Windows Not Activating? Check the Time!

A lesson in not trying to do several things at once.

I had just deployed a VM from a template and waited for it to be customized. All was well until Windows tried, and failed, to activate giving the error code 80072f8f. This was in a new environment in a remote datacenter. Once I started paying attention though I noticed that the VM was set to synchronize time with the host and the host’s NTP configuration had not been made correctly. The VM was running 6 months or so behind the current date.

The two takeaways from this are:

  1. Check your host configuration and don’t assume that it’s correct if you’re provided with a pre-built host from a 3rd party
  2. Don’t do too many things at once and forget about the above!

Michael is a Senior Consultant for Xtravirt. If it's got buttons or flashy lights on it then it'll probably be on his radar. When not "mending computers" (it's sometimes easier than explaining "cloud" to relatives), Michael provides essential education, entertainment and trampoline services to his two children.

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