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Volume Activation

Volume Activation version 2 was introduced when Windows Vista was released. Volume license versions are required for imaging rights and require a Volume License infrastructure (KMS Server) to activate the products which fall under Volume License 2. The products covered by Volume Licence 2 are detailed in these pages but typically cover all new Windows desktop and server versions and now Office 2010. We expect more Volume License products to be activated in this manner over time.

Volume activation 2 uses two kinds of key for activation, KMS and MAK keys. KMS keys should not be used to activate products on systems which will not be regularily connected to the CUDN. Systems which will be used elsewhere, i.e laptops, should use MAK keys which can be requested when purchasing the license from Software Sales (

Central KMS Service

Windows-Support is running a KMS server for use within the University.

Any volume license product from Microsoft which can be activated using KMS (i.e. Windows or Office from Software Sales) can activate against the local KMS server on the default TCP port of 1688. This service is available on TCP/IPv4 only. KMS activation is the method you should use if you are using imaging software for deployment or expect to do frequent reinstalls or rollouts of volume license systems. The limited pool of MAK license keys we have decreases by one per re-activation e.g. in this case per ghosting which is why you should use KMS activation for all systems within the CUDN. You can also activate virtual machines on KMS.

Who should be using this service?

KMS is a volume license activation system and is aimed at Techlinks and managed systems which are owned and insured by the University or it's affiliated institutions.

Who should not be using this service

Users with their own unmanaged machines, especially laptops, with Windows/Office on them will have its own license key which should be used. Any system which is not going to be regularly connected to the CUDN should use MAK activation.

Volume Activation overview

Windows volume activation (server and workstation)

Office volume activation

External references