Tools User Guide: Key Information Tool (KIT)


Who should use this article?

  • Accounts & Billing agents
  • Answer Desk agents
  • Sales agents
  • Up & Running agents

What is this article about?

This article has information about the Key Information Tool (KIT).
Please use this Table of Contents to find information you're looking for:


1. KIT Tool Usage and Product Key Checking Policies


1.1 KIT Tool Usage and Product Key Checking Policies

The primary purpose of the KIT tool is to retrieve information on a specific product key.
  • KIT should only be used when troubleshooting a customer’s issue related to installation, set-up, or activation, and the support agent determines that it is necessary to verify the status of the product key the customer is attempting to use. 
  • KIT should be used by MSFT approved support suppliers only for installation, set-up, and activation issues that may require detailed information regarding the product key associated with the customer’s license. 
  • KIT should be used by approved internal MSFT personnel in troubleshooting product key issues related to an installation, set-up, or activation failure. 
  • KIT should never be used by approved internal MSFT personnel solely to investigate activation history of product keys outside of troubleshooting a customer’s issue related to installation/set-up/activation failure.  
The KIT tool cannot be used outside of MSFT Corpnet, or outside of the Microsoft vendor/supplier location’s network
  • A user is only to be signed on to KIT for a single session – users cannot share their login identification and password with another person. Multiple KIT sessions by different users using same login credentials is prohibited! 

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1.2 Product Key Checking Policies

  • CSS Support agents should not assist customers who contact Microsoft with the sole intent to obtain information related to product keys. 
  • Checking multiple product keys for customers is prohibited. 
    • Politely tell the customer that you cannot check or provide information regarding keys, but you would be happy to assist them with support in the event they are experiencing installation/setup issues. For example, ask for the error message they are receiving.
  • A customer’s product key should only be checked when troubleshooting an installation, set-up, and/or activation issue, and the support agent validates the reason for the install/set-up/activation failure is possibly related to an issue with the product key. 
    • If a customer contacts Microsoft and simply would like to check a PKEY, the customer should be advised we only check PKEYs related to troubleshooting and resolving an installation/set-up/activation related issue. 
  • KIT tool users should NEVER share screen captures of KIT tool with a customer. Sharing a screen capture of KIT output of a product key is strictly prohibited.
  • If an OEM or Certified Microsoft Partner contacts Microsoft Consumer support queue, the customer should be re-directed to the proper Microsoft Support queue. 
  • If a customer with a valid volume license or Microsoft Product & Services agreement requests assistance with volume license keys, the support agent should assist per standard volume license key support policies.  
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1.3 KIT Output Product Key Information That Is Able to be Shared with a Customer:

1.3.1 Product Details section

  • The status of the PKEY, specifically:
    • If the PKEY is activation blocked; for example, blocked from additional activation 
    • If the PKEY is geo blocked, for example, it can only be activated from a specific geographic location 
      • Agents should only advise the customers they cannot activate this specific product in the geographic location in which they are located. They should not tell the customer the PKEY is “Geo-blocked”.
  • The Product Key Type (Retail, OEM, or Volume License): Determine if there is a product key or media mismatch.
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1.3.2 Configuration History section

  • The Product Name (for example, Windows 7 Home Premium Retail)
    • The simplified product name can be found in the “Configuration Summary” section.

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1.4 KIT Output Product Key Information That May Not Be Shared with a Customer:

In general, Activation information should not be openly shared with the customer. The information should be privy to the agent to help them assist the customer with a specific goal. If a complex analysis is needed to illustrate a problem the agent should be escalating. Interpretation of activation history can be subjective.

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1.4.1 Product Details section

  • Full PKPN Name – the verbatim output from KIT
  • MPC
  • Channel
  • Sequence
  • PKGroupID
  • Encryption Type
  • Specific Geo Rules
    • Support agents can ask the customer where they are attempting to activate the product, and the agent can determine if that is an eligible market. Agents should not share the countries in which a specific product key can be activated.
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1.4.2 Configuration Summary Section

  • NLS Date
  • Total Activations
  • RIT Limit
  • RIT Count
  • ROT Limit
  • ROT Count
  • ROT Override Limit
  • ROT Override Count
  • RAT (Days:Hours:Minutes)
  • DMAK Activation Limit
  • DMAK Activation Count
  • Activation Override Count
  • DMAK Override Limit
  • DMAK Activation Extension Count
  • DMAK Activation Extension Limit
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1.4.3 Activation History section

  • The number of unique Hardware IDs in which the product key has been activated
  • The activation date or dates associated with each hardware ID
  • The License Type (the reason the activation was successful) – ReissueInTolerance, ReissueOutOfTolerence, ReissueAfterTime, and so on.

