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Microsoft Key Management Server (KMS)

After the installation of a Microsoft software product, the software has to be activated. In the past, the software activation had to be done directly by Microsoft by entering a so called “Multiple Activation Key” (MAK). This activation can also be done by the GWDG's KMS server for every computer of the University of Göttingen within the GÖNET. So it is no longer necessary to enter a license key to activate a Microsoft software product.

Products for KMS activation

These Microsoft software products can be activated by our KMS server:

  • Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise and Education
  • Windows 8.1 Professional and Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2008 /2008 R2
  • Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows
  • Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac
  • Microsoft Office 2013 (all versions)
  • Microsoft Office 2010 (all versions)

Installation media

To make a KMS activation work you have to use an installation medium form Microsoft's Campus or Microsoft Select program. KMS is the default activation process for these installation media. If you do not have such an installation medium, you can download them as an iso image from the network share

\\wfs-msiso.top.gwdg.de\iso$.

You need a GWDG Account to log in.

Detailed instruction

How KMS works

without having to enter a license key, a KMS software product automatically looks for a local KMS server during the installation. The software activates itself for 180 days if a KMS server has been found. Every week the software contacts the KMS server to reset this timespan back to 180 days. When the KMS server can not be reached for 180 days you get a grace period of 30 days. Within this 30 days you get a warning message and you have to reconnect to our KMS server (e.g. by VPN if you are outside the GÖNET). Otherwise the software reduces its features to a minimum until you reconnect to our KMS server.

Activation when installing

The KMS server is found automatically in many cases. Then nothing more needs to be done, especially if a computer is part of an Active Directory Domain. If this does not work, you still can activate your software manually with our KMS server (see below).

Manual KMS activation

After the installation you should complete the steps described below within 30 days if automatic activation does not work. If you already have entered a MAK key please follow the instructions in the chapter “Changing MAK to KMS activation”.

Activation of Windows OS

Manually:

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Enter
    slmgr /skms ug-kms.uni-goettingen.de This tells your computer the name of our KMS server.
  5. To complete the activation process enter
    slmgr /ato

Activation of Microsoft Office 2010

Manually:

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Change to the directory where Microsoft Office is installed.
    If you are running a 32bit Office on a 32bit Windows or an 64bit Office on a 64bit Windows enter
    cd \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
    if you are running a 32bit Office on a 64bit Windows enter
    cd \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14.
  5. Enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:ug-kms.uni-goettingen.de to connect to our KMS server
  6. Finally enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /act to complete the activation process.

Activation of Microsoft Office 2013

Manually:

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Change to the directory where Microsoft Office is installed.
    If you are running a 32bit Office on a 32bit Windows or an 64bit Office on a 64bit Windows, enter
    cd \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15
    if you are running a 32bit Office on a 64bit Windows, enter
    cd \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
  5. Enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:ug-kms.uni-goettingen.de to connect to our KMS server
  6. Finally enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /act to complete the activation process.

Activation of Microsoft Office 2016

Manually:

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Change to the directory where Microsoft Office is installed.
    If you are running a 32bit Office on a 32bit Windows or an 64bit Office on a 64bit Windows, enter
    cd \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16
    if you are running a 32bit Office on a 64bit Windows, enter
    cd \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16
  5. Enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:ug-kms.uni-goettingen.de to connect to our KMS server
  6. Finally enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /act to complete the activation process.

Changing the activation from MAK to KMS

If you have already entered a MAK key and want to change to KMS activation, you have to replace the MAK key by a KMS key. This is the default key for every Microsoft software product that has been purchased via a Microsoft volume licensing contract (e.g. MS Campus or MS select).

Changing the operating system activation

To find the correct key for your Microsoft operating system, check the list at KMS Client Setup Keys.

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Enter this command:
    slmgr /ipk <KMS-Key from Microsoft>
    For Windows 8.1 installations e.g. enter
    slmgr /ipk GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9

Now you can activate you Windows installation using our KMs server. If this does not work automatically, please see Manual KMS activation

Changing Microsoft Office activation

If you have activated your Office installation using an MAK key, you can still change to KMS.

To find the key for Office 2010 check KMS key for Office 2010 (you have to scroll down to the bottom of this page)
For an Office 2013 key see KMS key for Office 2013 and for Office 2016 see KMS key for Office 2016

Changing Microsoft Office 2010 activation

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Change to the directory where Microsoft Office is installed.
    If you are running a 32bit Office on a 32bit windows or an 64bit office on a 64bit Windows, enter:
    cd \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14 If you are running a 32bit Office on a 64bit Windows, enter
    cd \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
  5. Enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:<KMS-key from Microsoft> to complete the activation process,
    e. g. for Office Professional Plus 2010 you have to enter:
    cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:VYBBJ-TRJPB-QFQRF-QFT4D-H3GVB

Changing Microsoft Office 2013 activation

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Change to the directory where Microsoft Office is installed.
    If you are running a 32bit Office on a 32bit windows or an 64bit office on a 64bit Windows, enter:
    cd \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15 If you are running a 32bit Office on a 64bit Windows, enter:
    cd \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
  5. Enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:<KMS-Key from Microsoft>
    e. g.:
    cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:YC7DK-G2NP3-2QQC3-J6H88-GVGX
    for Office 2013 Professional Plus.

Changing Microsoft Office 2016 activation

  1. Log into your computer with an administrator account.
  2. Type into the search field
    cmd.exe
  3. Click with the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Change to the directory where Microsoft Office is installed.
    If you are running a 32bit Office on a 32bit windows or an 64bit office on a 64bit Windows, enter:
    cd \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16 If you are running a 32bit Office on a 64bit Windows, enter:
    cd \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16
  5. Enter
    cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:<KMS-Key from Microsoft>
    e. g.:
    cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:XQNVK-8JYDB-WJ9W3-YJ8YR-WFG99
    for Office 2016 Professional Plus.

Afterwards Office can be activated with our KMS server. See Manual KMS activation if this does not work automatically.

Frequent errors

For manual activation, you must run the Command-Line Interface (cmd.exe) as administrator. The option Run as administrator is available e.g. on right mouse click.

Error 0xC004F074 (“The Key Management Server (KMS) is unavailable”): In most cases it refers to incorrectly set time or the time zone.

Error 0xC004F035 and 0xC004F059: Especially for computers that were originally acquired with an OEM operating system, in this case the KMS activation is prevented by computer's BIOS. Such BIOS version contains an invalid ACPI_SLIC table. The KMS activation expect here a so-called “Windows marker” and fails if it is corrupted or not found. This error can usually be resolved by a BIOS update.

When the 30 day grace-period has expired, Windows is running in “Reduced Functionality Mode“, only the Internet Explorer can be called. In this case, to perform the KMS activation, enter the path into Internet Explorer:

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe 

A command-line interface prompt without administrative rights. To run cmd.exe as administrator, enter the following command:

runas /user:administrator cmd.exe 

A command prompt with administrative rights, you can continue with manual KMS activation.