Office 2013 & KMS Activations
by, 30th July 2014 at 08:16 PM (1899 Views)
This Summer we're rolling out Office 2013 ready for September. We've been using a KMS server like most schools to activate Windows and Office 2010 - these generally have been without issues. With Office 2013 you have to first install the Microsoft Office 2013 Volume License Pack, and this has a nice GUI which has you entering your KMS key for Office 2013 and activating it for you. I did this sometime ago during the various months of testing I've done.
Like Windows activations, KMS requires a unique CMID of Office. When you sysprep a PC, this CMID gets reset and a new one created during the installation phase and the same happens for Office 2010. This unique CMID will increase the KMS activation count until it hits the magical number that starts activating Office/Windows/etc. During my testing phase, Office 2013 was reporting it as not activated which I took as I hadn't hit that magical number where my KMS would start activating.
During our deployment, it become obvious that after re-imaging of an entire suite of 26 PCs, the office installation was not activating. Much scratching of my head ensured, with myself scrutanising my KMS server closely but it keep telling my that Office 15 was Licensed with the activation count stuck at 2.
After a lot of google searches and reading up, it would appear that Microsoft have once again changed the way things work without yelling about it too loudly. Office 2013 does not reset it's CMID automatically if you opened an office application before Sysprep. So, your nice clean image for the year now contains a CMID that won't change and will be the same for all machines that you've re-imaged.
The solution I found here, Either ensure you rearm the office installation before you sysprep, or if you've already deployed it then you need to rearm each PC and force an activation. This solution started to increase my activation count and now happily my new for 2014 image is fully activating Office 2013. That is, if you include a copy of Office 2013 as part of you base image, installing it individually as an extra step after installation won't have this issue.
I used the script to create a login script that I assigned to us technicians via GPO. It works quite well as it puts a tag in the registry so it ensures it only runs the once, thus ensuring your not over activating copies of Office.
One problem solved, but still a few to resolve for the rest of the Summer work this year!
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