Software Deployment Question

Does pushing out a Windows feature update through a managed install with K1000 cause Office 2016 to lose it's activation status?

07/07/2019 450 views

I recently stepped in to start managing our college's K1000 and K2000 appliances. From what I gathered the previous tech left months before I started and neither KACE appliance had been in the best working order even at that time. After watching the training videos that were downloaded I got the K2000 down and streamlined the imaging process, and now I am in the process of getting the K1000 brought back up to speed. The main issue everyone seemed to be having was that KACE was not handling feature updates, so that is what I set my sights on first, and after a little poking around I found the support article detailing how to push out feature updates with a managed installation using an ISO. The actual update works fine and I was able to bring a couple test machines up to 1809, but when I was looking over them afterwards to make sure all of our personalizing and product activation had stayed in tact I realized that Microsoft Office 2016 was no longer activated. The MAK key used to activate these particular machines has since run out of activations. My question then is, is this normal and pushing out the feature updates with an ISO is going to require another activation of Office, or is there a way to avoid this particular issue? Possibly a switch on the setup.exe I overlooked to stop things from trying to reactivate?

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The correct way according to MicroSoft to fix this is contact MS and ask them to reset your MAK license.

be ready to supply:

  1. Agreement that the key belongs to - License Number (not product key)
  2. Total number of Activations you want to see - if original was for 150 and you need it reset to 150, ask for 300
  3. Reason Why you are requesting this - Reimaging, loss of key by VAMT
  4. Product that is being referred - Office 2016
  5. Last 5 digits of product key

The email for MS used to be makadd@microsoft.com

Or you can take the blue pill instead:

The upgrade makes a backup of the system folders and creates new ones. (windows.old and all subfolders is the old version) to allow role back. they are about 10-20 gig usually

If you have not opened office unless including in the startup to open some component of it, the license office folder (SPP) may not exist 

delete the C:\Windows\System32\spp directory and all sub dirs if exists

move the C:\Windows.old\System32\spp to C:\Windows\System32\spp

Answered 07/08/2019 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • The same thing happened to me when I upgraded from 1511 to 1607 years ago.

    You could create a script to perform what Smal.tmcc said,

    delete the C:\Windows\System32\spp directory and all sub dirs if exists

    move the C:\Windows.old\System32\spp to C:\Windows\System32\spp

    Then push the Script to all the upgraded workstations.


    Contact Microsoft, the way then handle their seats, makes it think your upgraded devices are actually new devices, they could help you with that pretty easy.
  • Thanks for the replies! Unfortunately moving the spp directory out of Windows.old didn't seem to fix the issue, so I guess we'll have to go the correct way.
    • sorry to hear, with the newer version they may have changed something. I had last used that process for an 1803 upgrade. You can try making a copy of the dir before upgrade to backup someplace. Looks like from searching the web that is what people are now doing.


      see method 3

      There is a possibility MS invalidated that number, that happen to me at the non profit I helped, someone was sharing the license and after it got hit on past its allowed number multiple times MS just deactivated it for abuse.
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All Answers


If your are using VAMT, you might want to check your Office 2016 KMS key. We had to update ours as they were refreshed from Microsoft.


Answered 07/09/2019 by: rdbaril
Senior White Belt

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