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2. KIT user interface overview


2.1 KIT user interface overview

During the course of troubleshooting a customer’s issue related to installation/set-up/activation failure, you can use KIT (Key Information Tool) to look up a customer’s product keys, review their activation summary and history, and access general product key information.

The interface has three main components on its Welcome Page:
  • Search Type
    • Text Field to enter code
  • Toggles for:
    • First Activation Date Required
    • Activation History Required
  • User Notes
Note: The new KIT Tool URL is:
The backend database for the KIT tool is KIS, so information returned to the KIT tool user interface is pulled from the KIS database. Communications related to the tool and data may reference either KIT (ex: tool performance) or KIS (ex: data availability).

Note: This KIT Tool User Guide will be updated when the few remaining issues with the tool are resolved.

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3. The New KIT Welcome Screen


3.1 The New KIT Welcome Screen

The new KIT welcome screen is shown below (Fig. 1)

Changes to the welcome screen are:
  1. On/Off toggle to request:
    • First Activation Date
    • Activation History
  2. Addition of “User Notes”
    • User Notes are maintained throughout the individual key check session
  3. To return to this screen:
    • Click the “Key Information Tool” banner, or
    • Hit the Back button or arrow on the Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer browser.

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4. Procedures


4.1 Entering a Product KEY or PID 

  • Product keys can be checked by entering the Product KEY or PID

    Note: In most cases, it is easiest to leave Auto Sense as the default setting to check Product Key or PID. KIT is able to determine the format of the information entered. 

    However, for specific products or when receiving specific results, you can improve your results by toggling off certain search criteria, or being more specific about your search by using "Hints":
  • "Is First Activation Date Required?" - Toggle ON/OFF:
    • If your lookup "times out", retry your search but this time toggle "Off" the "Is First Activation Date Required?". There are time out known issue where in some cases the key has no NLS (new license; first activation date of a key). Wherein a key has no NLS, toggling this option off will allow the results to be visible and improve performance.
  • "FamilyHint" - Select an appropriate option for Windows 7, Vista, or an office 2010" Key:
    • If you know the 5X5 Product Key is a Windows 7, Vista, or an Office 2010 key, it's recommended to use the "Hints" feature. This feature can significantly improve Key cracking performance for the noted products:
      1. Change the default "AUTO SENSE" to "KEY" - this will display the "FamilyHint" option.
      2. Click to expose the dropdown menu and choose the appropriate option.
  • GCS=Group Channel Sequence
    • Only Microsoft internal FTEs have access to Group, Channel, and Sequence information. Support agents should not use this field
Table 1: Steps to analyze the Product Key or PID using default settings
Step Screenshot
1.     Enter the Product Key or PID.

2.     Leave Auto Sense as the default.

3.     Click or touch SUBMIT

Figure 2: After entering or pasting 
product key

Note: The KIT tool is not case sensitive and will recognize both upper and lower case characters. Agents do not need to enter the characters in a specific case.
4.     Select Family Hint to improve performance

5.     Scroll down to view other information.

Figure 3 Select Family Hint options to improve key cracking performance

Family Hint
Always use Family Hint if you know the product family. The Hint parameter helps in faster key cracking. Select the appropriate hint whenever you type in a 5x5 Product Key. If an error is returned, retry your search without selecting a Family Hint.

This is not required but is helpful if you know the product family.
Note: Users must scroll down to view all of the information, especially the Product Key Configuration Summary.

Important elements in PRODUCT KEY Configuration Summary are:
  • Product Name
  • NLS Date
  • Total number of activations
  • Activation Blocked, Validation Blocked, and Geo-Blocked.
  • RIT/ROT/RAT Activation limits
    • This information is never to be shared with a customer
6.     Review information returned.

