Cannot start software protection service & activate Windows and Microsoft Office

This is a quick post to mention a fix for an annoying problem that cropped up today after Sage had been installing their applications on one of our servers.  It first appeared that Windows was not activated (even though I knew I had done this) and the Software Protection service was unable to start.  It was giving the error Windows could not start the software protection service on Local Computer.  You may also notice that Microsoft Office pops up with an error stating Microsoft Office can’t find your licence for this application.  A repair attempt was unsuccessful or was cancelled.  Microsoft Office will now exit.  I experienced the error on Windows 2012 R2 Server but it seems that this is common on all operating systems above Windows 2008 R2.

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Activate an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 with a valid key

Problem:
A client recently asked me to setup several VMs using the evaluation copy of Windows Server 2016.  After they had put lots of data on the servers and decided to use them for production purposes they decided they wanted to keep the existing server setup. When inputting a purchased Volume Licence Key they were presented with the error ‘That key can’t be used to activate this edition of Windows. Please try a different key’.

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How to check your DFS backlog

Problem: Sometimes when there is a heavy network load or the fileservers are particularly busy I have noticed that DFS replication items begin to queue and the delay between synchronisation increases.  I wanted to see what was in the DFS replication backlog and see it clear to make sure replication was working.

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