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Volume Activation Planning Guide

Microsoft Corporation

Volume Activation helps Volume Licensing customers automate and manage the activation process of Volume Licensing media. Volume Licensing customers and special program subscribers such as the Microsoft Partner Program, MSDN®, and Microsoft® TechNet—are eligible for Volume Licensing software and media. This guide is for information technology (IT) professionals whose organizations are planning to deploy Volume Activation versions of the Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating systems.

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

Learn About Product Activation
Review Available Activation Models
Evaluate Client Connectivity
Map Computers to an Activation Method
Determine Product Key Needs
Determine Monitoring and Reporting Needs
Appendix A: Information Sent to Microsoft
Appendix B: Licensing Conditions


Volume Activation is a configurable solution that helps IT pros automate and manage the product-activation process on computers that are running the Windows Vista®, Windows® 7, Windows Server® 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems licensed under a Microsoft® Volume Licensing program and other programs that provide Volume License editions of Windows. This guide provides planning steps and scenarios to assist in planning a Volume Activation deployment specifically for the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

Note   This guide provides Volume Activation planning guidance for the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. However, this guide does address interoperability between both generations of products. For more information about planning Volume Activation for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, see Volume Activation 2.0 Technical Guidance on the Microsoft Web site (

A Volume Activation deployment includes the following steps:

  1. Learn about product activation.

  2. Review available activation models.

  3. Evaluate client connectivity.

  4. Map the physical computer or virtual machine to an activation method.

  5. Determine product key needs.

  6. Determine monitoring and reporting needs.