windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_featured_image

The Windows activation error 0x8007232b is one of the common activation issues all Windows OS users face. Since we get frequent calls from customers asking for help in this matter, we decided to solve it here so that everyone can access the solution without asking. Here is to notify that the resolutions of this error code 0x8007232b in all Windows OS environments are almost the same. 

We will be reaching for the six resolutions eventually after we understand what is meant by Windows activation error 0x8007232b.

 

What Is Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b

Generally, Windows activation error 0x8007232b appears when your device is unable to link with the KMS (Key Management Server) host somehow. 

The basic error message appears as:

 Error code: 0x8007232b

 Error description: DNS name does not exist.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_description

You may also see some other descriptions in different scenarios:

  • Error code: 0x8007232b

Error description: KMS (Key Management Service) Host couldn’t be located in the DNS (Domain Name System). Please have your system administrator identify that a KMS is published correctly in DNS.

 

  • Error code: 0x8007232b

Error description: The directory name, file name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.

 

Reasons Behind Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b

There are two to three possible reasons behind this message following the error code 0x8007232b. 

  • When we install the Windows Enterprise client from a volume-licensed media, sometimes, Error code: 0x8007232b appears as a volume activation issue. At times, when we try to activate the account using a Volume License generic product key or one which isn’t unique or somewhat wrong, the KMS host may not be found since it’s not installed appropriately or maybe DNS publishing isn’t enabled. 

 

  • And the second one is when the KMS client, means your PC is unable to find the KMS Server Resource Records (SRV RRs) in the DNS (Domain Name System) due to network problems or DNS issues. 

 

  • Sometimes, the KMS host may not exist in the network. In that case, the installation of the MAK (Multiple Activation Key) systems is required to find a solution. The presence of KMS is confirmed by the automatic creation of Service (SRV) Resource Records (RRs) in the DNS.

 

  • Again, in some newer Windows 10 builds, you may not need to put the product key. And in those cases, the same Windows activation error 0x8007232b occurs when we try the regular Windows Activation wizard to activate the machine.

 

How Do I Fix Error Code 0x8007232b in Windows 10 or Other Windows OSs

Solution 1: Fixing Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b By Troubleshooting Network

Sometimes, it’s just simple network issues which lead us to the Windows activation error 0x8007232b. In the latest Windows versions, you get the built-in network troubleshooter. 

Reach out to:

Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional Troubleshooters > Network Adapter > Run the troubleshooter

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_settings_troubleshooters

 

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_run_troubleshooter

When the scanning and repairing processes are finished, reboot the PC to check if the error code 0x8007232b is resolved or not. Here, it is also recommended to clear out the DNS cache files.

Do you still face the same trouble as before? Well then, we move towards the next round.

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Solution 2: Fixing Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b By Converting The Product Key From KMS To An MAK When You Don’t Have A KMS Host

When you can’t install a KMS Host in your network or when the KMS activation can’t be used due to a KMS server down issue, you may experience the Windows activation error 0x8007232b while activating your computer. In that case, the most common and most straightforward solution is to convert the key manually from the KMS system to a MAK (Multiple Activation Key).

  • When you are in your administrator account, open the elevated Command Prompt. Write ‘cmd’ in the taskbar search box at the left corner. 

 

  • Then, right-click on the appeared Command Prompt app icon and choose the ‘Run as administrator’ link. Put the admin security passcode if asked so.

 

  • There, write slmgr -ipk xxxxx – xxxxx – xxxxx – xxxxx – xxxxx, where the Xs represents the 25 digit alphanumeric product key or product id you have in the format shown here. And slmgr command refers to the Software Licensing Management Tool, which enables advanced Windows activation tasks.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_cmd_product_key

  • For Windows 10 users, you can get the Product key or ID from the Registry Editor. Open Run window by pressing Windows + R together from the keyboard. Type ‘regedit’ there and Enter. Click Yes.

 windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_regedit

Now, in the Registry Editor window, follow the path below:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

There, you will see the option ProductID in the Details pane at the right section. You see the ID there. But to copy the key, right-click on the ProductID option and click Modify. Or Double-click on that to get the same.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_productid

  • Before you use the key in the cmd window, ensure that it’s still valid for your system. Now tap the Enter button.

