Current way we do things is
ANY Laptop / PC that comes in, its formatted and XP Pro is installed from the network either as a scripted install or as an Image. If it has XP Home, we buy an upgrade licence, if its Vista business we are covered with downgrade rights.
Next batch of laptops are all coming with Vista Business licences, and i thought instead of doing the usual thing of installing XP, i might give Vista a real go , since Windows 7 is going to be using same technology going to be no escaping the evil.
So if i create a Vista image and blank them all, how do i go about this silly product activation, as XP Pro did not have this on Volume Licence CD's, but all Vista's do :( .
Fom what i gather you will need a licence/key server. At the moment this can only be set up on a Vista machine (it aint been written for windows 2007 server yet) and a volumne licence key for vista. The stations will then have to access the key server once every 180 days.
How many machines?
As jsnetman says, you can use a KMS server (which is very easy to setup) but (and it's a big but!) you can't do this unless you have at least 25 machines.
If you have less than 25 machines then you need to get MAK (multiple activation keys) - you put this key in and it just pretty much automatically goes on the web and activates.
You need to take care of the MAK - if it gets out and is found on a web site somewhere then MS reserve the right to cancel your licenses based on that key (which Vista will allow them to do). If they believe that it was stolen then they can issue you a new key and let you re-activate all your machines.
Server 08 has it built in, you simply need to activate it with the Server 08 KMS key.
Originally Posted by Psymon
You need 5 servers to use KMS, and 25 Vista Clients minimum. The first 4 servers / 24 clients will fail, due to lack of enough to reach the requirements, once the 25th is activated, all become registered as you have met the threshhold, there is a KMS event log to show the attempted registrations.
IT also publishes a DNS record under _TCP that the machine will look for when registering, to register locally, rather than on the internet with M$.
Off Campus : Run KMS on Server 2008, and which keys to use when activating Server 2008
All info here. We set ours up this morning.
ABR is a tool you need.
May I direct your attention to a tool called ABR which can be found by following this link.
Backup and restore Vista activation and product key | Web Talk
It backups the Serial and some sort of certificate on your new factory configured Vista machines.
Literally takes 5 seconds to run. Once you have these 2 files safely backed up, you can format the workstation and re-install Vista without all that extra rubbish they force on us these days. You simply need to re-run ABR after Vista has re-installed and it re-applies the serial and certificate. By doing so, the machine is activated. No need for servers, calling Microsoft etc.
This is not some dodgy workaround, as all you are doing is applying the same licensing information that the machine came with.
You could create a folder and use the workstations serial number as its name. You could then easily archive these folders should you choose to install XP instead, with the intention of of putting Vista back on in the future.
Note, this only works if you put the same version of Vista back on that it came with.
Not tried it in a networked environment, but it worked a treat on my new Laptop.
*(This only works on machinesthat came with Vista pre-installed)
Really? Where abouts can I enable the KMS server in 2008?
Originally Posted by Psymon
**edit** thanks... just watched the demonstration :doh:
Originally Posted by Oops_my_bad
Turns out you need to install the Itanium / Datacentre KMS on your Server 2008 Enterprise server. The keys are activated in levels, and Datacentre / Itanium is a tier4, tier3 is web / enterprise etc.. tier2 is small business and tier1 is vista.
We installed the Enterprise KMS and it wouldnt work properly, removed it and entered the datacentre kms (we dont have datacentre / itanium licence, however we have the single KMS key, which we were informed was for the KMS Server) and it can auth server2008 enterprise and vista fine after it publishes the _SRV records in _TCP
Another thing, we are using an unattended XML install via WDS. We spent a whole day trying the KMS key and MAK keys to auth via KMS and NEITHER WORK.
You simply need to download the latest "Full" (not Upgrade disk) image, and use that on your WDS server, and by default you have a KMS_CLIENT key installed on them CD's from MVLS without doing anything. the KMS keys in your licence agreement are purely for a KMS host, and MAK keys are only used for manual activations for people that dont connect to the corporate network more than twice a year.
So install with no product key in your unattended install xml.
Thanks for that - I've installed our KMS using our enterprise KMS key
If I make an image of Vista to deploy what do you do to prevent it from activating sooner or later? Because I guess as soon as it boots up, it gets DNS etc from DHCP (and therefore the SRV for the KMS). I dont really want to activate the "base" image I am creating/testing :/
The KMS takes the GUID of the machine, and uses the base key on the disk as soon as it gets network connectivity, so you can wipe / re-image this machine as many times as you like, and you only use a single activation on the KMS.
Originally Posted by Oops_my_bad
If you are testing you have nothing to worry about if you are planning on using that PC on the live network, and the first 24 activations will fail with the message along the lines of "not enoiugh activations to reach threshhold" or something. So if you activate 24 machines, they wont get activated until the 25th goes onto the network / KMS.
*edit - im writing a word doc on the whole thing, i will post it as a seperate post once finished, will be very useful.
**edit2 - Thread with Word Doc - http://www.edugeek.net/forums/window...tml#post221924