Windows 7 Activation

Windows 7 Activation

Amanda Rolle called this evening because she kept receiving an error when she tried to activate windows. She came by and when I checked her event log, it indicated that the grace period for activation had expired, and activation could not complete due to the inability to communicate with kvm.tamu.edu:1688. Attempts to ping the server failed, and a nslookup of that domain name indicated that there was no record for that server. I found a FAQ about KMS at
http://cis.tamu.edu/Home/Services/Hardware_Software/Microsoft_Key_Management_Server/KMS_FAQs.php
which indicates that the TAMU KMS server is kms.tamu.edu and listens on port 1688. I changed the DNS record, flushed her DNS cache, and then she was able to activate Windows. I remember Tony saying that he modified DNS records for windows activation, so something has changed since I activated my copy of Windows 7, because it worked properly for me and for the new Exchange server. There is an indication in Windows technet documentation that these DNS records can be automatically propagated throughout the domain, and I’m noticing a significant number of other weird records in DNS. Since this has potential to create college-wide problems I thought it best to summarize the most effective solution, and I will continue to investigate the problems with DNS.

  1. Open a command prompt with admin privileges.
  2. Type “slmgr.vbs /skms kms.tamu.edu:1688” (without quotes) and hit return.
  3. Activate Windows by either of the following options
    1. Type “slmgr.vbs /ato” (without quotes) and hit return (needs admin command prompt).
    2. Control Panel > System > Activate this copy of Windows (link toward the bottom).

Essentially, step 2 caches the kms server configuration locally on that machine, and disables the DNS lookup for a KMS server. As a side note, activation can be completed over a VPN connection to TAMU according to the FAQ.
12/7/2009 Jonathan Hall

Taxonomy: