KB971033 deactivating Windows 7 systems

Windows is no stranger to issues and errors. These niggles often trouble the users and the administrators in case of companies. It has recently come to the notice that Microsoft’s KB971033 update for Windows 7, the one released on January 2019 Patch day is causing some networking issues.

The networking issue crops up in certain configurations, and the issue has happened just as we are forgetting the Windows 10 1809 debacle. According to the reports, the KB971033 update is causing activation issues on Windows 7 Enterprise PC’. The update was originally released on April 2018 as part of the Activation Technologies of Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate and professional.

Interestingly the list excludes Enterprise, however, the update was somehow installed in some of the devices. It is also worth noting that Microsoft has acknowledged the issue in KB4480960 within the summary of the update for Windows 7.

The issue seems to be wild spread. A Reddit thread by a system administrator has mentioned that thousands of Windows 7 VDI machines started showing up an error that the operating system is not genuine. Upon further investigation, the author of the Reddit thread found out that the activation issue was caused by some changes in Microsoft Activation servers which respond to standard KMS keys. The Admin resolved the data by deleting the KMS cache and activation data.

Workaround for Windows 7 KB971033 activation issue

Execute the following commands in an elevated command prompt:

Net stop sppsvc

del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-1.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

net start sppsvc

slmgr /ipk "Your-KEY"

slmgr /ato

Alternatively, you can also try to uninstall KB971033.

If the machine doesn’t have KB971033 installed please execute the following commands:

Type: net stop sppsvc

Type: del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

Type: del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-1.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

Type: del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\tokens.dat

Type: del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\cache\cache.dat

Type: net start sppsvc

Type: slmgr /ipk "Your-KEY"

Read more about this issue here and here on Microsoft.

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Mahit Huilgol has been using Windows on PC and Mobile since long. He has been following Microsoft developments from close quarters and loves writing about it.