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Windows Volume Activation in Cambridge

Client Configuration

Client in this case refers to any Microsoft operating system using volume activation and a KMS key, servers as well as desktop versions.

All configuration is done via a VB script (slmgr.vbs) which is installed by default on all Windows systems capable of using KMS. It is located in the Windows\system32 directory. You must use a command shell run with administrator privilages.

General Prerequisites

You need to ensure that you can communicate via TCP port 1688 to our KMS servers.
Right click on a command shell and select Run as Administrator before entering the commands.

Change the SID

Before imaging a system for use with KMS you must generate a unique SID. If you are doing a clean install from media you will get a unique SID. If you're planning on imaging systems you can use sysprep with the generalise option, the Windows Automated Installation Kit or join the system to a domain.

Once you have done this you can configure the system to use KMS for activation.

Configuration Steps

  • Set the KMS server (slmgr -skms servername)
  • Install the KMS Product Key (slmgr -ipk product key)
  • Activate the system (slmgr -ato)

Set the KMS Server (slmgr -skms servername)

You need to configure your client to point to the KMS server. By default it will try and autodetect an activation server using DNS and SRV records, based on the DNS domain suffix of the client. Since these records would not match in the majority of cases this is not a viable method so direct registration of the KMS server is the supported method.

The server name is

You should use the FQDN to identify the KMS system rather than the IP address or NetBIOS name.

To configure the client for direct registration launch a command window with elevated privileges and enter:

 \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms

This will override any attempt by the client to use autodiscovery and point the system to the central KMS server.

Install the KMS Product Key (slmgr -ipk product key)

On Windows Vista, server 2003, 2003 R2 and 2008 the product key can be found in a pid.txt file in the \Sources folder on the install media. Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 and Server 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2 product keys can be found below. This may cause an error message, see Troubleshooting below.

To install a product key use slmgr.vbs

\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ipk Product Key

If a pre-existing key is present you may need to use the -upk option to remove this before you can install the pid key.

Windows 7, 8, 8.1, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012,Server 2012 R2 and Server 2016 use the following keys for KMS activation;

Operating System Edition

Product Key

Windows 8.1


Windows 8.1 Professional


Windows 8.1 Professional N


Windows 8.1 Enterprise


Windows 8.1 Enterprise N


Windows 8


Windows 8 Professional


Windows 8 Professional N


Windows 8 Enterprise


Windows 8 Enterprise N


Windows 7


Windows 7 Professional


Windows 7 Professional N


Windows 7 Enterprise


Windows 7 Enterprise N


Windows 7 Enterprise E


Windows 10


Windows 10 Professional


Windows 10 Professional N


Windows 10 Enterprise


Windows 10 Enterprise N


Windows 10 Education


Windows 10 Education N


Windows Server 2019


Windows Server 2019 Standard


Windows Server 2019 Datacenter


Windows Server 2019 Essentials


Windows Server 2016


Windows Server 2016 Standard


Windows Server 2016 Datacenter


Windows Server 2016 Essentials


Windows Server 2012 R2


Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Standard


Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials


Windows Server 2012


Windows Server 2012 Core


Windows Server 2012 Core N


Windows Server 2012 Core Single Language


Windows Server 2012 Core Country Specific


Windows Server 2012 Server Standard


Windows Server 2012 Standard Core


Windows Server 2012 Multipoint Standard


Windows Server 2012 Multipoint Premium


Windows Server 2012 Datacenter


Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Core


Windows Server 2008 R2


Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC Edition


Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter


Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise


Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems


Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard


Windows Web Server 2008 R2


Activate The System (slmgr -ato)

KMS clients will automatically attempt to contact the KMS server every two hours to activate.

You can force a client to activate the following slmgr.vbs switch.

slmgr.vbs -ato

Windows 10

Windows 10 has the KMS key built in.

Use step 1 (to set the KMS server to

 \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms

and step 3 (activating the product using -ato)

  slmgr.vbs -ato

Checking The License Status

Viewing the system properties should tell you if the system is activated or not. You can also use slmgr -dlv to view detailed licensing status of a system.

Converting clients from MAK to KMS licensing/Issues with KMS

You need to tell Windows that it is going to activate using KMS rather than MAK. When you buy a copy of Windows from software sales you will get a MAK key as part of the paperwork, this is not the one to use. Every Vista and Server 2008 (non R2) volume license media has a pid.txt file found under \Sources. This contains the KMS key. Alternative KMS keys can be found in the Volume Activation Technical Reference, for links look at the end of the page.


For Server 2008 when using the pid key from the \Sources\pid.txt file you may see the following error after adding the key with -ipk

  • Run Slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004F015 to display error text
  • Error 0xC004F015

This error can be ignored. Run Slmgr -ato and the system should activate.

When using the commands above, you may get errors such as '0x800706BA The RPC server is unavailable' (which may indicate a network error but is often displayed as an unhelpful generic error message) or 'Error 0x800706BA occurred in connecting to server -ipk'. The following three points should be noted:

  • Check that you are logged in as an Administrator running an Administrative command prompt
  • In the cscript command itself try using a / instead of -
  • If the error is with the -skms command it may indicate a network error (failure to communicate on port TCP 1688 - due to this you cannot activate via Lapwing and may get error 0x4004F00C)

For a more detailed list of error codes and possible causes see Microsoft's How to troubleshoot Volume Activation error codes on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista-based computers at

Microsoft Documentation

Full Microsoft documentation can be found at the Microsoft Technet site. Some Selected links can be found below.

Root page for Volume activation

Volume Activation Technical Reference

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