Posted by: kurtsh | August 14, 2015

HOWTO: Activate Windows 10 using Key Management Service (KMS)

Many enterprises use Key Management Service (KMS) to activate their Windows clients.  I found a ton of documentation on how to use KMS specifically for Windows 10.  (Enterprise or Professional)

ACQUIRING THE KMS KEYS
There are two keys you need to obtain in order to activate your Windows 10 clients using KMS.

  • CLIENT KEYS
    The KMS Client Setup keys are publicly posted at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/JJ612867.aspx and are the same for everyone.  They are:

        • imageWindows 10 Professional: W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX
        • Windows 10 Professional N: MH37W-N47XK-V7XM9-C7227-GCQG9
        • Windows 10 Enterprise: NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43
        • Windows 10 Enterprise N: DPH2V-TTNVB-4X9Q3-TJR4H-KHJW4
        • Windows 10 Education: NW6C2-QMPVW-D7KKK-3GKT6-VCFB2
        • Windows 10 Education N: 2WH4N-8QGBV-H22JP-CT43Q-MDWWJ
        • Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB: WNMTR-4C88C-JK8YV-HQ7T2-76DF9
        • Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB N: 2F77B-TNFGY-69QQF-B8YKP-D69TJ
  • imageHOST KEYS:
    Obtaining the KMS Host Key is a bit more difficult since it requires accessing the Volume Licensing Service Center, which only Volume Licensing administrators generally have access to.  To retrieve the KMS Service Host Key supporting Win10 activations from the Volume Licensing Service Center:

        • Login to the Volume Licensing Service Center (https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/default.aspx)
        • Click through “Licenses –> Relationship Summary” 
        • Select the Licensing ID you wish to manage.
        • Click the “Product Key” tab. 
        • Look for the key called “Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10
        • Copy that down and use when installing the new KMS Service Host key below.

imagePATCHING THE KMS SERVICE HOST
As with any other release of Windows or Windows Server, the KMS Service host must be patched to support the new OS.  Instructions for doing so for Windows 10 is located at the support article for “KB3058168: Update that enables Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10”
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3058168

Or here: “KB3079821: Update that enables Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10”
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3079821

The steps are as follows:

  1. Verify that your KMS service host is running Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2012.  If it isn’t, this won’t work and you’ll need to wait until there is an update available for KMS running on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7.  We released the Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 patch here:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3079821
  2. Download the update for the OS that your KMS server is running on.
  3. Run the .msu file & follow the instructions.
  4. Restart the KMS server.

imageINSTALLING THE NEW KMS SERVICE HOST KEY
To get your KMS Services host to activate Windows 10 clients, you’ll need to update the KMS Host Key on your KMS Server.  This is documented at the page called “Deploy KMS Activation” (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn502531.aspx) & “Slmgr.vbs Options for Volume Activation” (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn502540.aspx)

Here’s the general steps:

  1. Uninstall the current product by entering the “uninstall product key” extension:
    slmgr.vbs /upk
  2. Install the key that you obtained above for Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10
    slmgr.vbs /ipk <25-digit-key-goes-here>
  3. Verify that the key took by executing a Detailed License View:
    slmgr.vbs /dlv

(WARNING: You must activate a minimum of 25 Windows clients or 5 Windows servers – as with any new KMS implementation – or the KMS services host key will be deactivated.  Deactivation will require you to rearm the key by calling into Microsoft Volume Activation & potentially having to fill out & fax in forms, documents, and stuff just to get the key going again so you can deploy Windows 10.  So don’t mess this up.)

DEPLOYING CLIENTS WITH THE CLIENT KEYS
To start deploying your Windows 10 clients, you’ll use the KMS Client keys you found above for the edition of Windows that you plan on deploying.

By default, Volume License editions of Windows 10 are KMS clients. If the computers you want to activate by using KMS are using Windows 10 and the network allows DNS auto-discovery, no further configuration is needed.

The steps for integrating the client key into your deployment is available at “Deploy KMS Activation – Configuring KMS Clients”. (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn502531.aspx)


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