How to solve Failed-Activating Windows in AWS EC2

Sometimes when I create a Windows EC2 Instance from one of my custom AMIs I get an activation failed Windows Server.

Follow the instruction below to Activate your Windows Instance. (For Windows Server 2016, 2019 and later only).

Activate Windows Manually using EC2Launch initialization script

Open Powershell on your Windows Server and run the command below.

C:\ProgramData\Amazon\EC2-Windows\Launch\Scripts\InitializeInstance.ps1; cscript "${env:SYSTEMROOT}\system32\slmgr.vbs" /ato

Notes:

  • No need to run Powershell in administrator mode.
  • No need to restart your instance. Once you run the above command, the Activate Windows on your desktop will disappear.
  • This will not update the local Administrator password

There are other ways to Activate Windows on your AWS EC2. You can check them all here.

Adding a Volume without Restart in Windows EC2

When I create Windows Instances in AWS EC2, I usually forget to add a drive or two. With this step-by-step tutorial, I will walk you through how to create a new Volume for EC2 Instances, then make Windows use the new Volume without a reboot.

  • Initial Setup
  • Creating and Attaching the Volume in AWS EC2 Console
  • Adding the new Volume to Windows System

Initial Setup

I launched a EC2 Windows 2016 Server with only 1 Block Device (/dev/sda1), which is also my Root Device.

AWS EC2 Console

Note the Availability Zone where your instance is located, you will need this later. Mine is in us-east-1a.

Looking inside Windows it only has 1 volume.

File Explorer
Disk Management

Creating and Attaching the Volume in AWS EC2 Console

Now we need to attach a new Volume for our Windows Server.

Go to AWS EC2 Console, on the left sidebar click on Volumes.

Continue reading Adding a Volume without Restart in Windows EC2

Resizing Storage Volume for AWS EC2 Windows without Restarts/Downtime

Problem: You are running a critical Windows Server on AWS EC2 and the C: drive is almost full (storage volume) but it should zero downtime (No Restart, No Stop then Start). Is this possible on AWS EC2?

Yes, it is possible.

Check the instructions below.

Test Windows Server

AMI Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Base
Instance Type t2.micro
Storage 30 GiB – General Purpose SSD (gp2)

Storage Size

We are increasing the Storage size from 30 GiB to the target size of 50 GiB.

You can set any size that you want as long as it is bigger than the current size.

Resizing Storage

To resize the volume of the Windows Drive on AWS you can follow the steps below. Continue reading Resizing Storage Volume for AWS EC2 Windows without Restarts/Downtime