KMS for Windows 10 - 25 minium Threshold


Were setting up KMS for Windows 10. As we understand there is a 25 minimum threshold before it starts to activate against KMS. Our organization has more than 25 computers but were planning to roll-out machines 1- 5 at a time. We dont see these 5 machines activating, and because of that some personalize features (Changing wallpaper,etc.) are not allowed until activation.

If we dont have 25 machines to activate, is there no gradual path without the machines alerting the user to activate after a certain time and not allow personalized features to be changed. We see that there is a grace period of 30 days, after that does it renew it's potential activation and wait until there is 25 machines or is it going to starting alerting for activation.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
There is no good graceful way. The grace period can be extended, but it is a manual step and honestly, a bit sketchy in this scenario.  Make activation may be more suited to your needs. KMS is suited for mass deployments where neither time nor machine count is particularly inhibiting.
jaya31Author Commented:
Thanks, wanted to confirm that. Also, follow-up question. After we roll-out 25 machines using MAK key, we can convert those machines to KMS. Would that be a process. Thoughts?

We are a 200+ machine organization, but the path we are taking is a gradual roll-out due to profiles and other internal parts and programs.
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
Do you have any windows 7 machines that can be activated against your KMS Server? If so these will count as part of the 25 count?
If you have 5 servers then you can do the same.   It need only one of the criteria's to be met.

Is this a viable option?

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jaya31Author Commented:
We do have windows 7 machines, but activated them on MAK keys. This rollout of Win10 we want to use KMS.

 With the servers, your saying that if we have 5 Win 2016 servers, the 1 windows 10 machine will activate against KMS?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
With 200 machines, I'd definitely go with MAK and no plan to switch over.  You end up spending more time troubleshooting or monitoring KMS since KMS machines need to check in regularly, you need high availability and minimal downtime tolerance.

For 200,000 machines, KMS makes sense. For 200, MAK is just easier both short and long term. What business case has been made for KMS?
jaya31Author Commented:
Not necessarily a business case, but we want to have everything under one umbrella. We used KMS for the last two versions of Office and wanted to do the same with this roll-out of Win10. We setup a separate KMS server and wanted to keep everything organized and streamlined.
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
Was there a reason that you setup a separate KMS server rather than use your existing  KMS that was validating already?
jaya31Author Commented:
The other server was 2008 and at the time it was not compatible with office 2016
Dariusz TykaICT Infrastructure Specialist Senior Commented:
You can switch your MAK to KMS (and vice versa) any time you want. So for now you can activate your Win10 machines using MAK key and when you have 25+ in place switch them to KMS key. Simply issue 2 below command @ each workstation:
Open elevated cmd:
slmgr /ipk <insert your KMS key>
slmgr /ato
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
The other server was 2008 and at the time it was not compatible with office 2016
That is not true.  You can use Server 2008 to activate W10 and Office 2016, but you need to run an update KB listed in the link below.

Here is a link:
jaya31Author Commented:
Thanks, at the time 2008 was not able to compatible, as you mentioned Microsoft has since issued an update. That was the short answer, the server that was running KMS is an old server - hardware with other services that we are retiring. So that is why we created a new server.
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
Ok. So if you already have window 7 machines registering with your old KMS you can replace that with your new KMS and all your exist clients will start activating against the new server.

KMS keys are downwards compatible. This might solve your issue.
jaya31Author Commented:
So we never had windows 7 machines on KMs only office 2013. I suppose office and operating systems will be different  types of registration. To your posting earlier, we do have windows 2016 servers, if we have 5 registering to the new KMS will the first windows 10 or sixth machine register
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
Yes Office and OS are completely separate.  If you have 5 servers that can be registered against your KMS then it will be activated.
jaya31Author Commented:
Hi all,

Thank you for your input on this, what we end up doing, is continue with the setup of KMS on 2016. We started to registering existing window 7 machines on the new KMS  and once it hit the 25 count, windows 10 started to activate.

Much thanks for all your input
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