Error 0x8007007f: A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer

SYMPTOMS After you install SP2 for Windows Server 2003 x64 you get the following error message when you try to login using local console or RDP:
A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer: Error Code 0x8007007f
Un problema impide que Windows compruebe con precisión el estado de la licencia para este equipo. Código de error: 0x8007007f

RESOLUTION Some days after having approved SP2 for Windows Server 2003 x64 in WSUS and having it installed on several servers without any problem, I tried to log in using RDP on another one of them and noticed the former error message. Then I went to the local console and see a bunch of error messages on screen (without having anyone logged on) such as "not enough virtual memory...", "application xxxx will now terminate", and so on, poping up in front of the usual "press ctrl+alt+del to log in" dialog. So I needed to accept all those error messages before being able to actually log in the server from the console.

After having read and accepted 5 or 6 of them, I started to just press Ok without even read the messages... Finally I was able to press ctrl+alt+del and try to log in... and the same error regarding code 0x8007007f appeared, logging me off automatically (logging in process did not even finish).

So I went back to my XP client and used the Event Viewer to remotely connect to the server experiencing the problem and see the System event log. Quite near the top of the list of events I found:

Event Type: Information
Event Source: NtServicePack
Event Category: None
Event ID: 4371
Date:  21/03/2007
Time:  15:21:52
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 was installed (Service Pack 1 was previously installed).
Event Type: Information
Event Source: Windows Update Agent
Event Category: Installation 
Event ID: 19
Date:  21/03/2007
Time:  15:21:59
User:  Not available
Installation Successful: Windows successfully installed the following update: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 for x64 Editions
Event Type: Information
Event Source: Windows Update Agent
Event Category: Installation 
Event ID: 22
Date:  21/03/2007
Time:  15:21:59
User:  Not available
Restart Required: To complete the installation of the following updates, the computer will be restarted within 5 minutes: 
- Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 for x64 Editions

But no trace of the expected reboot was found at on the rest of the System event log. So I just used shutdown -i to interactively shutdown the server and restart it again. That solved the problem completely.


  • Dell PowerEdge 2950 (Dual Xeon, 4Gb RAM)
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 R2 + SP1
  • SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition
  • WSUS is used to deploy updates to computers in the domain
  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) for x64 Editions is released and aproved in WSUS for automatic install

KEYWORDS Windows 2003 Server, R2, x64, 64 bits, SP2, Service Pack 2, WSUS, 0x8007007f, licence, problem, error, prevent, accurately, check, license

2007-03-27 UPDATE Only 5 days have passed since the original date of this post and I have noticed a big amount of traffic (compared to my historic) directed by Google regarding this Error 0x8007007f. It seems it is a relative common problem but I would like to have some feedback about it: If your problem is fixed only with a reboot, I would like to hear about it; if it does not, I would like you to drop some lines too; if you solved your problem in any other way, it would be interesting for everybody to know. Thanks.

2007-04-07 UPDATE Due to the limited feedback I have received, I am investigating this issue on myself (even though my servers do not show this error anymore). It seems there is a workaround for this error, in Microsoft's Knowledge Base 914232: You may receive error code 0x80004005 or other error codes when you try to start a Windows XP-based computer:

Error code 0x8007007f or error code 0x8007007e
This problem frequently occurs after you upgrade a service pack. After you upgrade, there appears to be a corrupted file, a missing file, or a file mismatch.
Workaround for error code 0x8007007f or error code 0x8007007e
To work around this problem, uninstall the service pack that you installed. Then, reinstall the service pack.

This does not seem to be in contradiction with what happened to me: If the server, for whatever the reason, did not reboot, it seems feasible that this error 0x8007007f appears because of a file mismatch (since the reboot did not occur the files that were in use were not replaced).

Before you uninstall and reinstall SP2, I would check if the reboot did take place and, if not, doing a remote reboot of the server might solve the problem.


Anonymous said...

I also found the same error on one x64 platform so far. Prior to SP2 installation via WSUS, I had Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition Service Pack 1 installed. In my case, I run Virtual Server 2005 R2 so I have it set not to automatically reboot, so not to corrupt the guest OS installations. I manually login to the host, shutdown or save the guests, then I reboot the host. I am thinking that this error is caused when SP2 has been applied and not rebooted yet. I will let you know if I find any other scenarios.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to add that the virtual hosts do not have internet access, so if there is some new mechanism in place where it needs to reach out to MS and validate the key, then it wouldn't have been able to. After the 1st reboot, all seems fine except for this other error relating to deletion of the Help Service:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: HELPSVC
Event Category: None
Event ID: 16387
Date: 4/2/2007
Time: 9:50:34 AM
User: N/A
Computer: XXX
Service could not be deleted

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

J.A. García Barceló said...

