computer will automatically activate the license (as it applies).

0xc004f074 is an error code that comes up to inform users of their system’s failure or inability to reach their company’s activation server or system administrator. Windows generally struggles to contact the necessary servers due to existing differences between the KMS client and KMS hosts. The inconsistencies or discrepancies typically occur during the installation operation for Windows or after the event, and never before. The error code might also appear if you downloaded and installed an illegal or pirated or unlicensed version of the Windows operating system.

Activations involving the Key Management Service are usually valid for 180 days. Windows is supposed to perform periodic checks or verifications (through the KMS server) to renew the activation for the device involved.

You are probably here to learn how to remove a Windows 10 activation problem defined by the error code 0xc004f074. Since we have provided enough information about the error or issue, we must now proceed to the main part of this guide.

How to fix Windows Activation Error 0xc004f074

We are on course to describe the most effective procedures through which users managed to resolve Error 0xc004f074 and got their systems to activate their copies of Windows.

  1. Install the KMS Product key:

Here, we want you to force Windows to initiate a manual activation check using the slmgr.vbs command – if you have the KMS product key ready. You will have to run a certain code in an elevated Command Prompt window and then perform the tasks that apply.

Go through these steps:

  • Get to the Windows Start menu screen. You can press the Windows logo button on your machine’s keyboard (or click on the Windows icon on your desktop to get the same result).Input Command Prompt into the text box that shows up the moment you begin to type. Once Command Prompt (App) gets displayed as the main entry on the result list, you must right-click on it to see its context menu and then choose the Run as administrator option.

    If Windows brings up a dialog box or window, you will have to click on the Yes button there to affirm things.

  • Assuming you are now on the Administrator: Command Prompt window, you must execute this code (input the command and then hit Enter):slmgr.vbs /upk

    With that code execution, Windows will act to uninstall the existing key or remove the active license on your computer.

  • At this stage, you must execute this code:slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

    (You must remember to replace the xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx part of the code with the digits that correspond to your product key number or license).

    You are supposed to get a notification on the operation being successful or not.

  • If you have to activate the key online, then you must execute this command:slmgr.vbs /ato
  • If everything goes well with the previous operation, then you can close the Command Prompt window and restart your computer.
  • After the recommended reboot, you must check and confirm that the issue associated with Error 0xc004f074 has been resolved.
  1. Use SLUI commands to fix things:

Certain SLUI (Software Licensing User Interface) commands can be employed to bring about changes to eliminate Error 0xc004f074. For example, you can execute the ‘Slui 1’ command to see the activation status window, you can use ‘Slui 2’ to access the activation window itself, and so on.

Here, given the problem you are trying to resolve, it makes sense for you to use the ‘Slui 3’ command to access the Change Product key window, and then perhaps, continue with the ‘Slui 4’ command to bring up the Call Microsoft & Manually Activate window.

Go through these steps:

  • First, you have to fire up an elevated Command Prompt window. We described the steps on performing this task earlier in the previous procedure.You can scroll up to see the instructions again.
  • This time, once the Administrator: Command Prompt window has been brought up, you must execute this code on the field there:Slui 3
  • At this point, you must follow the instructions on your screen as they show up. Perform the tasks requested of you.You will need to enter your Windows product key at some stage, so you will do well to make it available now.
  • Finally, you must run the next SLUI command, even if you got nowhere with the previous operations. Execute this code:Slui 4

    Given the work you did on the Command Prompt window, you might want to go a step further and find out what has changed as regards your activation status. If you notice the same problem persists, then you will have to redo the activation task through a different method. Anyway, you have to continue with the instructions below:

  • Here, you have to open the Settings program. You can launch this application quickly through this keyboard shortcut: Windows logo button + letter I key.
  • Assuming you are now on the Settings window, you have to check its menu list items, find Update and Security and then click on it.
  • Go through the options listed close to the left-pane area of the window, locate Activation, and then click on it.If your computer is yet to be activated, you should see the Activate by phone option.
  • Click on the Activate by phone option. Follow the instructions that apply.If the Activate by phone method also fails, then you must return to the Activation screen in the Settings application and then try out the other options.
  • In any case, after you complete any activation task, you have to restart your computer and check your PC Windows activation status.
  1. Run a scan using the SFC utility:

The SFC (System File Checker) utility is a special tool through which users get to scan for corruption in system files and related entries. When cases of corruption are detected, the utility fixes things by replacing the bad files with good copies. In other words, the System File Checker repairs missing or corrupted items by restoring them (to their rightful state).

