Activation Failure of WMC's digital product key for Cablecard

CZ Eddie

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Activation Failure of WMC's digital product key for Cablecard

#1

Post by CZ Eddie » Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:56 am

Fresh install of Win7.
Passes the digital cable test fine.
See's my HDHomeRun Prime + CableCard fine.
But after that, it goes to activate the product key and gives me this error even though Internet is working fine:

Activation Failure
Windows Media Center cannot connect to the Internet. Check your Internet connection and try again.

CZ Eddie

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#2

Post by CZ Eddie » Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:07 am

Image

choliscott

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#3

Post by choliscott » Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:33 am

What was the reason for the clean install? Based on some of the previous comments on other items, it wouldn't surprise me if MS turned off the WMC activation server.

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#4

Post by CZ Eddie » Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:33 pm

choliscott wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:33 am
What was the reason for the clean install? Based on some of the previous comments on other items, it wouldn't surprise me if MS turned off the WMC activation server.
I'm adding Cablecard and Win10 won't work with that.
So, I had to bring a Win7 back online.
I had a perfectly working Win7 VM a couple years ago but deleted it because I was running out of drive space. doh

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#5

Post by CZ Eddie » Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:44 pm

Uninstalling/reinstalling WMC via Control Panel add/remove programs applet.
Reboot in between.
Uninstall/reinstalled playready & digital cable activation.
Setup digital cable activation.
Setup Windows and it sees both my OTA and HD Prime (cablecard) tuners and this time it got past the media activation and sees over 1000 channels but is only using my OTA tuners.
And it says it could not connect to protected channels.

I'm trying some other things now.

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#6

Post by CZ Eddie » Wed Aug 03, 2022 7:49 pm

I think I've got the issue narrowed down to WMC's idea about what an Internet connection is.
If I enable the WMC Internet "always-on" option, then it's happy about everything until it goes to download the guide, which it then hangs and cannot go any further (this is expected now).

BUT, the workaround for that is to set the WMC Internet to "always-off".
That allows the guide to continue on, but prevents things like the Digital Cable Advisor from working (we have a workaround) AND it also prevents the digital license key activation.

So, I need to figure out how to get that digital license key activated without getting stuck trying to download a guide that isn't there.

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garyan2

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#7

Post by garyan2 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:02 pm

Keep you internet connection to always on, but don't accept the program guide terms of service. You should be able to complete setup then.

I only recommended turning the internet connection to be not always on so the user was able to accept the ToS. Even after all these years folks would still automatically accept which could cause issues during setup.

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Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#8

Post by CZ Eddie » Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:33 pm

Thanks, Gary. It seems to be a deeper issue then.
Enabling Internet doesn't fix it.

And I'm even more sure now that Internet is my problem.
Because just doing a simple Internet "test" fails on both my new Win7 and my old Win10 that I've been using for OTA.

Could someone test their setup for me?

GO TO:
--"Tasks"
--"General"
--"Windows Media Center Setup"
--"Set Up Internet Connection"
--"Next"
--Choose "Yes" to the question asking about your Internet connection.
--On the next page, click "Test".

If yours is like mine, it'll be hung up for several minutes and then say WMC couldn't access the Internet.

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#9

Post by CZ Eddie » Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:48 pm

Adding keyword phrases I've run into on this issue.

"Please wait a few moments while Digital Cable support is activated"
"Activate digital cable"
"Downloading TV Setup Data"
"Windows Media Center Cannot connect to the Internet"
"No Connection Available - Unable to contact server"

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garyan2

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#10

Post by garyan2 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:09 pm

The internet connection test might be a red herring. It tries to contact a MS server which is now turned off so it thinks you don't have internet. Did you try to perform TV Setup with the internet set to always on?

EDIT: Don't run the Test connection in case it sets a flag somewhere that you don't have internet based on the results.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#11

Post by CZ Eddie » Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:22 am

garyan2 wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:09 pm
Did you try to perform TV Setup with the internet set to always on?
Yeah, just did a clean Win7 OS install and have the same issue even with Internet set to "always on".