7.     Click GEO RuleDetails, to determine what locations the product can or cannot be activated.

8.     After viewing this information, scroll down.

9.     After reviewing the information, scroll back to the top of the welcome page
Figure 6: View after scrolling down

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4.2 Activation History 

Table 2: “Is Activation History Required” set to On
Step Screenshot
1.     Set Is Activation History Required? To On

2.     Set the number of activation records to select.

Figure 7: Welcome screen with “Is Activation History Required” set to On

Note: 10 is the default setting for No. ofHistory Records Required.100 is the maximum number of records that will be retrieved.
3.     Set number of history records required to 25.

4.     Click Submit.

Figure 8: No. of History Records Required set to 25
5.     Review product information 

6.     Scroll down to view activation history

Figure 9: Product Details

Note: When you scroll to the bottom, you will see the option to click to the next page to view the next page of activation history.
7.     Click next page at bottom of screen to see activation history.

Figure 10: Activation History
The main items for a customer support agent to look for are:
  1. The Product Name
  2. NLS date
  3. Total number of activations
  4. The ROT Override Count
  5. The Activation Override Count

Note: If the customer claims they have had to reinstall their software due to hardware failure, you can see those activations show up in the Activation Override Count field. High Activation Override Counts is a red flag and may indicate a pirated product key.

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4.3 Activation Summary 

In the following graphic, the most important information is highlighted,

Note: Never share this information with customers. This is for Microsoft internal use only!

Figure 11: Activation Summary

Table 3: Description of highlighted fields
Field Description
NLS date: Identifies the date the license was first activated
RIT Limit Identifies the maximum number of times the product can be activated on the same

computer (within tolerance). Does not include NLS.
ROT Limit Identifies the maximum number of times the product can be activated on different

hardware (outside of tolerance), Does not include NLS.
RAT Reissue above tolerance. The number of days since the last license issued after which a

reissue will be allowed if the out of tolerance (ROT) limit is exceeded
Total Activations Overall number of times the product has been activated. Includes NLS.
RIT Count Current number of times product has been activated within tolerance. Does not include NLS
ROT Count Does not include NLs. Current number of times a product has been activated within ROT tolerance. If a key was configured to ROT 5 and the customer had only transferred the license only once or replaced the motherboard only once, the customer could pass activation due to ROT triggering a ROT count.
NLS MPC: Microsoft Product Code value for the first activation
ROT Override Limit The maximum number of ROT overrides allowed on a PKEY.  This field generally is not configured.
ROT Override Count The number of activations processed via ROT override, delivered through the PA IVR application or via the PACSR agent tool
Activation Override Count Total number of activations processed via RIT or ROT override

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4.4 Viewing a Blocked Product Key

Table 4: Blocked Product Key or PID
Step Screenshot
1.     Enter the Product Key or PID to be analyzed.

2.     Click or touch Submit.

Figure 12:Enter Product Key to be analyzed
3.     Activation Blocked = Yes.

Figure 13: Activation Blocked
4.     Scroll down to see other information.

Figure 14: Configuration Summary
5.     Scroll back up and click Activation Blocked Details.
15: Activation Blocked Details
This information is primarily used by PACTRun, APS, and CELA. Agents should be primarily concerned with the fact the PKEY was blocked and to whom they should escalate if the customer claims they are the rightful owner.
Activation Blocked details should never be shared with a customer.

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The following table explains the Tenant ID specifics.

Table 5: Tennant ID Description
Tenant ID Blocking Org
1 Microsoft OEM Online
2 Order Management 
3 Sell Keys
4 AdminQuickWins
5 Talon
6 Bulk Block

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Regardless of the reason, the product key the customer is attempting to use to complete activation is blocked, and the customer must obtain a new product key.  However, the information provided in the Activation “Blocked Reason” may be helpful in understanding the type of product key a customer is attempting to use to activate their software.  For example, if the reason is identified as “Default”, then by definition this is a product key that cannot be activated.  In general, most other reasons suggest an action was taken to block the product key from enabling additional activations, based on historical activity of the product key.  Examples include the product key had become pirated/abused, or the product was returned by the customer.

It is not uncommon for KIT to return a “Blocked Reason” of “Unknown”.  In these cases, it cannot be determined which process was used to block the product key.

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4.5 Using the Notes Section

Table 6: Adding Notes
Step Screenshot
1.     Click the Key Information Tool banner to return to the welcome page.

2.     Type in Notes.

The notes entered are only displayed on the main page. They do not carry through to other screens

3. Click Submit

Figure 16: User Notes
4.     View after clicking Submit.

