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I have a VMware image that contains our "standard workstation" where I do a lot of testing.

I used a Windows 7 Enterprise MAK key (from MSDN) for activation because the doc said that MAK keys don't have to be reactivated when the hardware changes.

Activation was done with

  • slmgr.vbs /ipk LICENSE-KEY
  • slmgr.vbs /ato

Now after some testing where the virtual hw was changed it says it "needs to activate because the hw has changed".

What did I do wrong?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Nothing. the MAK is a "normal" MAK - it allows multiple activations, but it also invalidates, like all activations, on hardware changes. At least this was my understanding from the start (can you provide a quote from the doc saying it does not need reactivation?).

That said, my experience with them is limited - I run a KMS because it is a lot easier.

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I can't find the exact document but I guess I have a different understanding of the term 'perpetual' than Microsoft: "MAK activation is used for one-time perpetual activation with activation services that are hosted by Microsoft." Apparently perpetual does not mean forever. Thanks. – laktak Mar 18 '10 at 10:49
yes "1 time perpetual" If you invalidate the activation then you have to get another "1 time perpetual" activation. Like anything else perpetual, it exists until destroyed – Jim B Mar 18 '10 at 11:03
perpetual means until deactivated (by hardware change). This is different from a KMS activaition which is valid only 6 months (and the server tries to renew every week). Basically the MAK version stays active until you change something, the KMS version gets regularly reactivated (locally by the KM Sserver). – TomTom Mar 18 '10 at 11:09
Kind of like Duncan's an immortal unless he loses his head? :-) – Bart Silverstrim Mar 18 '10 at 11:39
Yeah, pretty much. Just less bloody and without cool special effects ;) – TomTom Mar 18 '10 at 11:45

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