For anyone whose Windows 8 OEM or MSDN installation fails to activate with a “DNS does not exist” error, you can solve the problem fairly easily by retriggering Microsoft’s activation process by doing the following:
- From the Start screen, press Win+R to get to the traditional desktop and bring up the run dialog.
- Type cmd and press enter.
- Once running, right-click the taskbar icon and select “Pin this program to taskbar.”
- Once pinned, right-click the icon again, and then right-click the “Command Prompt” menu item, and select “Run as administrator” from that menu.
- Exit, and re-run the command prompt from the taskbar.
- At the command prompt, type: slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX where the X’s represent your product key. Just reuse your original key. You’ll get a notice that the key has been applied.
- Clear the dialog, then type: slmgr.vbs -ato. You should now get a notice that Windows has properly activated, and everything should be working as expected.