5.     Click the Key Information Tool banner to return to the welcome screen.

Figure 17: After clicking Submit on the welcome screen
6.     The notes from the previous inquiry will remain in the User Notes section.

Figure 18: After going back to welcome screen
7.     To clear the User Notes, highlight the content of the field and press Delete on the keyboard.

Figure 17: Highlight User Notes contents
8.     View after User Notes are deleted.

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5. Common Customer & Licensing Questions
5.1 Common Customer Questions

  • Can you check this product key?
    • Checking a product key only is prohibited. Product keys can only be checked a part of the support workflow for installation, set-up, and activation.
  • Is my product key a valid product key?
    • Same as above. Checking a product key only is prohibited. Product keys can only be checked a part of the support workflow for installation, set-up, and activation. 
  • Is my product key blocked?
    • This information can be shared with the customer during the appropriate time of the support workflow, and the customer should be advised their product key was blocked and they should return to their reseller or purchase a new product key
  • Can you tell how many activations are on this product key?
    • This information cannot be provided
  • I have a multiple product keys, but am not sure which product is associated with each product key. Can you please check my keys?
    • Checking a product key as the only action in the support experience is prohibited
  • I bought this key on eBay (or other e-commerce portal), why doesn’t the key work?
    • The support agent should ask the customer for the error message they are receiving, and follow the appropriate workflow.
  • I bought this key on eBay (or other e-commerce portal), can you check to see if this key will work?
    • Checking a product key only is prohibited. Product keys can only be checked as part of the support workflow for installation, set-up, and activation. 
  • I bought this key as a gift that I want to give to a friend or family member. Can you tell me if it is good and verify what it is for?
    • Checking a product key only is prohibited. Product keys can only be checked as part of the support workflow for installation, set-up, and activation. 
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5.2 Common Licensing Questions

Note that each version of Windows and Office do not have identical terms and conditions associated with the license. Customers with license related questions should be referred to the terms of the license that came with their software.

Customer can also be referred to the following web resources for more information

Note: If you have any KIT access issues or tool downtime, contact your team lead.

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6. Known KIT Tool issues
6.1 Known issues

How to determine if Product Key provided by Customer is a PIN or Digital License generated by Universal Store:

At this time, information related to Universal Store PINs is not stored in the KIS database.  This is being evaluated as a future enhancement.  However, there is some limited information that can help you determine if it’s a Product Key or PIN/Token.
  • In the Product Details section, within the PKPN Description there should be a designation of “DLA/BP”, which follows the product and version. (For Office 365 only, the PKPN description will instead include a designation of "Bypass".)
  • In the “Configuration Summary” section, there will be no information displayed. There will be no NLS date, no RIT limit setting, etc.
  • Office for Windows products with the following PKGROUPID’s are PINs that meet the above criteria:
    1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 2829, 2830, 2831, 2960, 2961, 2962, 2963, 2964, 2965, 2966, 2967, 2968, 2969, 2970, 2971, 2972, 2973, 2974, 2975, 2976, 2977, 2978, 2979, 3002, 3003, 3004, 3005, 3006, 3007, 3008, 3009, 3010, 3011, 3012, 3013, 3014, 3015, 3016, 3017, 3018, 3019, 3020, 3021, 3022, 3023, 3024, 3025, 3026, 3027, 3028, 3029, 3030, 3031, 3032, 3033, 3034, 3035, 3036, 3037, 3038, 3039, 3040, 3041, 3042, 3043, 3044, 3045, 3046, 3047, 3048, 3049, 3050, 3051, 3052, 3053, 3054, 3055, 3056, 3057, 3058, 3059, 3060, 3061, 3062, 3063, 3064, 3065, 3066, 3067, 3068, 3069, 3070, 3071, 3072, 3073, 3074, 3075, 3076, 3077, 3078, 3079, 3080, 3081
  • Office for Mac products with the following PKGROUPID’s are PINs: 218, 3110, 3111, 3112 (may also say POSA)
History of Office for Mac information returned is limited:
  • Office for Mac products currently activate against a different clearinghouse where data specific to product key configuration, activation business rules, and activation history are not submitted to the KIS database.
  • Similar to Universal Store PINs, we should be able to determine what product the customer is attempting to activate, but there is no information available beyond that (such as NLS date, RIT limits, etc.).

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Article ID: 3150228 - Last Review: 28 ఫిబ్ర, 2017 - Revision: 27