Error 0x8007232B 'DNS Name Does Not Exist' when Activating Windows 8

Friday, August 17, 2012
I have been installing Windows 8 Enterprise RTM on my lab machines using the RTM ISO from MSDN.  I've found that each installation does not activate properly, giving the following error:
Error code:          0x8007232B
Error description:   DNS name does not exist.
I have a valid product key for Windows 8 Enterprise from MSDN, but setup doesn't prompt for this key during installation.

Open System properties and click 'View details in Windows Activation'

Click the 'Activate' button to begin activation

Attempting activation...

Error 0x8000232B - DNS name does not exist.

The same thing happens if you try to activate Windows 8 from the PC Settings | Activate Windows menu in the "modern user interface" (aka Metro):
'Windows can't activate right now. Try activating Windows later. If the issue persists, contact your system administrator or technical support department for assistance.'

This occurs because Windows 8 is using a temporary product key.  You need to install the correct product key to complete Activation using the SLMGR.VBS script installed with Windows.

Here are the steps to perform activation with the correct product key after installation:

  • Open an elevated CMD prompt and run the following command, as shown below:

slmgr.vbs /ipk <product key>

  • You will receive a pop-up window from Windows Script Host indicating the product key has been installed successfully.

Installed product key <product key> successfully.
  • Shortly after that, Windows 8 will automatically activate over the Internet.  Or, if you're impatient like me, just click the Activate button to activate windows immediately.

Windows is Activated
Since you're here, be sure to check out my article about building a super-fast Windows Server 2012 lab server for under $1,000!