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Activation Retail Key/MAK/KMS

    Question

  • Hello,

    I have been in discussion with a Microsoft representative regarding the activation of Microsoft Products. We are setting up computers in two labs in a University. Previously, we were trying to install and activate Windows Vista but hit a point where Windows no longer activates. We then explored the various solutions and types of product keys. With regards to volume activation, there seems to be two routes (KMS or MAK). Unfortunately KMS is not an option for one of our computer labs as the number of clients does not meet the 25 computer threshold. According to the representative a MAK has an activation limit of 100 which can be raised. The problem with MAK is that there seems to be no MAK key provided for Windows Vista and we have therefore been advised to use a retails key. Therefore my questions are:

    • How many times can a retail key be activated?
    • Can an activation limit be raised on a retail-key?
    • Is there a limit on the number of activations via KMS? 
    • Is there a MAK key available for the follwoing OS's (Windows Server 2003/2008, Windows 2000, Windows 2000 advanced server)

    We are now exploring potentially moving to Windows 7 and fortunately have a MAK key for this. The machines in the lab are ghosted at variable intervals across a number of identical machines (hardware wise). I noticed that with Vista sometimes a computer would deactivate if a different set of hardware is detected. I would just like to gather some more information about this to see if it is also going to be a problem with Windows 7.

    Thanks.

    • Moved by Bob_BaoMVP Monday, March 14, 2011 8:10 AM (From:Application Compatibility for Windows Development)
    Thursday, March 10, 2011 2:37 PM

Answers

  • Hello GM-UEL,

    MAK keys should be available for Windows Vista

    retail keys should be one, phone call required to get an override

    Can a retail key limit be raised, technically probably but that is not what they are designed for, that is what MAK keys are for.

    Is there a limit on th enumber of activations via KMS? The host activating the KMS clients does not have a limit

    MAK keys are only available starting with Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, they also are for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  Windows Server 2003 used a different activation technology and Windows Server 2000 did not have an activation technology.


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en
    Monday, March 14, 2011 6:47 PM

All replies

  • Hi GM-UEL,

    Unfortunately, this forum is a software compatibility development forum, not for ITPro. I will move it to the TechNet corresponding forum: Windows Vista Activation

    Sincerely,


    Bob Bao [MSFT]
    MSDN Community Support | Feedback to us
    Get or Request Code Sample from Microsoft
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.

    Monday, March 14, 2011 8:09 AM
  • Hello GM-UEL,

    MAK keys should be available for Windows Vista

    retail keys should be one, phone call required to get an override

    Can a retail key limit be raised, technically probably but that is not what they are designed for, that is what MAK keys are for.

    Is there a limit on th enumber of activations via KMS? The host activating the KMS clients does not have a limit

    MAK keys are only available starting with Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, they also are for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  Windows Server 2003 used a different activation technology and Windows Server 2000 did not have an activation technology.


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en
    Monday, March 14, 2011 6:47 PM
  • Hi,

     

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    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    Thank you for the response.

    I would just like to get some clarification on a few of the comments mentioned above. It would appear that the activation process between earlier and later versions have changed. I would be grateful if you could provide me with a brief outline of the key points in the difference in the activation of XP/Server2003 and Vista? I am asking because we may need to use all in the labs. Does Windows XP VLK require activation - if so, how is it different from Vista?

    Also;

    What type of key is required for Pre Vista OS's (mentioned in the originating thread) for lab installs; KMS is not an option.

    What is the name of the type of key provided via MSDNAA which are for students? I was under the impression these were retail keys but they can be activated more than once?

    Can you confirm that a MAK is allowed 100 activations by default?

    Where can I obtain a MAK key for Windows Vista? (None can be seen on MSDN which was confirmed by a Microsoft representative?)

    I look forward to hearing from you.

     

    Friday, March 18, 2011 3:05 PM
  • Hello GM-UEL,

    Windows XP VL is completely different than Windows Vista and Windows 7.  In Windows XP the media and key combination meet the activation requirement

    For Windows Vista and Windows 7, here is a link on activation.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd197314.aspx

    With Windows XP and 2003, you need a VL key, it is not identified as anything other than a volume license key.

     

    MSDNAA, this can vary depending on the program, open an elevated CMD prompt and run slmgr /dli, this will show the key types installed on the machine.  Retail keys can be set to allow multiple activations, they also allow reactivations on the same hardware.

     

    MAK actvation counts differ depending on the program or VL agreement that the key was issued from.  Not all MAK keys default to 100.

     

    MSDN can offer retail or VL product keys for products\editions, this can change from time to time.   MSDN is your best source of information as to what they have available for product keys.


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en
    Sunday, March 20, 2011 4:56 PM