windows-server-2012

Activate Windows with KMS server


If you’ve installed your Windows with an MAK product key and now want to change it to KMS or installed a clean OS (never activated), and need to activate your Windows copy on the corporate KMS server, this guide will definitely help you.

The Difference Between MAK and KMS Keys

Microsoft offers two ways to activate Windows and MS Office for corporate customers. They can use MAK and KMS keys for activation.

  • MAK (Multiple Activation Keys)—a MAK license is similar to a Retail (box) license, but allows you to activate several copies of the Windows operating system with one MAK key. The number of activations is limited and depends on the type of your license agreement (Open, Select, Enterprise Agreement). When using MAK, a Windows must be activated via the Internet or by phone;
  • KMS (Key Management Service)—this is an activation type for enterprise customers. The KMS activation server allows you to activate corporate versions of Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office products within the enterprise network. The KMS infrastructure consists of a KMS server that is activated on Microsoft using a special corporate KMS host key (this operation is performed once) and KMS clients sending activation requests to the KMS server.

The main advantages of KMS activation:

  • KMS clients do not need to access the Internet or the phone to activate the system, only requires network access to the KMS server;
  • The KMS client is activated on the internal KMS server for 180 days and attempts to reactivate every 7 days;
  • In case the KMS server is broken, there is nothing to restore on the KMS server. Just install a new server, install KMS role, enter the KMS host key, activate—and everything is ready to go!;
  • In the AD domain instead of KMS activation, you can use its version optimized for Active Directory—ADBA (Active Directory Based Activation);
  • KMS infrastructure is simple and extensible, one KMS server can serve thousands of clients.

Activate Windows with KMS Server

Step 1: KMS Client Setup Key

You must change the product activation key to the public KMS Client Setup Key. You can’t change the Windows product key to KMS from the GUI, you will have to use the slmgr command line utility. Slmgr.vbs is a VBS script located in the %SystemRoot\system32\ folder and used to manage the Windows licensing on a local or remote computer.

To activate a KMS client, it must have a special KMS public key installed. This product key is called the GVLK key (Generic Volume License Key). For each Windows editions, this key is unique. To replace an existing product key, run the command prompt as an administrator on the computer you are want to activate and type:

slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

(XXXXX is GVLK key for your Windows edition from the table below)

In our case, we want to activate Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 on a KMS server. The KMS Client key installation command will look like this:

slmgr.vbs /ipk M7XTQ-FN8P6-TTKYV-9D4CC-J462D

kms server

Step 2

After you specify the GVLK key, the KMS client tries to connect to the previously configured KMS server or find a special SRV (_VLMCS) record in the DNS that is created when you install a new KMS server in the domain and pointing to your KMS server. After KMS server discovery, the client performs the OS activation.

You can skip this step if your DNS has a valid SRV record that allows clients to find the KMS server.

Tip. You can check this DNS entry using the nslookup command:

nslookup -q=SRV _VLMCS._TCP.theitbros.com

windows server 2016 kms activation

If the client does not find the KMS server automatically, then you can specify the address of the KMS server manually using the slmgr with the option /skms. You can also specify the TCP port on which the activation service listens (by default 1688):

slmgr /skms <KMS_server_name_or_IP>:1688

windows server 2012 r2 kms activator

Step 3: Activate Windows on KMS server

To activate Windows with the KMS server, run the command:

Slmgr /ato

And wait until message Product activated successfully appeared.

windows server 2016 kms activator

Step 4: Check the Status of Windows Activation

Optionally, you can display information about the status of Windows activation:

slmgr /dli

windows server 2012 activator

As you can see, the utility returned the following useful info:

  • Name – the OS version;
  • Description – distribution channel VOLUME_KMSCLIEN channel;
  • License status – licensed;
  • Volume activation expirations – 180 days;
  • KMS machine IP address and DNS name.

Most often when users facing the following errors when trying to activate Windows with KMS server:

  • 0xC004F074 — The key management server is unavailable. It means that the KMS service on the server is not running or access to it from the client is blocked (check TCP port 1688 availability on a server);
  • 0xC004F038 — You did not have the necessary number of systems to activate (for desktop Windows edition the minimum number of KMS clients – 25, for Windows Server – 5)
  • Unable to reach Windows activation servers (https://theitbros.com/unable-to-reach-windows-activation-servers/);

Windows GVLK keys

Below are the collection of public KMS Client license keys (GVLK) from Microsoft for all supported Windows versions. All these keys are taken from the official Microsoft site, where they are publicly available. They are pretty hard to find using the Microsoft website

Update (2019-05-04): Added GVLK keys for the Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 LTSC editions).

