This article contains information about Volume Activation for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows 7. It lists links to documentation about Volume Licensing and Volume Activation 2.0.
Key Management Service (KMS) key
A Key Management Service (KMS) key can be used to enable KMS on a computer that is controlled by an organization's IT professional. Your organization can host KMS internally to automatically activate computers that are running Windows operating systems. To use KMS, you must have more than 25 computers that are connected together. Computers that used KMS for activation are required to reactivate by connecting to your organization's network at least every 180 days. Currently, KMS runs on a local computer that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 - based operating system. A KMS key can be used to install six KMS host systems. But you can request more KMS host systems by using the Volume Activation Support Centers.
Multiple Activation Key (MAK)
A Multiple Activation Key (MAK) can activate either an individual computer or a group of computers by connecting directly to Microsoft servers. A MAK can be used to install Windows if you are not connected to a corporate network. A MAK can be used to activate any volume edition of Windows. Also, after you activate Windows by using MAK, you do not have to reactivate. Additionally, you can request more MAKs by telephone, and an escalation process will be created to complete the request. That process takes seven business days to finish.
Microsoft includes product activation technology in some products that are sold through OEM, retail, and Volume Licensing channels. The Windows operating system requires Volume Licensing customers to use a new type of activation called Volume Activation.
Volume Activation is a flexible solution that enables Volume Licensing customers to more securely and easily activate computers that are running Windows. Volume Activation technology was introduced in Windows Vista. In the future, it will be used for all Microsoft products. For general information about Volume Activation, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
The following links contain more information about Volume Activation 2.0 in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
Volume Activation 2.0 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
This is a collection of Windows Vista Volume Activation 2.0 technical documentation that provides planning, deployment, and operational guidance. It includes Volume Activation 2.0 Reference Guide, Volume Activation in Server 2008, and other supporting materials. Volume Activation 2.0 Operations Guide contains information to help troubleshoot common Volume Activation 2.0 issues. For example, troubleshooting information is included for issues related to Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activation, Key Management Service (KMS) activation, recovery from reduced functionality mode (RFM), and recovering a non-genuine state. To view this documentation, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
These documents provide planning, deployment, and operational guidance for activating volume editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.To view or to download this guide, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment (BDD)
This documentation provides background information and specific instructions to infrastructure remediation feature teams on how to set up and how to manage Volume Activation technologies for the Windows Vista. To view or download this documentation, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
The following links contain more information about Volume Activation 2.0 in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Volume Activation Resources for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Use these resources on Windows product activation to learn how to effectively manage the activation process in enterprise environment. They include the Improvements in volume activation in Windows 7 datasheet, Volume activation planning guide, and other supporting documentation. This information is available from the following Microsoft Web site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd996588.aspx
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Volume Activation Technical Reference Guide This reference guide is for information technology (IT) implementers whose organizations are planning deployments of Volume Activation versions of the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. It is a companion to the Volume Activation Planning Guide, Volume Activation Deployment Guide, and Volume Activation Operations Guide. To view this documentation, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee355153.aspx
Video - Fundamentals of Volume Activation This demo provides insights on the Volume Activation process while deploying Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. To view this video, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/dd936198.aspx