How to use KMS based activation for Windows images

August 4, 2021 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

Hi All

In our Hosting environment , we had to deploy large number of Windows Servers. We need to ensure that the Windows images are remain active within our datacenters only. As we cannot use MAK based activation. Because , if the customer moves out from us the licenses should be not active . In other words , it is customer responsibility to reactivate the Windows in his new environment.

So we came up with the idea of KMS based activation using VMware Templates and this is how we did it.

  • Install the KMS Service on a Windows 2019 and activate it with the KMS Key.
    ( I am not writing the steps here .Since a simple Google search result will yield lot’s how-to articles on KMS installation.)
  • Created a Windows 2019 VM.
  • Activated the Windows 2019 with the GVLK. You can refer the below URL for the GVLK keys.
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/kmsclientkeys
  • Ran the Sysprep and converted it to a template.
  • Thereafter , we created a custom specification file to perform the KMS activation on Windows image. All these settings are mandatory .Otherwise , the KMS commands will fail to run.

    + In the Windows License Page , clear all the settings.

+ In the Administrator Password and set a Password ,

+ In the Commands to run once Page, enter the below commands
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /skms “kms server ip”:1688
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

That’s it. Now you can go ahead and deploy the Windows images and get it activated by KMS.

Further reading:

1)Use the below command on your Windows images to verify the CMID(Client Machine ID is not duplicated).

Get-WmiObject -class SoftwareLicensingService | Select-object ClientMachineID

Duplicated CMID will prevent VM’s from getting activated.

2) On the KMS client you can review the below Registry key to verify the correct KMS settings have been applied.

HKLM/SOFTWARE/MICROSOFT/WINDOWSNT/CURRENTVERSION/SOFTWAREPROTECTIONPLATFORM/
–KeyManagementServiceName
–KeyManagementServicePort

3) Use the below commands on the KMS Server & Clients to verify the Windows Activation.

slmgr /dlv

slmgr /dli


Entry filed under: Windows, Windows 2019. Tags: , , , , .

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