Key Management Service – Licensing previous versions of Office

Okies, hit an interesting snag. I am getting very close to decommissioning my old KMS server. but I had a slight niggle on my new KMS boxes. Namely:

An activation request has been processed.

Why you no license?

Why you no license?

…however I could see that some license requests were being serviced:

So you're not entirely dead to me.

So you’re not entirely dead to me.

There is information on the interweb which suggests 0xC004F042 is down to insufficient requests in the pool to activate the KMS host. However this was not the case here.

The key thing I noticed was the number next to the return code. In some cases it stated 25, others 5. All the “25”s returned a 0x0 success code. However I found that some of the “5”s returned a 0x0 success code:

Ooh look.

Ooh look.

After some digging, I released that this was the count needed to activate the KMS host. The 25s were the operating systems, and the 5s were Microsoft Office. I checked out what version of Office was installed on a success and it was Office 2016. I had a look at a machine failing to license and it was Office 2013.



I did some digging and it turns out that although the Windows KMS hosts are backwards compatible, the Office KMS hosts are not. The 5s returning 0x0 were Office 2016 products. The 5s returning 0xC004F042 were Office 2013 products.

I grabbed the Office 2013 Volume Licensing Pack from here, whapped it on my KMS server. I was nervous about whether or not it sit alongside the existing Office 2016 but it went through fine.

Within a few minutes, 0xC004F042 was no more.


0xC004F042 can cover more than just one error. You cannot license different Office products from the pack as you can Windows.


Flame on xD

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