Setting up Key Management Server (KMS) on Windows Server 2008

KMS activates computers on a local network, eliminating the need for individual computers to connect to Microsoft. To do this, KMS uses a client–server topology. KMS client computers can locate KMS host computers by using Domain Name System (DNS) or a static configuration. KMS clients contact the KMS host by using remote procedure call (RPC). KMS can be hosted on computers that are running the Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

  1. Go to the volume licensing center and grab a copy of the KMS key for your server OS
    1. Navigate to https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/home.aspx
    2. Login
    3. Select Downloads and Keys
      Volume Licensing Service Center - Downloads and Keys
    4. Select Windows Server
      Volume Licensing Service Center - Windows Server
    5. Finder your server version and click Key
      Volume Licensing Service Center - Windows Server - Key
    6. Copy the KMS type key
  2. Login to the server you want to setup as the KMS server.
  3. Open up a command prompt as an administrator.
  4. Ensure you are in the system32 folder of Windows
    1. cd c:\Windows\System32
      windows - System 32
  5. Execute the following command to setup your license key
    1. cscript slmgr.vbs /ipk WINDOWS-KMS-LICENSE-KEY-HERE
      cscript slmgr ipk
  6. Execute the following command to activate the host
    1. cscript slmgr.vbs /ato
      Activating Windows
  7. Execute the following command to verify the host has the Key Management Service enabled
    1. cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv
      cscript slmgr dlv
  8. Next, we need to open the firewall for the server to accept activation requests
    1. Open up Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
      Windows 8 - Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
    2. Right click on Inbound Rules and select New Rule…
      Windows Firewall with Advanced Security - New Rule
    3. Select Port and click Next >
      New Inboud Rule Wizard - Port
    4. Check TCP, check Specific Local Ports and enter port 1688, click Next >
      New Inboud Rule Wizard - Specific local ports
    5. Check Allow the connection and click Next >
      New Inboud Rule Wizard - Allow the connection
    6. Check Domain and click Next >
      New Inboud Rule Wizard - Domain
    7. Enter a name for the rule and click Finish
      New Inboud Rule Wizard - Rule Name

Congrats!  Your KMS server should now be ready to accept activation requests!