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Q: Office Activation - Set up Windows with the Correct Domain Suffix

Before you install Office, you should make sure that your Windows operating system is set up with the correct Domain Suffix so that your license will properly activate.

If you have already installed Office , and your license still does not appear to be activated even after going through the steps to validate activation, you should check that the Domain Suffix of your operating system is correct.

Answer

For Windows:

  1.   For this step, you may see one of the two below.
    1. From the Start Menu, go to Control Panel > System and Security > System.
    2. From the Start Menu, go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > System.
  2. In the Computer name, domain, and work group settings section, click Change settings.
    Result: The Systems Properties screen appears with the Computer Name tab open.
  3. Click Change....
    Result: The Computer Name/Domain Changes screen appears.
  4. Click More....
  5. Result: The Primary DNS suffix of this computer should show mit.edu. If it doesn't, enter mit.edu and click OK.
Only enter a new suffix if your computer does not yet have one. If another domain suffix, e.g., broad.mit.edu or psfc.mit.edu, is already listed, do NOT change it to just mit.edu.

Explanation

Office activation uses DNS lookup to locate the Key Management Service (KMS); if DNS lookup doesn't find the KMS server, office will not activate.

You can test DNS lookup from a command prompt like cmd.exe, using the following "nslookup" command:
nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp

Example of successful DNS lookup
C:\>nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp

_vlmcs._tcp.localdomain SRV service location:
          priority       = 0
          weight         = 0
          port           = 1688
          svr hostname   = KMS.MIT.EDU
Example of unsuccessful DNS lookup
C:\>nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp

*** nameserver can't find _vlmcs._tcp: Non-existent domain

If DNS lookup cannot locate kms.mit.edu, Office will not be able to activate.

  • Error code 0x8007007B can indicate this problem.
  • Setting the Primary DNS suffix, as described above, will often fix the problem.
  • If setting the Primary DNS suffix is not feasible, it is also possible to use the ospp.vbs script; its /sethst flag allows you to set the KMS hostname (kms.mit.edu).

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

April 12, 2017

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