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Volume Activation Deployment Guide

Microsoft Corporation

Volume Activation helps Volume Licensing customers automate and manage the activation process. This document is for information technology (IT) implementers who have planned a Volume Activation deployment and are now ready to review and perform the procedures needed for that deployment.

This guide is presented in sections. You may download the entire guide. This guide also has been localized into several languages.

KMS Activation
MAK Activation
Reactivating Computers
Appendix A: Optional Configurations
Appendix B: Sample Unattended Installation File

This guide describes Microsoft® Volume Activation deployment concepts. Volume Activation consists of two technologies—Key Management Service (KMS) and Multiple Activation Key (MAK)—that allow Volume Licensing customers to activate Volume License editions of the Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating systems. The Volume Licensing Service Center at provides more information about Volume Licensing.

When planning to use Volume Activation, an organization must choose KMS, MAK, or any combination of the two. The activation methods chosen depend on the needs of the organization and the network infrastructure. For more information about planning a Volume Activation deployment, see the Volume Activation Planning Guide.

Note   This guide provides Volume Activation deployment guidance for the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. This guide does address interoperability between both generations of products, however. For more information about deploying Volume Activation for Windows Vista® and Windows Server 2008, see

Note   This guide describes procedures that run scripts and make changes to the registry. These rights can be delegated to selected information technology (IT) implementers, and the rights to change product keys and perform activations can even be assigned to users, although Microsoft does not recommend this practice.

If activation fails, see the Volume Activation Operations Guide for troubleshooting help. The guide includes an error code reference with steps for resolving common issues.