The error 0x8007232b occurs when users try to activate Windows after installing the operating system from a volume license media or when the KMS activation server is down.
Depending on the Windows build, users might not be asked to enter a valid product key during the initial installation. This behavior will trigger the 0x8007232b error when users try to activate via the standard Windows Activation wizard.
Depending on your scenario, you might see this error code accompanied by one of the following messages:
- Activation Error: Code 0x8007232b – DNS Name does not exist
- Error: 0x8007232b – Windows could not be activated. Key management services (KMS) host could not be located in domain name system (DNS), please have your system administrator verify that a KMS is published correctly in DNS.
- Error: 0x8007232b – The file name, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect
Note: Although it’s not a given fact, the issue is more common on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
But regardless of the error message you receive, the resolution is always the same. Users encountering this issue can successfully activate their Windows version by changing the activation type from KMS (Key Management Server) to MAK (Multiple Activation Key). If you’re struggling with the 0x8007232b error, follow the guide below to convert your product key from KMS to MAK and activate Windows.
Activating Windows by changing the product key from KMS to MAC
While the KMS activation is reliable for the most part, it won’t work with some Windows versions installed from a volume licensed media. However, the activation can also fail because the KMS server is currently down or scheduled for maintenance.
If the issue is indeed related to the KMS server, the following steps will eliminate the 0x8007232b error and activate your Windows. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open an elevated Command Prompt. To do this, click the Windows Start icon (bottom-left corner) and type “cmd”. Then, right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
Note: You might be prompted to insert your security password at this point (if you have one).
- Inside Command Prompt, type slmgr -ipk followed by your product key. The result should look like this:
slmgr -ipk xxxxx – xxxxx – xxxxx – xxxxx – xxxxx (the x placeholder represents your product key)
Note: The complete product key should contain a collection of 25 alphanumeric characters. Before you hit Enter, make sure that your license is still valid and use dashes every 5 characters to split the key into five distinct sections.
- Double-check the key and hit Enter to submit. If the installation is successful, you see a Windows Host Script popup after several seconds.
That’s it. The 0x8007232b error should now be removed and Windows successfully activated.