 

  • After a while, a Windows Script Host (WSH) page will appear with the message of successful installation of your product key.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_wsh

You are done here. Restart the laptop or desktop to enjoy your activated OS.

For KMS activation related issues being the cause of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b in your computer or laptop, go through the next three solutions expressed below.

Solution 3: Fixing Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b By Configuring The KMS Host Against KMS Clients

The KMS activation process requires a KMS host to be configured in your network for the clients to recognize. Otherwise, you can’t activate your PC, and the screen shows errors like the Windows activation error 0x8007232b. 

If there is no KMS host configured in your network, we can configure one by using a suitable KMS host key. After configuring a machine to host the KMS software in your network environment, we have to publish the DNS settings.

Here, we will describe the process of installation and activation of KMS software in a Windows 10 computer to perform as a Host. For other systems, reach here in the Microsoft official page and also here.

Follow the steps below to configuration the KMS Functionality in your Windows 10 PC:

Open an administrator command prompt using the Run window and type the commands as required:

 

  • For installing the KMS key, use: slmgr.vbs /ipk <KmsKey>.

 

  • For activating the KMS host online, use: slmgr.vbs /ato.

 

  • For activating via a telephone call, follow the steps below:
    • Type slmgr.vbs /dti to confirm the installation ID.
    • Now, call the right Microsoft centre. You can get the number here. The voice will instruct you to put the installation ID.
    • Then, follow the prompts and enter the provided 48-digit confirmation ID to activate the OS.
    • Now, run the slmgr.vbs /atp \<confirmation ID\> in the end.

Note: For more KMS functionality, check here again.

The above process should enact the KMS activation process in any Windows 10 or lesser version systems in your network. Verify if you can activate all the client machines without any difficulty of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b or not. But if you already have a host configured in your system, yet you see the same error code 0x8007232b, try the troubleshooting methods provided next.

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Solution 4: Fixing Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b By Troubleshooting The Routine Configurations When The KMS Client Can’t Locate The Host

Sometimes, the Windows activation error 0x8007232b arises in some networked systems connected with a KMS host server, when it’s not installed correctly on the specific computer it should be in your network. So, we will be troubleshooting the KMS host configuration step-by-step in this section and provide the solution for the Windows activation error 0x8007232b where needed.

 

  • Section 1: Verifying the Basic IP Connectivity With The DNS Server

    • Open Administrator Command Prompt.
    • Type ping <DNS_Server_IP_address> and Enter. If you don’t know your DNS server IP address, type “ipconfig / all” command in the administrative cmd window.  windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_ipcnfg_dns_adrs   windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_dns_ping
    • The result should be like “Reply from, …”. If not, it’s a network or DNS trouble. Follow this process for troubleshooting TCP/IP woes.
    • If you can ping the DNS and get the reply correctly, follow the next step to diagnose the reason for the Windows activation error 0x8007232b.

 

  • Section 2: Verifying the KMS Host Registration with DNS

Here, we have to check the Registry of the KMS Host computer in your network. By default, the host registers a DNS SRV Record or SRV RR (Service Resource Records) dynamically once in every day. Without that, the client devices can’t be activated, and they face the Windows activation error 0x8007232b.

Note: Take Registry backup for restoration before you enter into this serious stuff.

 

    • In the Run window (Windows+R from keyboard), write ‘regedit’ and tap Enter.
    • Click Yes in the UAC pop-up window to open the Registry Editor.
    • There, walk through the path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_regedit_sl

    • Here, check the value against the DisableDnsPublishing entry inside the SL subkey.  windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_sl_dns
    • If the entry DisableDnsPublishing shows the value 0 or undefined (Default), that means the DNS is enabled and records SRV updates dynamically every day. 
    • When the entry DisableDnsPublishing shows the value 1, it implies that DNS is enabled but can’t update the SRV record automatically. In that case, we can Create a KMS SRV Record Manually. Let’s see the process later in Section 5 to get rid of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b.
    • When the DisableDnsPublishing entry isn’t present under SL, we have to create the new DWORD assigned for DisableDnsPublishing. For that, right-click on the empty section there and select 

               New > DWORD (32-bit) Valuewindows_activation_error_0x8007232b_new_dword

    • There, create a new key named as NewValue#1

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_regedit_newvalue

    • Right-click on it and click Rename to change the Value name as DisableDnsPublishing

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_regedit_rename

    • If dynamic registration is applicable, set the Value data as 0 or leave it as undefined.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_regedit_dnspub

 

  • Section 3: Finding out the Routine Issue Type

The following process applied in the specific KMS client tells us if the Windows activation error 0x8007232b occurred in it due to an SRV record issue or a name resolution issue and we can take necessary actions on them.