If Error 0xc004f074 affecting the Windows activation on your device has anything to do with corrupted files, then operation involving the SFC utility should do enough to resolve your problem.

Anyway, these are the instructions you must go through to run the required scan using the System File Checker utility:

  • First, you need to open a Command Prompt window with administrative rights. Here, we might as well show you an alternative method of performing this task.Do a right-click on the Windows icon on your desktop to see the programs and options that make up the Power User menu and then click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  • This time, once the elevated Command Prompt window shows up, you must execute this code switch for SFC:sfc /scannow
  • Allow the scan to proceed without interruptions. Be patient.The processes will eventually reach completion.
  • Regardless of the scan outcome or result displayed, you have to close the Command Prompt window and then restart your computer.Otherwise, if you are not satisfied with the work SFC did, then you can run the appropriate scans using the DISM utility and then redo the scan using the System File Checker.
  • After the reboot, you must check and confirm that Error 0xc004f074 can no longer be triggered on your computer.
  1. Run the Windows Update and Activation troubleshooters:

Troubleshooters are programs that are capable of diagnosing problems affecting a certain utility, service, or setup in Windows and then also proffering solutions to the issues or moving on to fix them outrightly. There are different troubleshooters for different problems. Fortunately, Microsoft embedded a good number of troubleshooters in the Windows operating system environment, so there is always a decent chance that users can find troubleshooters to help them fix their problems.

Since you are dealing with Windows activation issues defined by Error 0xc004f074, the Windows Update and Activation troubleshooters are the troubleshooters you need to use. If any troubleshooter can help you at all (in any way), then it is likely to be one of them.

Follow these instructions to access and run the required troubleshooters:

  • First, you must use the Windows logo + letter I keyboard shortcut to fire up the Settings application quickly.
  • This time, after the Settings window gets displayed on your screen, you must click on Update and Security.
  • On the following screen, you must check the options listed close to the left-pane area and then click Troubleshoot.
  • On the screen that follows, look to the right-pane area, go through the list of troubleshooters for different programs or services. Click on Windows Update to get it highlighted and then click on the Run the Troubleshooter button.The troubleshooter window will come up now and the utility will begin its work. You have to pay attention to the operations or tasks it performs and watch how things progress. The troubleshooter might ask you to do something, so you must be ready.
  • Once the troubleshooter finishes its job, you have to close the Settings app and then restart your computer (regardless of the results of the operations executed).
  • Check your computer activation status to see if Error 0xc004f074 is still in play.

If the issue persists, you must continue with the instructions below:

  • Fire up the Settings application again using the keyboard shortcut we provided earlier.
  • Once the Settings window shows up, you have to navigate through the same options or menus as you did earlier to get to the Windows Update screen.
  • This time, you must click on Activation (one of the items listed close to the left-pane area under the Windows Update menu).
  • On the following screen, you must look to the right-pane area and then click on the Troubleshoot link.The troubleshooter here will come up and begin its work. The same recommendations (that we gave earlier) apply here.
  • Once the troubleshooter is done with its operations to fix the problem, you have to close the Settings application and then restart your computer.
  • As usual, you must check the state of things on your computer to find out what has changed as regards Error 0xc004f074. 

TIP:

Since you are looking to activate the Windows running on your machine, then it makes sense to assume that you recently installed Windows or you upgraded to a newer version of the operating system. In that case, you should see some use for a program like Auslogics Driver Updater, which should help you fetch and install the latest drivers for all the components that make up your PC.

If you decide to perform the driver update tasks for several devices on your own, you will have to contend with so many tedious tasks and spend a ridiculous amount of time on the work (given its sheer volume). With the recommended program, however, your computer gets to run the newest drivers in no time – and you will not have to sweat for it.

Other things you can try to fix Windows activation issues defined by Error 0xc004f074 on Windows 10 computers

If you end up still struggling with the problem that brought you to this page, then you must check our final list of procedures and recommendations for resolving the problem.

  1. Resync the time on the affected device:

In the rare event where the Windows activation issues are down to inconsistencies in time (or time settings), then you should be able to make things right by running the w32tm / resync command on an elevated Command Prompt window.

  1. Restore or reset your PC:

If you are sure Error 0xc004f074 has something to do with bad changes or events that occurred in Windows on your computer, then you might have little choice but to restore or reset your PC.

  1. Contact Microsoft Support:

You can try to reach Microsoft Support and inform them of the issues affecting your Windows Activation. You can request that they change your product key or reset its usage. Perhaps, your product key got blocked because it had been inputted too many times. In any case, Microsoft Support should render some form of assistance to you.

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