Activating MAK Clients

The MAK client attempts to activate over the Internet at the next scheduled interval. Administrators can force immediate activation over the Internet, by telephone, or by using the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT).

To confirm activation, check the system tray for a notification that says, “Windows is activated.” Alternatively, type slmgr.vbs /dli at a command prompt to view the activation status of a computer.

Activating MAK Clients over the Internet

A MAK client can be activated over the Internet in either of two ways:

  • Click the Click here to activate Windows now link in the Control Panel System item. Windows reports whether the activation was successful. If activation was unsuccessful, a wizard presents additional options.

  • Run slmgr.vbs /ato at a command prompt. Additional options are not presented when using slmgr.vbs.

Activating MAK Clients Through a Proxy Server

Activation over the Internet may be blocked if the proxy server requires user authentication. In Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, this setting is called Basic Authentication. Because activation requests do not present the user's credentials to the proxy server, Microsoft recommends not using Basic Authentication with ISA Server or other proxy servers. However, if Basic Authentication or a comparable mechanism must be used on the proxy server, add the following URLs to the Proxy Authentication exclusion list:**

Activating MAK Clients Using the Telephone

To activate computers that are connected to the organization’s network but do not have Internet connectivity by using Slmgr.vbs. In the Command Prompt window, type:

slmgr.vbs TargetComputerName <Username> <Password> /dti

To display the information required to complete telephone activation. To obtain the telephone number for an Activation Call Center in your local region, run slui.exe 4. Use the Interactive Voice Response system to obtain the confirmation ID (CID); then, run:

slmgr.vbs TargetComputerName <UserName> <Password> /atp <CID>

To install the CID. If activation is performed frequently or multiple computers are activated, it may be more useful to automate the process using the Slmgr.vbs script.

Activating MAK Clients Using VAMT

VAMT allows automation of MAK deployment and activation over the network by distributing MAKs from a centralized console, as Figure 2 shows. VAMT queries Microsoft activation servers to get the number of remaining activations for a given MAK, then lists the activation status of all MAK-activated systems in the environment. This count is a snapshot in time, not a real-time count. VAMT version 1.2 is included in the Windows AIK, which is available from the Microsoft Download Center at

The VAMT user interface

Figure 2   The VAMT user interface

Disable Automatic Activation

Automatic activation can be disabled on any KMS client by setting the existing DWORD value Manual to 1. This value is in the registry subkey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\Activation.