After applying a new LAK, e.g., in preparation for an upgrade or to increase LISTSERV's capacity, LISTSERV doesn't start and I get an Windows error:

Could not start the Listserv (Primary Server) service on \\XXXXXX

Error 2140: An internal windows NT error occurred.

Generally, Windows system errors are not helpful in diagnosing LISTSERV problems. You need to look at the LISTSERV console log (typically found in \LISTSERV\LOG, the logs are called LISTSERV-yyyymmdd.LOG where yyyymmdd is the year, month, and day—e.g., 20181126 for 26 Nov 2018) to see what LISTSERV has to say about this problem. However a couple of guesses can be hazarded:

Is the LAK in LICENSE.MERGE properly formatted? If the LAK contains quoted-printable encoding or any other "garbage" that may have accreted between the sales representative and yourself, or if the LAK was typed in by hand and contains an error, LISTSERV will not start.

Was LICENSE.MERGE created with Notepad and really named LICENSE.MERGE.TXT ?

You can also take a look at this FAQ, below.