I don't know if you already know, but... just in case: You can set the virtual guests to automatically save their state whenever the host server restart (in fact, it triggers when "Virtual Server" service stops). Doing so, would save you from having to manually shutdown (or save) the guests to be able to shutdown (or restart) the host.

Adam said...

I received this error on a Server 2003 R2, x64 machine running SQL Server 2005 initially after a re-install...after reading Microsoft's KB article, I assumed I had a corrupted file in one of my backups... Well, it happened again, after I did yet another re-install!

I should also note that the machine is a stand alone system, so a simple "shutdown /i" and pointing to it gives an Access Denied message. After a little searching I found I could use the "net use \\[computer name] /u:[user name with permissions]" command, then I could reboot remotely.

Finally, after probably 8 hours were lost (including the second re-install), Everything seems to be working now! Thanks for letting me know that a simple reboot would fix things... I just wish I'd found this article before Microsoft's "workaround"

Ben Ryan said...

Problem verified. Dell PE2900 running Windows Server 2003 R2 x64. Updated to SP2 RTM. I don't think I rebooted - left it to a more convenient time. Went to RDP to box - "A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer. Error Code: 0x8007007f" The direct console session still worked.
After a reboot the box seemed to work ok.

Jim said...

Bingo. Remote reboot cleanly resolved this problem for me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Same problem, remote restarted solved it

Anonymous said...

We experienced the exact same problem today at our company. The specs on the system are as follows: Dell PE2950, QUAD XEONs - 3 GHz, 4GB RAM, Win 2k3 x64, SP2.
Updates were applied yesterday. Developer opened a ticket this morning with the 0x8007007f error message. Found this post and remotely rebooted the server. Problem is now resolved.
Thanks for posting your information.

Anonymous said...

Worked like a champ. Thanks.

Mathias said...

Thank you! I am glad I found this fix before I followed MS advice in KB914232 to roll back. I too experienced with this Windows Server 2003 x64 which did not reboot after the SP2 install via WSUS. We occasionally have seen this on our servers that they do not reboot after wsus based updates. But never had an error like this before.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,
Same problem happened here.
Good thing I found this forum and rebooted before starting to do anything else.
That resolved the issue and I am happy again.

Anonymous said...

LOL, it works, had this problem with upgrade win xp pro without SP > win xp pro SP2

Sven Aelterman said...

The workaround for me too was to reboot after applying SP 2. The reboot did not happen automatically according to the event log (although network connectivity was lost for some time after it said it would reboot).

Matt said...

So, I'm having this problem now. The trick is that my server won't boot normally because it needs to go into Directory Services Repair mode - and when I reboot in DSR, I get the licensing error described here. So, I can't boot, except to DSR - and I can't log in there. Any ideas?

This all started with a hal.dll error on boot, which I resolved with fixboot in repair mode. Since then I've been in the DSR / license trap.

José Antonio García Barceló said...

Probably you are receiving "Error 0x8007007f" due to any other reason. One of the possibilities was a needed reboot that did not take place (commented in this post). If your case is other (I suppose you have rebooted several times), I would suggest you to disconnect the boot HD of your server and check it on other computer for defective sectors, file mismatchs between a running server at the same SP level (maybe some files were corrupted in any way).

Microsoft recommends reinstalling SP2, so I would try to do that, or at least, mimic its behaviour copying known SP2 extracted files replacing the existing ones (you will need to connect your boot drive to another computer as a secondary hd). Start with HAL.DLL and other DLLs under %WINDIR%\SYSTEM32 directory.

This is open-heart computing, but I suppose you will need something drastic since you do not seem having backups. It doesn't look good, but I hope you have luck.

Before doing anything to that HD, I would also do a mirror copy of it to another spare new HD. I have used Acronis TrueImage for cloning drives with problems. There was a 30-day free trial which will serve your needs, since you only need install and run once ;).

José Antonio García Barceló said...

Another thought: HAL.DLL is for Hardware Abstraction Layer support. Did you install any new hardware recently, or changed any option in BIOS? Maybe reverting things back (if that being your case) will work also.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't I think of that? Reboot fixes everything!

Anonymous said...


I had same problem on WinXP x64. SP reinstallation did the trick when other solutions hadn't changed anything.