Due to a recent update that has been pushed out to the Office 365 Pro Plus product, the Shared Activation for Office 2013 / 2016 reports an error that it cannot activate this instance of Office. This means that Office won’t be functional anymore on a Shared Workspace such as Remote Desktop Services platform.

Some of the errors that have been reported:

  1. The Program can’t start because davclnt.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

  2. Sorry, something went wrong while trying to obtain a shared computer license for Skype for Business. Error code:0Xo004f014

  3. Sorry, something went wrong while trying to obtain a shared computer license for Word. Error code:0Xo004f014

  4. UNLICENSED PRODUCT. Most features are turned off because a shared computer license isn’t available. To use these features, close word, restart it and sign in with your Office 365 account.

An office 365 Community article has been pointing towards some of these symptoms as well. The following updates seems to be the main culprit.

Uninstalling Office also didn’t yield any fruit. However having the ability to roll back to our full image backups for our clients meant we were able to get them back online fairly quickly. But that wouldn’t mean we won’t be back on the same boat soon. During our support calls with Microsoft, we noticed that the servers that were having this issue, had Desktop Experience turned off. This was only caught purely because we had 1 session host server which is part of a group of session host servers which did not have any issue as described above. Comparing the feature list, we found that the servers that did have the issue didn’t have desktop experience turned on. Whether the feature got turned off during an update or was never turned on is still under review and I will post back update on it later.

1
2
3
#Turn on Desktop Experience
Get-WindowsFeature *Desktop*
Install-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience

This process takes quite a while to complete (~ 20 minutes for us), few reboots, but there is success at the end, Office starts functioning normally.

  1. First check what is the status of Desktop Experience on the server

  1. Begin the installation process using the code pasted above

  2. As mentioned the process takes a while and the server would need to be restarted at the end of the process.

  3. Post restart , Office starts functioning without any more issues (well at least for the time being J )

    Thanks for reading J