Activation Fails on new OCS Standard Edition Installation – Failure [0xC3EC78D8] Failed to read the Office Communications Server version information.

When installing a new OCS server recently I got these errors first in the deployment log:


And drilling down further:


So what on earth causes that! I thought, given that I had installed OCS no differently than usual. Turns out this harks back to the issues Microsoft caused when they released an update to the CryptoAPI in KB974571.

Essentially this caused OCS not to be able to read information about itself (like it license info) which was encrypted in with the CryptoAPI. This meant that OCS services wouldn’t start and lead to quite a few disgruntled customers!

Well there was a fix for that called OCSASNFix which not only fixed the services not starting issue but also fixes this new server activation error. The fix is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center. To obtain the fix, visit the following Microsoft Web page:

Here is an extract from the KB article describing what it does:

The fix (OCSASNFix.exe) is governed by the Microsoft Software License Agreement for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Office Communications Server 2007, Live Communications Server 2005, Office Communicator 2007 R2, Office Communicator 2007, and Office Communicator 2005.

This fix works for both clients and servers, and it is applicable to the following roles for all versions of Office Communications Server and Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 and for evaluation versions of Office Communicator:

· Standard Edition Server

· Director server role

· Enterprise Edition Consolidated

· Enterprise Edition Distributed – Front End

· Edge Server

· Proxy server role

· Office Communicator 2007 Evaluation version only

· Office Communicator 2007 R2 Evaluation version only

· Office Communicator 2005 Evaluation version only

This fix sets the OCSASNFIX DWORD value to 1 for the following registry subkey on the OCS 2007/R2 and LCS 2005-SP1 Server:


Having downloaded the fix from the link above, navigate to its location in a command prompt and run it by typing the following command, and then pressing ENTER:



When you run it you will see what it thinks is installed on your system and what it has fixed:


After that, as a precaution I rebooted the server.

Hope that helps people get over, and hopefully prevent a most annoying issue!