Controling Vista activations How to activate Vista & KMS (Key Management Service) with

Just found a cool way to get information on Vista activations without having to manually go through event logs or use various scripts.

Basically Windows Vista is the first Microsoft product to use Volume Activation (VA) v2. The main difference from what was there before is that now even enterprises need to have their installations activated and that they need to set up a Key Management Server in their intranet so that:

  • Each Vista computer will keep connecting to this server on a regular basis both before and after activation.
  • The server itself goes to Microsoft every 180 days to report on potential misuse.

You can find a really good write-up on KMS on 4sysops blog.

As you might have guessed by now KMS actually becomes a pretty important piece of one’s infrastructure. The overall experience can be pretty frustrating, and to make things worse the main source of information on what is going on on KMS is its event log where most of the data is put in just one Data field.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a better way to see how Vista deployments in your network are doing?

Actually it turns out that such a way exists: someone has just posted a snapin to PowerGUI.org library which, once imported into PowerGUI gives you a nice UI with all the activation events shown in the grid, each value in a separate column so you can sort, filter, etc. – even save to html or copy to clipboard:

KMS Management & Reporting in PowerGUI

Nice and really helpful if you want to be compliant with Microsoft licensing.

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The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer - WSO2 or anyone else for that matter. All trademarks acknowledged.

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