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MAK and KMS question

    Question

  • Hi all:  My company is just now starting to Windows 7 and when the roll-out happens I will have to deal with activation.  We have 7 Windows 2008 servers which are activated by KMS and that works fine.  But what happens when I begin my SLOW roll-out of Windows 7 I need to know what type of key to use.

    We have a MAK key good for 50 activations, well above the 25 activation threshold needed by KMS.  BUT, what happens when I have rolled out less than 25 machines (which we do via sysprep and imaging)?  Do I activate them with an MAK in the short term and then re-do my work once I am sure we will stay above 25 activations?

    Monday, June 24, 2013 7:42 PM

Answers

  • if you already have deployed KMS, those KMSclient machines (your 7 WS2008 servers ?) will count towards the 25 needed for your Win7 activation threshold.
    In the interim, yes, you should use MAK for the slow rollout of Win7.
    When your complete fleet of KMSclients is = 24, you can rollout the next Win7 machine as KMSclient, and then you can remotely change the product key on those Win7 with MAK, to be Win7 with KMSclient.

    ensure that your KMShost does have the correct KMS_R2 product key (or the newer KMS_2012) - this is needed to activate Win7. (the original KMS_2008 is not suitable for Win7)


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
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    Monday, June 24, 2013 9:36 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    MAK keys are NOT to activate with KMS servers, this requires KMS keys(Volume licensing). So the MAK will not count anything with the KMS host.


    Best regards

    Meinolf Weber
    MVP, MCP, MCTS
    Microsoft MVP - Directory Services
    My Blog: http://msmvps.com/blogs/mweber/

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Monday, June 24, 2013 7:57 PM
  • if you already have deployed KMS, those KMSclient machines (your 7 WS2008 servers ?) will count towards the 25 needed for your Win7 activation threshold.
    In the interim, yes, you should use MAK for the slow rollout of Win7.
    When your complete fleet of KMSclients is = 24, you can rollout the next Win7 machine as KMSclient, and then you can remotely change the product key on those Win7 with MAK, to be Win7 with KMSclient.

    ensure that your KMShost does have the correct KMS_R2 product key (or the newer KMS_2012) - this is needed to activate Win7. (the original KMS_2008 is not suitable for Win7)


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    Monday, June 24, 2013 9:36 PM
  • if you already have deployed KMS, those KMSclient machines (your 7 WS2008 servers ?) will count towards the 25 needed for your Win7 activation threshold.
    In the interim, yes, you should use MAK for the slow rollout of Win7.
    When your complete fleet of KMSclients is = 24, you can rollout the next Win7 machine as KMSclient, and then you can remotely change the product key on those Win7 with MAK, to be Win7 with KMSclient.

    ensure that your KMShost does have the correct KMS_R2 product key (or the newer KMS_2012) - this is needed to activate Win7. (the original KMS_2008 is not suitable for Win7)


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    Thanks for the reply.  I understand.  When I do convert my MAK clients to KMS clients, will they give back the MAK keys so my count of used MAK keys will go back down?

    Also, there is a patch from MS to allow Server 2008 to act as a 2008 R2 KMS server.  I had to apply this as our utility server (which runs KMS) is not supported by HP to run R2.

    Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:24 AM
  • When I do convert my MAK clients to KMS clients, will they give back the MAK keys so my count of used MAK keys will go back down?

    No. The MAK count is permanently consumed, every time you perform an MAK activation. MS don't know if you are still using those machines with MAK or not, and, KMShost doesn't report activations of KMSclients back to MS.

    If you do need to use both MAK and KMS, or if you exhaust your MAK activations, you can request more MAK activations or a replacement MAK key. (just email makadd at microsoft.com )


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:38 AM
  • When I do convert my MAK clients to KMS clients, will they give back the MAK keys so my count of used MAK keys will go back down?

    No. The MAK count is permanently consumed, every time you perform an MAK activation. MS don't know if you are still using those machines with MAK or not, and, KMShost doesn't report activations of KMSclients back to MS.

    If you do need to use both MAK and KMS, or if you exhaust your MAK activations, you can request more MAK activations or a replacement MAK key. (just email makadd at microsoft.com )

    So for example, I am testing my Win7 roll-out on say 5 test computers, and that while testing I have to tweak my install image and re-image each computer several times (BTW we use Novell ZCM for imaging).  Is MS smart enough to know these are the same computers and therefore NOT comsume another MAK license?
    Tuesday, June 25, 2013 12:38 PM
  • Is MS smart enough to know these are the same computers and therefore NOT comsume another MAK license?

    No. The MAK count is permanently consumed, every time you perform an MAK activation.

    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:08 PM