Convert Windows 7 to KMS from MAK

Hey all,

Ok a little background. Our company has been rolling out "beta" deployments of Windows 7 to select users for testing, about 35-40 clients in all. We have been using our MAK key for now, but we are moving to KMS. I got KMS up and running on Server 2003 SP2 with a B key, all was well. I decided to try to activate myself first to test it. So I ran slmgr.vbs and updated my key to a KMS client key (-ipk), and ran slmgr.vbs /ato to activate myself and ping the KMS host. I can see my activation in the event log on the KMS host, so I know it works and everything talks and processes.

Here's my problem. KMS clients will not activate until count:25 is reached. Right now I'm at count:1 (me). After running /ato my system obviously got back <25 for the count and thus is not activated. The problem is now it says my copy of Win7 Enterprise is not genuine even though it is. I need to get about 24 more people activated, and they are all end users. Is there a way to avoid this behavior until I ht the 25 count mark? I ran slmgr.vbs /rearm and rebooted, and that was okay (got rid of the not genuine message), but every time I reboot now I'm still prompted to activate even though my grace period has been reset.

So I'm trying to find out the best way to migrate 20 or so more users with the least bit of interruption and prompting to activate until we hit 25. Has anyone run into this?
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Mike_BrodeurAsked:
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cloughsCommented:
Your logon to licensing.microsoft.com will show you how many out of your licensed quota you have used so first thing to ensure is that your activations havent eaten up all your free activations.  Speak to Microsoft directly about this and they can reset your activation count if required.

You can then try and troubleshoot the KMS issue you have.  I know that the KMS system when i last read up on it pulls down multiple license slots at once and then issues those to a pool internally, once full it pulls another batch down.  For example if you have 25 licenses... KMS Server will use 10 licenses straight away and issue these internally to 10 machines, then it will request another 10.  and issue these and so on...  I remember a lot of people complaining that the kms server can pull down and use up a lot more licenses than it needs to given it pulls them down in pre-defined batches thus a lot of people needed to do the above routine and reset their available licenses.

Good luck
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ZupremeCommented:
1) Store your MAK key in a text file.
2) Add the following to a batch script:


set /p key= < \\unc_path_to_key_file\Win7.txt

:WindowsActivation
cscript %systemroot%\System32\slmgr.vbs -upk
cscript %systemroot%\System32\slmgr.vbs -ipk ^"%key%^"
cscript %systemroot%\System32\slmgr.vbs -ato
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Assuming you have 25+ up and rolling, you can use VAMT to hit them all at once remotely:
 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en
Or you can go the batch file routine above with slmgr.vbs above.  Pretty much does the thing.
Hopefully you sysprepped all of these machines, otherwise the KMS counts won't increase.
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Mike_BrodeurAuthor Commented:
@aleinss We started sysprepping after about the first 20 or so. Why won't the KMS count increate for a non-sysprepped machine?
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929829.
You'll want to go back and sysprep the first 20, otherwise you will have problems with KMS and WSUS.
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Mike_BrodeurAuthor Commented:
@aleinss Ok so looking back I did sysprep the machines but I also added skiprearm=1, so it looks like that affects the number of CMIDs in the KMS cache, which kind of screws me. Crap.

@Zupreme Thanks for the script template. The only problem I have with it is that I run into the same problem as before. So for example, since my KMS host is still not at 25 count, KMS will not activate KMS clients yet. So when I ran your steps above, I was able to -ipk %key% successfully, and then /ato, but then after /ato ran it says my copy of WIndows is not genuine since KMS did not activate it yet since my count is not 25. I can't have this happen for my users.

Although I think a -rearm may solve the problem, except when I did a rearm on my own system, now every time I log onto my box, I'm prompted to activate. Which I also can't have for my users. @aleinss if I use VAMT to swap them all over simultaneously, will this rearm my systems that were sysprepped with skiprearm=1 to generate a new CMID?
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Unforunately, no.  VAMT just installs the new key.
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Mike_BrodeurAuthor Commented:
Hm, well this sucks. After doing some testing back and forth between KMS and MAK keys, now the generic KMS client key I got from Microsoft's website spits back an "invalid key" error, even though it's just a generic KMS client key to tell the client it's a KMS client.
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Mike_BrodeurAuthor Commented:
So I'm in the middle of building up a brand new, from scratch Win7 desktop to see what happens. I found that running slmgr.vbs -dlv on the KMS clients (some images, some not) shows ALL of them have dupe CMIDs. FML. I don't even know how that's possible. So when this box comes up I'm going to check the CMID on it and see if I can get it to generate a random new one. Otherwise, I'm not sure where to go from here.
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Well, if you look at this http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee939272.aspx and setup 2 PCs (VMs should even work, provided you sysprep them), you should see the counts going up on the server side: it should show counts even before 25.
If that is working, try a 3rd PC from the first 20.  If the count doesn't go up, you know you have to sysprep and generalize those PCs.
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Mike_BrodeurAuthor Commented:
Virtual machines only increment the KMS count if the KMS host is 2008 R2, we're 2003 R2. But we are actually in the process of upgrading our DCs to 2008 R2, so if I can get a KMS host up on 2008 R2 I may be able to get this working. I'll keep everyone posted.
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Mike_BrodeurAuthor Commented:
Ok so I finally gave up and killed KMS on our 2003 server and moved it to 2008 R2 since I read elsewhere that 2003 has issues. I also found out that I was not looking in the right spot for the CMID, they actually were changing as I rearm'ed them. PEBCAK.

I'm now up to 25 activations with some new virtual machines I set up, and I was able to swap our other Win7 boxes over with the VAMT with no user downtime.

Thank you everyone for your help with this!
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