Microsoft Windows activation

Introduction
Rearming: Delaying activation
Types of activation
How to gather the activation information
Check that the system date, time and timezone are correct
Find or create the 'activation.cmd' script
Run the activation.cmd script
KMS (Key Management Server) activation
MAK (Multiple Activation Key) activation

 

Introduction

Windows operating systems in VDC must be licensed by Interoute. See Microsoft Windows licensing for general information.

This document describes the steps you need to take to perform license activation for a Windows VM.

If you are not yet ready to activate, you can delay it for a maximum of 90 days by ‘rearming’ Windows.

Rearming: Delaying activation

Rearming is a way to reset the activation clock and obtain another 30 days’ use of the operating system before being prompted again. Rearming can be done twice on any VM, thus giving you up to 90 days of grace period.

To rearm, open a Windows Powershell (or Command prompt). Enter the following command:

slmgr.vbs -rearm

After a short time you should see a dialog box confirming successful completion.

Now reboot the VM to update the activation status.

Types of activation

There are two types of activation for Windows VMs: KMS (Key Management Server) activation for a VM that is connected to the internet, and MAK (Multiple Activation Key) activation, for a VM that is isolated from the internet. Each has a different process to follow.

Connection of a VM to the Internet is determined by the egress rules for 'Local with Internet Gateway' network. No rules are set up by default when a network is created (that is, the firewall is fully closed to all traffic, inbound and outbound). Egress rules (for outbound connection) are set using CIDR-format specifications and it is possible to set rules for any range of IP addresses, including single VMs, in a network. See How to allow your VM to access the public Internet network.

If it is important for a new VM not to have any internet connection then take care during deployment of the VM that it is not attached to a network which has egress rules in place.

Important

You will need to use different templates to deploy a VM depending on whether the VM will have an internet connection or not. See the list of VDC Microsoft Windows templates for details.

 

How to gather the activation information

Check that the system date, time and timezone are correct

Ensure that the date, time and timezone are correctly set. If you are logged in as Administrator, you can do this by right-clicking on the time/date in the taskbar and selecting 'Adjust date/time'.

Find or create the 'activation.cmd' script

You should find this script already set up on the Windows Desktop. If it is missing, follow these instructions:

  1. Open an editor window on the server that you wish to activate, copy all the text in the box below and paste it into the editor:

    %WINDIR%\system32\cscript.exe %WINDIR%\system32\slmgr.vbs /dlv > %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\%COMPUTERNAME%_dlv.txt
    echo COMPUTERNAME: %COMPUTERNAME% >> %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\%COMPUTERNAME%_dlv.txt
  2. Save the file (File > Save As) to the Desktop, with filename 'activation.cmd'. You may need select the option 'Save as type: All Files (*.*)' so that nothing else is added to the end of the filename.

Run the activation.cmd script

Double click the 'activation.cmd' icon. A 'command window' should appear very briefly.

On the Desktop you should see a text file called COMPUTERNAME_dlv.txt. For example, if your computer’s name is 'WINDOWS-P9G13KK', the text file will be called WINDOWS-P9G13KK_dlv.txt.

KMS (Key Management Server) activation

Send the content of the text file you created by email to . Use the e-mail title: ‘KMS Activation Request’. You can attach the file, or paste its contents into the body of the email.

The following information must also be included:

  • VDC Account name: the name that appears after your username in the top right corner of the My Services window.

  • The public IP address used for Internet connection by the VM.

  • The name of the VM in VDC.

The VDC Licensing team will verify your activation request and, if it is approved by Microsoft, will reply within 24 hours with details of how to proceed.

Note that for activation the VM only requires outbound internet access, via the network egress rules. You do not need to open the firewall for inbound access.

MAK (Multiple Activation Key) activation

Send the contents of the text file you created by email to . Use the e-mail title: ‘MAK Activation Request’. You can attach the file, or paste its contents into the body of the email.

Your email must also include the VDC Account Name, that is, the name that appears after your username in the top right corner of the My Services window.

The VDC Licensing team will verify your activation request and, if it is approved by Microsoft, will reply within 24 hours with details of how to proceed.

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