Update that enables Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10

Today, a blog reader notified me that Microsoft released an update that extends KMS for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 to enable the activation of Windows 10-based clients. Find it here.


I blogged about the update for Windows Server 2012 (R2) and Windows 8/8.1 before but now these older operating systems can also serve as KMS servers for Windows 10. All you need is the update that enables Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10 as discussed in KB3079821

Until now the workaround was to leverage Active Directory based activation for Windows 10 whilst you left your KMS server in place for the older clients. That works well and I have used it before. But with this update you can use your older KMS servers for all activations of windows clients.

Find and Update Your KMS Service Host Key To Activate Windows 10

I have done a series of blog post on preparing your KMS environment for Windows 10 activation. You should be set to go but the final step you need to take is update the KMS Service Host Key.  That means that in a corporate environment you’ll need to get your KMS Service updated so you can active the Windows 10 clients.

This one has tripped up some people when it comes to finding it. So we’ll address that here is as well.

Please note that only Windows Server 2012 (R2) or Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 can act as KMS Service Hosts.


On the Volume License Servicing Center you cannot only get the bits but also the MAK and KMS keys. Normally you’d go directly to Downloads and Keys, filter down to what you’re looking for and find your KMS host key over there.That works for the Windows clients as before. But you cannot find and updated KMS Service key right now for Windows Server, that will probably work again when Windows Server 2016 goes RTM.


But for now you need to get the key by using a bit of a different path than you’re used to. Got to Licenses and select Relationship Summary


Navigate to the correct license id and click it to open the details of your license. There you select Product Keys


In the list of keys under that license you’ll find the KMS keey you need under product key for the product Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10


The Windows 10 KMS client keys are listed publicly by Microsoft. They are the keys of clients that activate against a KMS server. If you have you volume licensing media that’s normally the one in box with the client. You can read more in my blog Windows 10 KMS Client Setup Keys. If you don’t want or cannot use a KM you’ll need to use MAK keys on the clients. These are found on the Volume License Servicing Center as well when you have a valid license.

You also need to have installed an update on your KMS Service hosts. You can read all about that in my blog post KB3058168: Update that enables Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10  If you don’t install this update registering a Windows 10 KMS key will throw an error:

0xc004f015: The Software Licensing Service reported that the license is not installed.

So grab the hotfix if it isn’t installed via Windows Update, WSUS etc. and install it from an elevated command prompt. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine Smile

Upgrading the KMS Service Host Key

It goes without saying that we’ll need to update the KMS Service Host key or we’ll see error 0xC004F015:

he Software Licensing Service determined that the specified Key Management Service (KMS) cannot be used

This is also described in KB 3086418 Error 0xC004F015 while activating Windows 10 Enterprise using Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS Host

We take a look at our current situation by running slmgr.vbs /dlv which show us a Wk212R2 KMS Service host which can activate all servers & clients up to Windows 8.1/ Windows Server 2012 R2.


Uninstall the current  please use an elevated command prompt Winking smile


Now you can install the new Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCtr/Std KMS for Windows 10 key. If you run in to any issues here, restarting the KMS Service can help ((“net stop sppsvc” and “net start sppsvc“) . Try that first.


Be patient, it’s not instantaneous.


Fall you wannabe pirates out there, that’s not a real key. As far as you are concerned this is the Navy Winking smile. If you’re, looking for illegal keys, cracks, keygens, activators or dodgy KMS virtual machines and such this is not the place!

Show what’s up and running now by running slmgr.vbs /dlv again and as you can see we’re in business to activate all our Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 10 machines as well as all lower versions down to Windows Server 2008 an Windows Vista.image

So we’re ready to roll out Windows 10 now via MDT and have our KMS server activate them.

Windows 10 KMS Client Setup Keys

Windows 10 build 10240 has been released to the Fast Ring. That’s what I’m running on my laptops now. There were heavy rumors yesterday that this is the to Release To Manufacturing (RTM) build and is the one to be publically available on July 29th. But there is no hard confirmation on this by Microsoft yet Build 10240 now available for Windows Insiders in Fast and Slow rings.


“Over the past few days we’ve been preparing our release pipelines and processes, and this build is one step closer to what customers will start to receive on 7/29 …

On Monday we announced that builds from here on will only be available through Windows Update, so to get this one you can either wait and it will be installed automatically.”

Here’s how you prepare to roll it out in your company.

In a previous blog post I wrote about the update you needed for your KMS server to be able to activate Windows 10 clients. Read about that in KB3058168: Update that enables Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10 You can get ready today, you have all you need.

Meanwhile Microsoft has also published the Windows 10 client KMS activation which keys can be found here Appendix A: KMS Client Setup Keys


Do note this is the key you use when you activate the Windows 10 Client against a KMS server. It is not the KMS license server key. That one you’ll need to obtain from your valid Microsoft licenses.

If you don’t have a KMS, the MAK key option will still be available.

Windows 10 looks set for a great start. DELL has been accepting preorders for a month now (Dell Brings Windows 10 to Life: Pre-order Today) which will be shipped to you on July 29th. Windows 7 owners could already reserve their upgrade via Windows update. The OEMs and the customers seem ready. I’ve heard of several large deployments in the works, often from organization still running Windows XP. We’re a Windows 8.1 shop but our new images are being build and will be deployed as the default image via MDT. We won’t let our investment in software assurance go to waste Winking smile

Hit me baby one more time or the Faster Fast Ring of Windows 10 Insider Builds

Hit me baby one more time!

This blog is brought to you by Francesco V. Buccoli, a brilliant ex Hyper-V MVP who went blue badge and became a PFE. Why? Because he called me a genius, that’s why!


Here we go again, things are heating up in the last straight track towards RTM of Windows 10. We’re now getting build 10162 right on the heals of build 10159 that basically overran people who were still downloading 10158.

No this is not some PM in Redmond hitting the publish button by mistake again a la “Oops, I did it again” but it’s with intent and purpose. Deliver an awesome client right from the start.

So far it’s all good. The quality of these lasted builds, even during the limited time we get to spend with them, is very good and show real improvements over the entire line. Windows 10 should be ready for rollout at RTM/GA if the quality is this good and only improves.

We lead, we weren’t born to follow.

Now, go download it already and I’ll quit the cheesy music references Winking smile