 

    • In the elevated cmd window, type the following lines:

cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms <KMS_FQDN>:<port>↵ 

cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato↵ 

Note: 

<KMS_FQDN> – The KMS host FQDN (Fully qualified domain name).

<port> – The TCP port used by KMS.

↵ – Enter symbol.

    • If the above commands resolve your issue currently, like activating the product for now, then it means that the core problem is related to the SRV record. And to troubleshoot that, we have to follow the command lines provided in the process of Assigning a KMS host Manually to a KMS client in Section 6.
    • If the above resolution can’t help in your case, type exactly the same lines with  <IP Address> at the place of <KMS_FQDN> in the first line.

Note: <IP Address> – IP address of the KMS host computer.

    • If it solves your trouble, that implies that we have a name resolution issue here. The troubleshooting of this condition is similar to Section 4 of Verifying the DNS Configuration.
    • If the above queries fail to remove the woes of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b, we should check the firewall configuration of that computer. 

All the activation communications, occurring between KMS host and the KMS clients run through the 1688 TCP port. So, we should see if both the firewalls on these machines are allowing the communication path over port 1688 or not.

 

  • Section 4: Verifying the DNS Configuration

Here, we will check the DNS configuration in the specific KMS client experiencing the Windows activation error 0x8007232b.

    • Run the administrator cmd and execute: ipconfig /allwindows_activation_error_0x8007232b_ipcnfg_all
    • From the available results, note down the following info:
      • The IP address assigned to the KMS client computer.
      • The Primary DNS server IP address used by the KMS client machine.
      • The default gateway IP address used by the KMS client PC.
      • The DNS suffix search list used by the KMS client device.
    • Now, we have to go to the KMS host computer to check the SRV records registered there in DNS.
    • Log into the KMS host server machine using the administrative account.
    • Open the elevated command prompt. Write cmd in the Run window, opened by Windows +R, and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter together to access the administrator privilege.
    • Copy and then paste this command there: 

                                        nslookup -type=all _vlmcs.tcp>kms.txt 

and hit Enterwindows_activation_error_0x8007232b_cmd_verify_kms

    • It generates the KMS.txt file, which is needed to learn about the KMS activation status. This file contains the KMS server entries similar to the following image: 

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_kms_entry

Note: In the above image, contoso.com is an example of a KMS host domain.

    • Here, check if the name, IP address, port, and the domain name of the KMS host is showing correctly or not.
    • If the provided entries here represent the expected KMS host results, and yet we face the activation woes like the Windows activation error 0x8007232b, we will be Assigning a KMS host manually to a KMS client later in Section 6.

Note: Even when the nslookup command fetches the expected KMS host values, the DNS client PC may not find the KMS host. If you still see the Windows activation error 0x8007232b, check for the other DNS settings including the primary DNS suffix and the DNS suffix search list for any error.

    • The primary DNS suffix search list found in the client PC should contain the DNS domain suffix info connected with the KMS host. If you can’t find that, we must apply the process of Configuring the KMS host for publishing in multiple DNS domains described later in Section 7, so that we can get rid of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b.

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  • Section 5: Creating A KMS SRV Record Manually

When the Microsoft DNS Server doesn’t support dynamic updates in the KMS Host computer, and the Registry string entry shows the value 1 there, we can create the SRV Record in the host PC manually to get rid of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b.

    • Open the DNS Manager through Start > Administrative Tools > DNS (or Server Manager > DNS). Or we can also run the command dnsmgmt.msc from the elevated command prompt to open the DNS console

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_admntool_dns

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_dnsmgmt

[Note: Here, if you can’t find the DNS in the above way, you may get an error message describing “Your DNS server might be unavailable” or something else. This may happen when the DNS role isn’t installed correctly (Check here for installation). 

This also disturbs the activation process, generating the same Windows activation error 0x8007232b. There, the solution is to point the KMS client to the host directly as we described later in Solution 5. Check our next fix for the Windows activation error 0x8007232b to solve this situation.]

