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WAIK & Building a KMS Server - Help/Advice Needed

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  • WAIK & Building a KMS Server - Help/Advice Needed

    Hi all,

    First, let me say that I am a Microsoft-licensing novice who hates it. I barely understand any of it. It's cumbersome and all things being equal, I'd rather sit in a hammock with a couple of girls than deal with licensing... But it is what it is. Secondly, I am a Windows 7 novice, although I've been running it personally since June 2010. Likewise with Office 2010.

    I say this purely because if my questions seem dumb and rudimentary, it's probably because they are. I need a little hand-holding here, so please bear with me. Thanks!

    I am the IT Manager for a small school. In other words, I am a department of ONE. I've got little or no help. I have roughly 300 client PCs that have all been running XP Pro since time began... This summer, I wish to roll out both Windows 7 and Office 2010 (both Std and Pro w/ Plus).

    I am running an AD-based domain. Of my dozen or so servers, 6 are running Server 2008 R2. The remaining servers are running Server 2003 R2.

    Since I got here, I've simply used GhostCast 8.2 (archaic, I know) to build and deploy my PCs. Simply put, I build a PC to spec, create the image, then dump it onto all my remaining PCs. I store the Ghost images on a Windows XP PC (my "ghost server") and simply use a patch cable from that to the PC. Of my roughly 300 clients, approximately 220 of them are spread among 3 different PC models. 155 of those are all one model. So all things being equal, it's been fairly easy.

    But now I gotta move to Windows 7 and Office 2010...

    KMS, MAK, WAIK??? All scary... I need to remove the fear!

    So I've been reading and it seems as though Ghost is just not gonna help me anymore, and all my research has led me to using WAIK for builds and a KMS server for licensing. I've never used either, so I need to get started understanding how this whole process works because the day after school closes for the summer, I gotta get to building!

    What I'm thinking is that I'd like to take my existing "Ghost server", which as said is basically just an XP machine with a 300GB HDD, and turn it into a KMS/deployment server running Server 2008 R2.

    It is my understanding that, in order to install KMS, I need to do the following:
    1. Wipe this "Ghost Server" PC and install Server 2008 R2 on it. Input 2008 R2 B KMS key.
    2. Once KMS key is activated, I need to install the patch for office 2010 KMS activation. I believe that's here.
    3. DNS updates automatically...?
    4. Install the WAIK package
    5. Done...?
    Is that about all there is? Perhaps give the boot partition about 50GB of space for Server 2008 and the WAIk installation, leaving 250 GB for image storage? What do y'all think? And by the way... Is "image" the right term anymore? Oh, also... This box has only one NIC. Should I use that one to connect to the LAN so it can handle its KMS responsibilities, and add a second NIC (putting it on a totally separate network) that I can use to fire off "images"?

    Now, on to licensing... When I log into my MS VLSC account, I can see clearly that I've got every kind of key for every kind of MS product known to man. Where'd it all come from? No idea. Well, some of it I absolutely bought. I got both MAK and KMS keys for Server 2008 R2. I've got both MAK and KMS keys for Office 2010... For some reason, some of the MAK keys are telling me that I have as many as 500 available activations, although I've never purchased that many. Don't know where they're getting these numbers... Anyway, the current Windows Server 2008 R2 boxes I've got were all given MAK keys when I first installed them last year. All of the new PCs I've purchased over the last year have their own Windows 7 licenses (Certificate of Authority stickers on the PCs themselves), but it would seem I want to ignore those and use KMS. Last year, I also bought 50 copies each of Office 2010 Std and Office 2010 Pro.

    So... How does the KMS server know how many licenses I have available for each package (Win 7, Office Pro, Office Std, Server 2008 R2, etc...)?

    I guess fundamentally, I need to know the process as well as what to look for. Let's say I bring in the very first PC I'm ever going to put Windows 7 and Office 2010 Pro on. I build it exactly how I want it... I now want to make sure I can dump that onto 49 identical PCs, and have them all be properly licensed and operational. What do I do? How do I use WAIK to create the "image"? How do I use it to dump that "image" onto PC #2? How do I make sure I'm compliant with licensing?

    Sorry, I know that's a lot. I've got some time, so I want to test this all out in order to be good to go once Summer starts. Would y'all mind helping me out?

    Thank you. Very much!


  • #2
    Re: WAIK & Building a KMS Server - Help/Advice Needed

    Also have a look at MDT 2010, I've been using that for a while now for deployments(Couple months now), you can even leave the machines where they are at and do the deployments.

    It allows you to backup the windows image on the computer before you install 7 on it. (Yes Image is still the term)

    Do you have a process list of which you WANT to do or do you prefer you just want to do what you NEED to do?

    And what applications are you installing besides Office, any others?
    Last edited by Managor; 16th March 2011, 20:16.
    "To err is human but to really **** things up requires a computer user..."

    "The path to enlightenment is /user/bin/enlightenment"

    A+ CE


    • #3
      Re: WAIK & Building a KMS Server - Help/Advice Needed

      KMS wise, some high-level steps here. Whether you go with KMS depends on whether a KMS license key is available in your licensing model. Windows 7 natively supports a KMS server.

      1. Open the relevant firewall ports on the nominated Windows 2008 R2 Server to be KMS

      2. Install the KMS license key on the server as its license and allow it to activate via the Internet

      3. Verify that the appropriate KMS records have been automatically created in DNS

      4. Ensure that the Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 OSes deployed are Volume License editions, which are natively KMS clients

      5. Use the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 2.0 tool to monitor and change licenses on clients

      6. Optionally, download the Office 2010 KMS key and install it on the KMS server


      • #4
        Re: WAIK & Building a KMS Server - Help/Advice Needed

        Thanks, fellas. Let me process all your info and get back to you to answer your questions and ask more of my own. Please excuse me, I move a tad slowly... LOL!