Operating system version KMS Client License Key
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019 Datacenter WMDGN-G9PQG-XVVXX-R3X43-63DFG
Windows Server 2019 Standard N69G4-B89J2-4G8F4-WWYCC-J464C
Windows Server 2019 Essentials WVDHN-86M7X-466P6-VHXV7-YY726
Windows 10 LTSC 2019
Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 M7XTQ-FN8P6-TTKYV-9D4CC-J462D
Windows 10 Enterprise N LTSC 2019 92NFX-8DJQP-P6BBQ-THF9C-7CG2H
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter CB7KF-BWN84-R7R2Y-793K2-8XDDG
Windows Server 2016 Standard WC2BQ-8NRM3-FDDYY-2BFGV-KHKQY
Windows Server 2016 Essentials JCKRF-N37P4-C2D82-9YXRT-4M63B
Windows 10
Windows 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
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB DCPHK-NFMTC-H88MJ-PFHPY-QJ4BJ
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB N QFFDN-GRT3P-VKWWX-X7T3R-8B639
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard D2N9P-3P6X9-2R39C-7RTCD-MDVJX
Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter W3GGN-FT8W3-Y4M27-J84CP-Q3VJ9
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials KNC87-3J2TX-XB4WP-VCPJV-M4FWM
Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1 Professional GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9
Windows 8.1 Professional N HMCNV-VVBFX-7HMBH-CTY9B-B4FXY
Windows 8.1 Enterprise MHF9N-XY6XB-WVXMC-BTDCT-MKKG7
Windows 8.1 Enterprise N TT4HM-HN7YT-62K67-RGRQJ-JFFXW
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012 Core BN3D2-R7TKB-3YPBD-8DRP2-27GG4
Windows Server 2012 Core N 8N2M2-HWPGY-7PGT9-HGDD8-GVGGY
Windows Server 2012 Core Single Language 2WN2H-YGCQR-KFX6K-CD6TF-84YXQ
Windows Server 2012 Core Country Specific 4K36P-JN4VD-GDC6V-KDT89-DYFKP
Windows Server 2012 Server Standard XC9B7-NBPP2-83J2H-RHMBY-92BT4
Windows Server 2012 Standard Core XC9B7-NBPP2-83J2H-RHMBY-92BT4
Windows Server 2012 MultiPoint Standard HM7DN-YVMH3-46JC3-XYTG7-CYQJJ
Windows Server 2012 MultiPoint Premium XNH6W-2V9GX-RGJ4K-Y8X6F-QGJ2G
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter 48HP8-DN98B-MYWDG-T2DCC-8W83P
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Core 48HP8-DN98B-MYWDG-T2DCC-8W83P
Windows 8
Windows 8 Professional NG4HW-VH26C-733KW-K6F98-J8CK4
Windows 8 Professional N XCVCF-2NXM9-723PB-MHCB7-2RYQQ
Windows 8 Enterprise 32JNW-9KQ84-P47T8-D8GGY-CWCK7
Windows 8 Enterprise N JMNMF-RHW7P-DMY6X-RF3DR-X2BQT
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC Edition FKJQ8-TMCVP-FRMR7-4WR42-3JCD7
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter 74YFP-3QFB3-KQT8W-PMXWJ-7M648
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 489J6-VHDMP-X63PK-3K798-CPX3Y
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems GT63C-RJFQ3-4GMB6-BRFB9-CB83V
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard YC6KT-GKW9T-YTKYR-T4X34-R7VHC
Windows Web Server 2008 R2 6TPJF-RBVHG-WBW2R-86QPH-6RTM4
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter 7M67G-PC374-GR742-YH8V4-TCBY3
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V 22XQ2-VRXRG-P8D42-K34TD-G3QQC
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems 4DWFP-JF3DJ-B7DTH-78FJB-PDRHK
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise YQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V 39BXF-X8Q23-P2WWT-38T2F-G3FPG
Windows Server 2008 Standard TM24T-X9RMF-VWXK6-X8JC9-BFGM2
Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V W7VD6-7JFBR-RX26B-YKQ3Y-6FFFJ
Windows Web Server 2008 WYR28-R7TFJ-3X2YQ-YCY4H-M249D
Windows 7
Windows 7 Professional FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4
Windows 7 Professional N MRPKT-YTG23-K7D7T-X2JMM-QY7MG
Windows 7 Enterprise 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
Windows 7 Enterprise N YDRBP-3D83W-TY26F-D46B2-XCKRJ
Windows 7 Enterprise E C29WB-22CC8-VJ326-GHFJW-H9DH4
Windows Vista
Windows Vista Business YFKBB-PQJJV-G996G-VWGXY-2V3X8
Windows Vista Business N HMBQG-8H2RH-C77VX-27R82-VMQBT
Windows Vista Enterprise VKK3X-68KWM-X2YGT-QR4M6-4BWMV
Windows Vista Enterprise N VTC42-BM838-43QHV-84HX6-XJXKV

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