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Windows 7 activation question RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi All

    I am actually new to licensing topic and trying to figure out how to activate Windows 7 machines in our environment. I did not find "Windows 7 activation forum" hence posting here.

    We are using a MDT Media on a USB to deploy Windows 7 image.
    When we were using the MAK key in the unattended.xml, the Windows 7 machines were contacting MS servers to activate.

    But now were are instruced to remove the key from the image or any other file(unattend.xml) for security reasons.

    Hence we thought of using VAMT to activate the client machines so that we can securely place the key in VAMT .

    But the issue is that, after deploying Windows 7, the client machines are contacting a KMS server in out network and getting activated.
    We do not want the client machines to activate this way since we should not use that particular KMS server to activate.

    Is it possible to tell the client machines to contact our VAMT machine and activate automatically instead of contacting that KMS server?


    Any possible solution which allows us to remove the key from the image and other files, store it in a safe location and activate the Windows 7 clients using our MAK key?

    Thanks

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:49 PM

Answers

  • The Windows enterprise clients find there way to the KMS server by looking at an entry named _VLMCS in your DNS, and the reason why all your machines activate against the KMS server is that this DNS entry is set when adding the KMS server. A quick workaround is to simply remove the DNS record holding this information, it can easily be recreated when needed, so that the clients do not activate against the KMS.
    Blogging about Windows for IT pros at www.theexperienceblog.com
    • Marked as answer by kantzy Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:39 PM
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:44 PM
  • Hi,

    Please see the Volume Activation Deployment Guide

    VAMT is a tool to manage activation but it is not a server that your deployed computer will contact for the activation. you can check this webcast about managing windows and office activation using VAMT

    That's why Windows 7 will contact automatically the KMS server if the MAK is not specified.

    For some people that don't use KMS and want to hide the key, once i used the tool bat to exe converter to do the activation. i have created a simple batch file with the following command: (xxx is the mak)

    cscript.exe c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
    cscript.exe c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

    then convert this batch file to exe so it cannot be open. And after you just have to run it like an application using MDT. if you use windows 7 Enterprise or VL the key cannot be recovered using tool like product key finder.

    read also Frequently Asked Questions About Volume License Keys


    Blog Microsoft | Déployer Windows 7 | Améliorer les performances de Windows 7
    • Marked as answer by kantzy Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:39 PM
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:47 PM
  • For KMS, you need 25 clients to contact the KMS host before the batch will be activated.  You have a 30-day grace period with KMS. Windows 7 has a KMS key pre-embedded by default. The KMS service runs on a server and creates a SRV record in DNS, you can share Office 2010 and OS KMS Service's on the same server. 

    If you want to use MAK, then that client will have to contact microsoft directly to activate. 

    Here is some summary information around Office 2010 KMS, however most of it will still apply to Windows 7/Vista

    http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/cnackers/archive/2010/08/03/microsoft-office-2010-activation-summary-information.aspx

    Hope it helps.


    MCTS: ConfigMgr, MDT / http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/cnackers/default.aspx
    • Marked as answer by kantzy Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:39 PM
    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:05 AM

All replies

  • The Windows enterprise clients find there way to the KMS server by looking at an entry named _VLMCS in your DNS, and the reason why all your machines activate against the KMS server is that this DNS entry is set when adding the KMS server. A quick workaround is to simply remove the DNS record holding this information, it can easily be recreated when needed, so that the clients do not activate against the KMS.
    Blogging about Windows for IT pros at www.theexperienceblog.com
    • Marked as answer by kantzy Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:39 PM
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:44 PM
  • Hi,

    Please see the Volume Activation Deployment Guide

    VAMT is a tool to manage activation but it is not a server that your deployed computer will contact for the activation. you can check this webcast about managing windows and office activation using VAMT

    That's why Windows 7 will contact automatically the KMS server if the MAK is not specified.

    For some people that don't use KMS and want to hide the key, once i used the tool bat to exe converter to do the activation. i have created a simple batch file with the following command: (xxx is the mak)

    cscript.exe c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
    cscript.exe c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

    then convert this batch file to exe so it cannot be open. And after you just have to run it like an application using MDT. if you use windows 7 Enterprise or VL the key cannot be recovered using tool like product key finder.

    read also Frequently Asked Questions About Volume License Keys


    Blog Microsoft | Déployer Windows 7 | Améliorer les performances de Windows 7
    • Marked as answer by kantzy Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:39 PM
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:47 PM
  • Thanks a lot guys, now i have a lot more clarity on this.

    The exe solution seems to be good but i cannot include that as an application in MDT since, at the moment we are using USB deployment.

    What if, we run the slmgr.vbs commands when the machine is not connected to the internet
    1. Will it automatically activate when it is online ?(or)
    2. We need to run only when the machine is online?

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:29 PM
  • you have to use the smlgr /ato only when the computer is online.
    Blog Microsoft | Déployer Windows 7 | Améliorer les performances de Windows 7
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 7:05 PM
  • For KMS, you need 25 clients to contact the KMS host before the batch will be activated.  You have a 30-day grace period with KMS. Windows 7 has a KMS key pre-embedded by default. The KMS service runs on a server and creates a SRV record in DNS, you can share Office 2010 and OS KMS Service's on the same server. 

    If you want to use MAK, then that client will have to contact microsoft directly to activate. 

    Here is some summary information around Office 2010 KMS, however most of it will still apply to Windows 7/Vista

    http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/cnackers/archive/2010/08/03/microsoft-office-2010-activation-summary-information.aspx

    Hope it helps.


    MCTS: ConfigMgr, MDT / http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/cnackers/default.aspx
    • Marked as answer by kantzy Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:39 PM
    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:05 AM