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Windows Vista Thread, Samsung NC10 netbook cannot activate Vista Enterprise via KMS in Technical; This is a heads-up for anyone thinking of trying this: The Samsung NC-10 netbook cannot be upgraded to Vista Enterprise ...
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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Samsung NC10 netbook cannot activate Vista Enterprise via KMS

    This is a heads-up for anyone thinking of trying this: The Samsung NC-10 netbook cannot be upgraded to Vista Enterprise if you manage your activations via KMS.

    We were hoping to buy a large quantity of these with Windows XP installed, upgrade the RAM to 2GB, and run Vista Enterprise under our Software Assurance upgrade licence, as we do all our other clients. The OS runs perfectly on our first test machine, but it won't activate. When we try, the KMS server will not activate the machine, reporting error 0xC004F035. The Microsoft KB has an article all about this:

    You receive the following error message:

    Error Code: 0xc004f035

    The Software Licensing Service reported that the computer could not be activated with a Volume license product key. Volume licensed systems require upgrading from a qualified operating system. Please contact your system administrator or use a different type of key.

    This behavior occurs when the following conditions are true:

    • You are using the Key Management Service (KMS) to perform activation.
    • The computer uses an ACPI_SLIC table in the computer BIOS program.
    The causes are listed as either:

    Cause 1
    You purchased a computer that has a qualifying Windows operating system installed. However, the Windows marker in the ACPI_SLIC table is corrupted.

    Cause 2
    You purchased a computer that does not have a qualifying Windows operating system installed. In this case, the Windows marker is not present in the ACPI_SLIC table.
    Clearly Windows XP is a qualifying system for the software assurance upgrade; we've rebuilt Dell machines with Vista that shipped with Windows XP, even ones that are several years old, pre-dating Vista's release, and that do not have an ACPI_SLIC table at all. This leads me to believe that Cause 1 is that case here. The KB article mentions that a few Lenovo ThinkPad models had similar issues which were resolved with BIOS updates.

    No such luck here. The latest BIOS for the NC10 doesn't resolve the issue, and Samsung support have divorced any responsibility for it by stating that "We don't support Vista on the NC10. This is a Microsoft licensing issue."

    Their loss. We were planning to buy about 150 of these this year alone, but if we do that we will have to request MAK activation codes for every install, which is hardly ideal. I'm starting my Vista test install on an Acer Aspire now instead...
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 18th February 2009 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Formatting

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    gaz350's Avatar
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    dont forget to hold off on buying them untill the atom 280's arrives! Asus are claiming 9.5hrs of battery life. even though (i think) intel haven't announced anything yet.

    same situatuion as you 150+ and the samsung NC10 is my personal choice (unless toshiba can get some of their patents out the door this year) dont know if we'll be going down the Vista route so wont be a problem. thanks for the warning though!

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    If you use a retail or MAK key for Vista it will work fine. It's only the KMS activation that will be an issue, so your average consumer would not have a problem.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Might be better off calling Microsoft. For Windows Vista SP1 support is free.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Depending on the outcome of our other netbook trials I may do that, but if it's just one manufacturer's products that have this problem then I suspect Microsoft will (legitimately) point out that it's not their fault.

    Samsung's approach so far has been to wash their hands of the problem without even looking at it properly, and that says something about their support that makes me want to avoid doing business with them.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    While still not impressed with Samsung's support approach, it seems that the problem is not unique to the NC-10. Both the Acer Apsire One and MSI Wind netbooks exhibit the same symptom.

    I have a suspicion that it may be to do with the Windows XP Home ULCPC licence. I'm going to get in touch with Microsoft later and find out what the deal is with upgrade eligibility from this version. It seems ridiculous that we are eligible to upgrade from Windows 98 and that it wouldn't work from a low-cost XP licence, but that is seeming like the most plausible cause right now.

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    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    I dont think home versions of XP are elegible for upgrade rights. What the oem's should be doing now is burning their BIOS's with certain info which tells Vista it is an elegible upgrade, in order for KMS to work. So either Samsung aren't doing this, or they have done but with an XP home product.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    If you are on an academic Software Assurance program, as we are, then XP Home is eligible according to the Microsoft documentation (page 96-97 if anyone is interested)

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Update on this: both the Acer Aspire One and the Toshiba NB100 (which we have also been testing) both have BIOS updates that fix this problem.

    Frankly, this only supports my opinion that this is Samsung's problem and not Microsoft's.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    I'm going to perform a little thread necromancy here to update on the eventual conclusion of this: sometime between BIOS v04 and v07, Samsung have corrected this issue, though their failure to provide release notes for any of their BIOS updates means that I don't know which revision fixed it.

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    I don't suppose you know if the MSI Wind has had this problem corrected? Possibly looking at getting either the MSI Wind U100, Lenovo S10e or the NC10 at the moment

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    The latest MSI U100 BIOS available on the MSI website is version 1.0B. This version does not work with KMS activation.

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    Sorry to revive a 5 year old thread.... I was wondering if anyone managed to find out which version of the BIOS worked for the Acer Aspire One? I am trying to KMS activate with Windows 7 installed and I am getting the same errors described here. I downloaded the latest BIOS update and ran the flash utility but it does not seem to have made any difference

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    free780's Avatar
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    Sorry to resurrect the thread (again). If your lucky enough to build one of these fine netbooks. Update the BIOS to 11CA from the samsung support site. Then KMS works. It will clear your bios password.
    Last edited by free780; 14th March 2014 at 12:57 PM.

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