Posted by: kurtsh | August 20, 2007

HOWTO: Convert a Windows Vista Enterprise install from MAK to KMS activation

A coworker, Michael Greene, posted an interesting blog entry on ‘moving a workstation install of Windows Vista from a MAK key to using KMS’.  (If you don’t know the difference between a MAK and KMS, skip this post because you’re probably not the target audience)

This is interesting because there’s actual documentation on how to do this in Technet however he makes a point that the instructions request a ‘setup key’ as one of the steps but then fails to define what that "setup key" is.

Fortunately for all of us, Michael seems to have cracked the DaVinci Microsoft code on this one:  You basically need to look at .Sourcespid.txt on your source media and you’ll find a generic product key that is leveraged to enable seamless KMS activations.  This is the key that the instructions for MAK-KMS conversion requires.

Uh oh.  Does that mean that every disc has a unique KMS activation key pre-configured on it?  I doubt it but I really don’t know.  This is something I’m pursuing an answer for right now.


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