Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Windows 7 In Schools #2

So, been very busy lately trying to get all the software and machines installed for the start of term next week. While we were waiting for KMS 1.2 to come out Microsoft actually changed our keys. So here is what I have learnt about the changes in KMS.

For those who don't know, KMS is the new way to activate your operating system when you have a network with more than 25 clients. You must first set up a KMS server/host and get your clients to activate using the key you register on here. However, different operating systems now require different hosts.

Instead of just having a KMS key, now when we log on to Microsoft Volume Licensing we have either a KMS, KMS A, KMS B or KMS C key.

For a guide for installing a KMS host click here.

KMS keys can be hosted on a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2003 R2 machine -> only activates Windows 7 and Vista
KMS_A can be hosted on Web Server 2008 -> activates Vista, 7, Web Server 2008 and HPC Server 2008
KMS_B can be hosted on Server 2008 Standard -> activates Server 2008 Standard or Enterprise as well as Web Server 2008
KMS_C can be hosted on Server 2008 Enterprise -> activates all the above and Server 2008 Itanium-based systems

Before we had our licence key on a 2003 server and the Vista clients all activated using it. We don't have any Server 2003R2 servers so now we have had to set up a windows 7 PC as the license server. If you try setting up a KMS key on a non-2003R2 server you get the validation error 0xC004F050 and when you run slui.exe it says the product key is invalid.

This has meant that the 1.2 update we have been waiting for to activate our Windows 7 clients is pretty useless as your KMS key won't work on it. Just use a Windows 7 PC instead and don't turn it off or misplace it.