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:
The causes are listed as either:
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.
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.
You purchased a computer that has a qualifying Windows operating system installed. However, the Windows marker in the ACPI_SLIC table is corrupted.
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.
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...