Tried this cool trick I found on the forum but it didn't help.
If you are having activation issues of the CableCard Product key:
when your activation fails, click back in the wizard
then open command prompt as administrator, and execute:
slmgr -ipk MVV4F-R2T29-WBHYJ-BBFQY-J64XX
slmgr -ato

then continue the wizard
If I just continue on past, I get "Display Driver Error" when trying to play any of the protected channels, which is ALL of them on Spectrum.

"The video playback device does not support playback of protected content"

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garyan2

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#12

Post by garyan2 » Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:43 am

And you ran Digital Cable Advisor without issue?
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#13

Post by CZ Eddie » Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:44 am

Tried the digital cable overide.
Playready reset.
Some various DLL's.
I just cannot get digital cable to connect on the Internet so it will activate.

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#14

Post by CZ Eddie » Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:44 am

garyan2 wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:43 am
And you ran Digital Cable Advisor without issue?
Yep, sure did!

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#15

Post by unclebun » Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:11 pm

This actually looks like a Windows Activation problem, not a WMC problem to me. I have done innumerable Windows 7 installations, with WMC, over the years, and there has never been any indication of a need to wctivate WMC. But activating Windows is something I always do as soon as the initial installation is complete. Are you successfully completing Windows activation before you start messing with media center?

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#16

Post by CZ Eddie » Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:18 pm

unclebun wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:11 pm
This actually looks like a Windows Activation problem, not a WMC problem to me. I have done innumerable Windows 7 installations, with WMC, over the years, and there has never been any indication of a need to wctivate WMC. But activating Windows is something I always do as soon as the initial installation is complete. Are you successfully completing Windows activation before you start messing with media center?
Yep, Windows is getting activated before I even start to mess with WMC.
I've done that with both Win7 and Win8.1 now.

This activation is not required for OTA tuners. You won't even find the option in WMC's settings for it.
It's only for Cablecard setups in WMC.
So, if you've never had to activate WMC's Digital Cable feature, then you've simply never used WMC with a CableCard before?

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#17

Post by CZ Eddie » Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:54 pm

I moved away from VM's and installed on a physical box.
Also changed my method of the WMC setup... and it's now working.

Not sure if it's the method I used or that WMC doesn't like VM's now.
I'll try to figure out which and post that info here later.

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#18

Post by CZ Eddie » Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:27 am

VM still not working. Just the physical box.
Bummer. VM's used to work fine for me with cablecard.

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#19

Post by unclebun » Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:57 pm

CZ Eddie wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:18 pm
unclebun wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:11 pm
This actually looks like a Windows Activation problem, not a WMC problem to me. I have done innumerable Windows 7 installations, with WMC, over the years, and there has never been any indication of a need to wctivate WMC. But activating Windows is something I always do as soon as the initial installation is complete. Are you successfully completing Windows activation before you start messing with media center?
Yep, Windows is getting activated before I even start to mess with WMC.
I've done that with both Win7 and Win8.1 now.

This activation is not required for OTA tuners. You won't even find the option in WMC's settings for it.
It's only for Cablecard setups in WMC.
So, if you've never had to activate WMC's Digital Cable feature, then you've simply never used WMC with a CableCard before?

Image
Nope. I've used cable with WMC since Windows XP. I have used Ceton tuners since digital cable became available. There has never been an activation in WMC for cablecards or anything else.

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#20

Post by CZ Eddie » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:47 pm

unclebun wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:57 pm
Nope. I've used cable with WMC since Windows XP. I have used Ceton tuners since digital cable became available. There has never been an activation in WMC for cablecards or anything else.
Well, maybe it's a Ceton vs HDHomeRun thing then, because I've configured dozens of these Win7 & Win8 setups for Cablecard in the past and always had the digital cable activation screen.
I'm in the USA and I assume you are too, if you've used a CableCard. So it can't be a regional thing.

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