Changing Vista license from MAK to KMS

In order to move a Vista computer (only Business and Enterprise versions – Vista Ultimate will *only* use a special one-time activation key) using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) to use the Key Manager Service (KMS) – you first have to determine if your Vista instance was installed from Volume License media or was purchased with an OEM license of Vista.

 

If you installed from Volume License media we need the pre-defined setup key from the installation DVD.  This is contained in the file .\sources\pid.txt (in the case of Vista Enterprise x86 – both gold and SP1 that we d/led from MVLS use VKK3X-68KWM-X2YGT-QR4M6-4BWMV)

  1. Login to the Vista machine, and start an elevated Command Prompt (run as administrator).
  2. At the command prompt issue the command  cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ipk <product key from pid.txt> – this will remove the existing key and activation, and set the machine to look for and use a KMS server
  3. You can reboot and *should* get the KM server information automatically – otherwise issue the command cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms duffman.ad.uni.edu – this will set you to use the UNI KMS.
  4. Finally activate your machine through KMS: cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato
  5. You should see a line saying "Activating Windows…" ending with "Product activated successfully."

If you have an OEM installation of Vista (say, purchased on a new Dell system) – note, I haven’t tried this yet as I lack said OEM machine:

  1. Login to the Vista machine, and start an elevated Command Prompt (run as administrator).
  2. At the command prompt issue the command  cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /rearm – this should remove the existing OEM key and activation.
  3. Set a pre-defined KMS setup key: slmgr.vbs -ipk   XQYF4-QVCMY-YXQRD-9QPV8-3YP9V    **– this is what Microsoft lists as the Vista Business KMS pre-defined key – 3JHG3-Y66GP-B7F3K-JFVX2-VBH7K is the Vista Enterprise one. (see page 5 of Volume Activation 2.0 Deployment Guide.doc)
  4. Activate your machine through KMS: slmgr.vbs -ato
  5. You should see a line saying "Activating Windows…" ending with "Product activated successfully."

You can check the status of licensing on your Vista (or WS2008) machine from an elevated command prompt with slmgr.vbs -dli

References:

Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 documentation:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=9893F83E-C8A5-4475-B025-66C6B38B46E3&displaylang=en

Other useful docs:

http://kurtsh.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!DA410C7F7E038D!2005.entry

http://blogs.technet.com/migreene/archive/2007/08/09/1729188.aspx

http://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=5364

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