Auto-Activating Windows 7
This seemed like the best place to post as OS activation is hopefully done as part of or shortly after OS deployment!
We have around 800 PCs that we rebuilt with Windows 7 this summer. Our plan was to use an internal KMS server and our KMS key to handle activation. However, quite a few of our machines are still ones that were built from bare-bones chassis with a retail copy of Windows. We found out the hard way that you can't use the KMS key unless the machine has a BIOS flag to say it was shipped with Windows!
As such, we've fallen back to using a MAK key, but this only works when you activate the machines manually. For example, the MAK key is built into our image and the PC builds fine. If it's then left alone, it won't activate automatically and will just sit in the out of box grace period. We've had machines running for weeks that should have expired by now, but they say they're still in the grace period. However, if you log on, and click the activate Windows button, it successfully activates in a few seconds.
Any idea what might cause this? We have an internal proxy (Smoothwall) and the ISP proxy (SWGfL). As best as I can see, I've set all the 'required' Microsoft activation URLs to be allowed through Smoothwall and to not require authentication. I read somewhere that not all Microsoft processes will pick up proxy settings from Internet Explorer, but if this was the case then why would it work when someone logs on?
I've been using the VAMT tool to try to force an activation remotely, and I get the following errors on a machine:
License acquisition failure details.
Acquisition of Secure Processor Certificate failed.
Any feedback appreciated!