Recently I was setting up a new server for a client with Windows Server 2019 standard. Since I was going to use VLSC for licencing, I didn’t enter a product key during installation. When I was trying to enter the key later through settings, pressing change product key did nothing and no box was appearing. Luckily, I found an easy way to activate through CMD.

After entering each command, you will get a little pop up box letting you know that the operation completed successfully.

  1. Firstly, Click the Start Menu and type in CMD
  2. Next Right Click and choose Run as administrator
  3. Enter command slmgr.vbs /upk and press enter. This will remove any old or trial keys
  4. Now enter the command slmgr.vbs /cpky . This removes any traces of the old key from the registry
  5. Now use the command slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx to enter your new product key. Replace the x’s with your new product key.
  6. Now we have entered the key, we will activate it with Microsoft. Run the command slmgr.vbs /ato
  7. That’s it, windows should now be activated.

This is the only issue I have come across using Windows Server 2019. Compared to Server 2012 and 2016 I have had a much more stable experience; the updates have also been much quicker and smoother. I have also had this issue with windows 10 and I have seen a few forum posts about it. Hopefully this easy Fix helps you solve your issue.