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KMS key Windows 7 deployment

Posted on 2013-06-18
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Last Modified: 2013-06-20
I've got a volume license and have a host machine built with my base image. When I got my volume license I didn't have enough machines (25) to reach my thresh hold on my kms server. Actually, I had enough machines, but it was mid-schoolyear (this is in a high school) and the teachers would NOT allow me to re-do the labs as they were teaching some classes using Office 2007 and my new images have Office 2010. So the machines I imaged during the school year I used the MAK key for (I didn't have 25). Now, when I built the image for the lab computers (63 of them) I only had 3 days using the KMS key before it needed activated. With all the other things I'm working on, I ran out of time on the base machine and used the MAK key for Windows 7 Pro on my base image machine so I could set it up just how I want it. How can I convert this back to the KMS key so that I can image this machine and all the lab machines will get the KMS key, instead of the MAK key.

I tried to add the KMS key to an answer file under "X86-Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_neutral" in the "Specialize" pass where there is a spot for Computer Name and Product key, but I keep getting an error.

The error reads, "Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup]."

I do have one other setting under "Specialize". I'm running winsat.exe moobe formal under "X-86_Microsoft-Windows-Deployment_neutral". This line works on another machine type that I have so I've used it before.

So, I think my problem with the answer file is the license key, but I'm not sure. I think if I can set my machine with the base image back to use a kms key I can take the key out of the answer file and see if that works.

I attached a copy of my answer file. I did remove my Product Code for my KMS key and just insert "KMS Product Key".
Win7-7700-32bit.xml
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Question by:jim34
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aadih earned 167 total points
ID: 39257467
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by:jim34
ID: 39257738
I had my organization's kms key put in there. I'm putting the client key for Windows 7 Pro that was in the link aadih put up. I'm reverting to a pre sysprep image now so I can use the changed answer file to see if that works on the image to a lab machine. Won't know if this works til tomorrow morning as I have to leave.
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by:Adam Leinss
Adam Leinss earned 167 total points
ID: 39260949
You don't want to use any key in your answer file if you are using KMS.  It should auto discover the KMS when you don't provide a product key.  That being said, if you really want to use a product key, use one of the "dummy" keys here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx

The KMS key from your VL page should only be used on the host that is actually activating the internal clients.

If you have a MAK activated client and want to use KMS, then you would use a "dummy" key as well.
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Assisted Solution

by:James Haywood
James Haywood earned 166 total points
ID: 39262045
If you install the Volume Activation Management Tool you can replace the key across the network.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=11936

If you have a volume licensed Windows 7 you should be able to remove the product key sections entirely as it is not needed due to the KMS key being built in.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jim34
ID: 39262495
That's what I did. I took out the product key info from the "specialize" pass, and the computer name part (that in March needed to be in there) and it works fine now. Thanks for the pointer/tips.
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