KMS Activation on Windows 2016 “Vmw.exe has stopped working”

After installing a new Windows Server 2016 with the KMS role, you will try to install your KMS host key:

Then the volume activation tools will try to install the product key



And you will get the following message:

Vmw.exe has stopped working

Well, this is a fresh installation with all available updates installed. You can try to run as administrator but the application will crash.


You must forget the GUI and use the command line tool to install product keys:

Next, you can activate the product keys:

And finally, you can check all the products:



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About Nicolas 270 Articles
I work as an IT Production Manager, based in Paris (France) with a primary focus on Microsoft technologies. I have 10 years experience in administering Windows Servers. . I am a Microsoft MVP for Cloud & Datacenter Management. I also received the PowerShell Hero 2016 award by PowerShell.0rg. And finally, I am "MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure", "MCSA: Windows Servers", "Administering & Deploying SCCM", and CheckPoint CCSA certified.