Migrate a MAK Windows key to KMS

This is meant to be a very quick guide to show how to migrate from a MAK Volume License key to a KMS activated Volume License Key. This is sometimes necessary within a big company where sometimes, in order to quickly test a new product, a MAK key is used. For instance, quite a few people had to do this for Windows 10, especially because earlier versions of Windows running as the KMS server weren’t supporting yet the new OS.

The procedure is very simple. You will need:

  • The volume license key to be retrieved from Volume Licensing Service Center.
  • Admin rights on the machine you’re going to migrate from MAK to KMS.
  • Run Slmgr.vbs /dlv before and after the procedure (take a screenshot of the output) to see the differences.

Let’s start:

  1. Open a command prompt with elevated rights (Run as administrator or Run as a different user and sign in with the admin account).
  2. Run

    Obviously, replace MYKEY-MYKEY-MYKEY-MYKEY-MYKEY with the key you’ve retrieved from the Volume Licensing Service Center.
  3. Run

    Note that this might fail with an error telling you that an activation is already in progress. If that’s the case, wait a few minutes.
  4. You are done. You may run Slmgr.vbs /dlv in order to check that all is in order. You’re goin gto be able to see that Windows is now activated with the VOLUME_KMS key.

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Add Windows 10 key to existing Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS

Adding a Windows 10 key to an existing Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS should be easy enough but for some reason I found a lot of users on forum having issues with this. There was also a lot of bad information which I think are related to the fact that Microsoft didn’t include old KMS servers from the start of Windows 10’s era. This article has been written on the 1st of November 2016 and at today the steps to add a Windows 10 key to an existing Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS are just a few.

A few notes before proceeding:

  • You will have to follow these steps on all of your KMS servers.
  • slmgr has to be ran from system32 (%windir%\system32).
  • I suggest to run slmgr.vbs /dlv and take a screenshot of the info you see on screen before and after the procedure.
  • slmgr.vbs takes a few seconds before completing.

The procedure

  1. On the KMS server, check if KB3079821 is installed. If not installed it, downloading from the following link: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3079821 . A reboot is required.
    • Repeat this operation on all of your KMS Servers.
  2. Now you need to grab the correct key: in fact you will have to get the key called Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10 from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center. In order to get that product key, follow the steps below:
    • Log on to the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
    • Click License.
    • Click Relationship Summary.
    • Click on the License ID of the Active License you own.
    • Finally locate Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10‘s key.
  3. We’re ready to install this key by running the following in an elevated command prompt of the KMS Server:

    Needless to say: replace MYKEY-MYKEY-MYKEY-MYKEY with the key you’ve got from Step 2.
  4. You will receive a message that the key has been successfully installed. You will also note that Windows, on the KMS server(s) is no longer activated. Don’t worry, you will just need to run:


Test that everything is working as expected

You may test that the newly added key is working fine by installing Windows 10 VL to a new machine or by Migrating an existing Windows MAK key to KMS.

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Check what type of Windows License is installed

If you’re interested to check what type of Windows License is installed on a machine (either Client or Server – From Windows 7/Server 2008), launch a command prompt with administrator rights and run the following command.

Give it a few moments, you will get something like this:


As you can see, this is a Volume Licensing MAK type (Multiple Activation Keys). The reason why I was looking for such information is because one of our servers died and we didn’t know whether we had it activated through our KMS server or through Microsoft. Since I knew a similar server in the environment [I mean a server that had the same license type purchased and installed at the same time] I just checked what was the license type so that I could apply the same type to the server we were rebuilding.

This is what it looks like from a Windows 8.1 Pro (VL) machine that is activated through KMS:


You can see it states it to be a VOLUME_KMSCLIENT type.

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