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_dns_manager

(Source: MustBeGeek)

    • Select the specific DNS server FQDN (Fully qualified domain name) name, for which you need to create the SRV record (here, “dnsserver2003” in the image).  windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_dns_fqdn_name
    • Click that server’s console tree to expand its Forward Lookup Zones.

Inside it, you will see the specific DNS zone domain name (“myrootdns2003.com” in the image) on which we are about to add the SRV record. Now, right-click on that domain, and choose Other New Records.   

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_dns_flook_new_record

(Source: DNS Information)

    • It will open the Resource Record Type dialogue box. There, in the drop-down list, choose Service Location (SRV) option and then click on the Create Record button.  windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_resource_record_type_srv
    • There, write the information as below:
      • Service: _VLMCS
      • Protocol: _TCP
      • Priority: 0
      • Weight: 0
      • Port number: 1688
      • Host offering this service: <FQDN of the KMS host>

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_resource_record_new_srv_entry

Are you done putting info? Then check the box containing the message “Allow any authenticated user to update all DNS records with the same name”.

    • Click OK, and then Done.

This way you can remove the Windows activation error 0x8007232b from your client PC by connecting with the auto-updated KMS host machine.

Remember, when you are creating an SRV record for the KMS hosts who use a BIND 9.x-compatible DNS server, the required info changes a little as we see below:

    • Name: _vlmcs._TCP
    • Type: SRV
    • Priority: 0
    • Weight: 0
    • Port: 1688
    • Hostname: <FQDN or A-Name of the KMS host>

To enact KMS auto-publishing in a BIND 9.x-compliant DNS server configuration, write “any” (shows “none” in the image below) against the allow-update { none; }; command line at the end of /etc/named.conf or /etc/named.conf.local configuration in cmd for both zone-definitions.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_zone_allow_update

(Source: LinuxTechi)

When you allow auto-update of SRV Record in KMS host machine, the KMS client can access it properly, and the Windows activation error 0x8007232b resolves on its own.

 

  • Section 6: Assigning a KMS Host Manually to a KMS Client

Generally, the default system is pretty simple, and it allows the KMS client PCs to discover the host server automatically. So, this method is always recommended above the manual option. If this process fails, the activation system suffers through hindrances, and we see the problems like the Windows activation error 0x8007232b. In that case, the manual procedure is recommended.

When the automatic system doesn’t work, we follow the below steps to remove the blockage of Windows activation error 0x8007232b:

    • On a client PC, open the administrator Command Prompt.
    • Based on the implementation process applied in your PC, we have five different choices here. Select a suitable one from them.
      • The syntax for assigning a KMS host using its FQDN:

cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms <KMS_FQDN>:<port>

      • The syntax for assigning a KMS host using its version 4 IP address:

cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms <IPv4Address>:<port>

      • The syntax for assigning a KMS host using its version 6 IP address:

cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms <IPv6Address>:<port>

      • The syntax for assigning a KMS host using its NETBIOS name:

           cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms<NETBIOSName>:<port>

      • The syntax for returning to the automatic discovery process on a KMS client:

cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ckms

One of these commands should help you remove the Windows activation error 0x8007232b for activating the client PC correctly. If not, we should go to the next troubleshooting step.

 

  • Section 7: Configuring the KMS Host for Publishing in multiple DNS domains

In the automatic discovery procedure, the KMS client computer queries DNS for the list of available servers who have published the _vlmcs SRV records within the client’s membership zone. 

So we see that the _vlmcs SRV records in the DNS zone are the most crucial entries for the KMS client device to recognize a host computer. If the records are not present there, activation isn’t possible, and the Windows activation error 0x8007232b appears in your screen.

The DNS zone is either referred by the primary DNS suffix of the PC or by one of the following:

  • The domain of the computer, assigned by the DNS system (like the AD DS (Active Directory Domain Services) DNS) in domain-joined computers.
  • The domain of the computer, assigned by the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) in workgroup computers. 

According to the default settings, a KMS host assigns its SRV records in the DNS zone, corresponding to that host machine’s domain. Say, a KMS host is joined with the contoso.com domain. Then, it will register its record under the DNS zone contoso.com DNS zone, which will be identified as the _vlmcs._tcp.contoso.com service.

Now, the problem arises when the KMS clients and the KMS host use separate DNS zones. The clients can’t find the host, and we face the Windows activation error 0x8007232b during the connection. There, we must configure the KMS host in such a way that it can automatically publish the records in several DNS domains and the client computers can finally get rid of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b. 

Follow the below steps for that:

    • In the Host machine, enter into the Registry Editor using the Run window.
    • Select the path 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL

 as before.

    • Inside the Details pane in the right section, right-click on the blank area and choose 

New > Multi-String Value.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_new_multistring_dnsdomain

 

    • Rename the entry as DnsDomainPublishList.
    • Now, right-click on the new entry DnsDomainPublishList, and choose Modify.
    • In the dialogue box for Edit Multi-String, write all the DNS domain suffixes published by KMS on a separate line, and select OK.

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_dnsdomainplist_edit_multistring

Note: The DnsDomainPublishList format for Windows Server 2008 R2 is different. Check here for more details.

    • Now, use the Services administrative tool to reboot the Software Licensing service. This process will create the SRV records.
    • Verify if the KMS client is now able to discover the KMS host automatically or not. When the client recognizes the host both by IP address and name, the Windows activation error 0x8007232b will wear off, and your computer will be activated. If either of them fails, we have to investigate that DNS client resolver issue.
    • Clear out any older cached hostnames from the client machine using the elevated cmd command:

cscript C:\Windows\System32\slmgr.vbs -ckms

When you try all these steps, it must remove your Windows activation error 0x8007232b trouble altogether. Also, when the DNS isn’t available, try the next solution described below.

 

Solution 5: Fixing Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b By Pointing The KMS Client To The KMS Host When DNS Is Unavailable

When DNS is somehow unavailable in some client computers, we need to point those KMS client machines towards the KMS host directly so that the Windows activation error 0x8007232b removes from them and the activation completes immediately.

  • Open the Run window.

 

  • Type ‘cmd’ and then press together Ctrl+Shift+Enter to access the elevated command prompt.

 

  • Click the Yes button in the UAC pop-up box.

 

  • There, use the command-

                                         slmgr.vbs /skms <kms_host_name>

and Enter.

After the execution of the above command, restart your PC and enjoy the activated OS without any sign of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b. If this process can’t solve your issue, we will try the next one.

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Solution 6: Fixing Windows Activation Error 0x8007232b By Installing MAK

When the above procedures fail in case of a remote volume licensing process, and you see the same Windows activation error 0x8007232b in your computer, we can manually install MAK and activate the system without any further delay. 

Windows Activation Server directly activates MAK keys in a few (lesser number of devices than volume licensing system) pre-configured machines signed in a deal between an Enterprise and Microsoft. Hence, they aren’t required to connect with any in-house Host server. 

However, these keys are better options where reinstallation of the OS isn’t required much. After any reinstallation, hard drive reset, or clean installation in your machine, the count for MAK activated devices doesn’t return, and you may end up repurchasing the key.

Let’s see how we can activate using MAK keys from VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center) portal to get rid of the Windows activation error 0x8007232b:

  • Firstly, reach for Microsoft’s VLSC page.

 

  • Sign in there to register and get your keys from the Downloads and Keys link. Follow the instructions provided there.

 

  • In the PowerShell administrator window in your machine, type 

slmgr.vbs /ipk MAKProductKey

 

  • Activate your OS online with the Microsoft server using slmgr.vbs /ato command.

 

  • When a pop-up window shows up to ask your permission, tap on the OK button to confirm.

 

  • To learn more about your activation details, write slmgr /dli in the Powershell window and hit Enter. 

windows_activation_error_0x8007232b_powershell_activation_detail

This process will indeed remove the Windows activation error 0x8007232b and activate your device correctly.

 

Bottom Line

Ok, first of all, thanks for staying with us up to the end of this long solution topic. Here, we have seen most of the common fixes for the Windows activation error 0x8007232b one can possibly face. I hope the solutions helped you well. If you still face any trouble on the same or if you have any other query, feel free to ask us here. Please share any suggestions if you think suitable for this topic. For any laptop or PC trouble related to activation, or any other software issues, or hardware stuff, contact our NSS Laptop Repair Center here. We will reach to your doorstep anywhere in India if needed.

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