Could not start Software Licensing service on Local Computer

A Windows 2008 server (same for Vista), after Windows update and reboot returns in a activation lock assuming the machine is running without a licence.

After starting it up in save mode, and then starting it up in the "normal" mode. I was able to login as a local admin. Take a look on the running services. The "Software Licensing service" stopped working and could not start.  It mentioned a error.


After a support call to Microsoft the came with a solution. This error stands for a truncated licence store. So how to recover from this!

  1. net stop slsvc (select yes) in my case it was already stopped.
  2. in command prompt type: 
  3. cd %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareLicensing
  4. rename the tokens.dat file: ren tokens.dat tokens.old
  5. still in the command prompt type  cd %windir%\system32
  6. type net start slsvc
  7. type cscript slmgr.vbs -rilc (this may take a long time)
  8. Then reboot the machine twice !!!
  9. slmgr.vbs –ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (assuming you have a MAK key, not a KMS key)
  10. To activate your OS, just type: slmgr.vbs –ato
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