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How can I activate Windows 10 clients via an existing KMS Server running on Windows 2008 R2?

EXISTING ENVIRONMENT

  • Windows 2008 R2 Server running the KMS Host role
  • Existing KMS key is Windows 2012 R2 (or lower) installed on the KMS host from a previous setup.
  • Current activations are fine for Windows 2012 R2 and lower on servers, and Windows 8.1 and lower for clients.

DESIRED OUTCOME

  • Activation of Windows 10 clients via the KMS host
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In order to activate Windows 10 clients on a KMS host running Windows Server 2008 R2 you can follow the steps below.

Please be aware these aren't steps to get a KMS host running from scratch, some of those steps are outlined in the TechNet article here: Activate using Key Management Service but be aware that deploying a KMS host server shouldn't be something just thrown into an environment without proper planning.

NOTE: if you are using a 2012 R2 KMS host, you can skip to step #2. The rest of the steps should apply to you at that point.

STEPS FOLLOWED

  1. On the 2008 R2 KMS host, a hotfix is required: KB 3079821
  2. Retrieve the correct KMS key from the Microsoft VLSC site. The correct key is labeled "Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10" in your "Product Keys" tab of your Relationship Summary page.
  3. On the existing KMS host, run slcmgr.vbs /dlv to get the current detailed KMS license summary. I would recommend taking a screenshot for historical reference.
  4. Activate the new license on the KMS server by typing slcmgr.vbs /ipk <key you retrieved in step #2> (be patient, it will return a command prompt immediately and then about 10 seconds later show a window pop-up stating the license was installed successfully)

    NOTE: If you use the Windows 10 KMS key instead of the one above you will get an error 0xC004F015 during activation. See here for more details: KB 3086418 Servers can ONLY have a Server license key installed, so you have to use the proper "Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10" license key from the MVLS site.

  5. The KMS server will then show as "This copy of Windows is not Genuine" in the desktop and the activation section of the System properties. Don't freak out...you now need to re-activate just the KMS host by typing slcmgr.vbs /ato . The server should then show as activated again.

  6. That's it, you can go to the "TESTING COMPLETED" section for next steps.

References:

Activate using Key Management Service

Activating Windows 10 on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 KMS hosts.

TESTING COMPLETED

The following tests will help validate all is well.

  1. On the KMS host, run slcmgr.vbs /dlv again. Note the new product key which should look like this:

    enter image description here

  2. Everything else on that screen pop-up should be very similar to what you saw before you activated the new license (refer to step #3 above in "Steps Followed")

  3. On a Windows 10 client that has been deployed with the CVLK (the generic KMS key used in an SCCM or MDT image), try to activate the Windows 10 client now (you can use slcmgr.vbs /ato for instance)

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If you are using OPEN licensing, you'll have to contact MS to request a CSVLK

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askcore/2015/09/15/windows-10-volume-activation-tips/

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