Quicktip: Windows 2012/8 KMS Activation

So you’ve got a Windows 2008 R2 domain and a KMS server that services licenses for all your desktops and servers. You’ve also got people itching at the bit to be able to install Windows 8 on their desktops or Server 2012 on their servers. And they also want to be activated. What’s an admin to do?

First off, your KMS server needs to be Windows 2008 R2 SP1.

Then you need to go register, download and install this hotfix on your KMS server: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2691586/EN-US

That hotfix will require a reboot of course.

After the reboot, go to a command prompt and type: slmgr.vbs /ipk KEY <== Where KEY is your 2012 KMS key from the VLMS site

Once it tells you that the key install was successful type slmbr.vbs /ato to re-activate your server against your new KMS. It should show successful as well.

After that you can type slmgr.vbs /dlv to get a look at your KMS server.

Your description should now show VOLUME_KMS_2012_C channel. And you’re done!

And the client keys are here, in case you need them: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx

New Microsoft Certification Tracks

So I, like most of us, got an email from Microsoft in the last week or so telling me that I’d attained a new certification by doing absolutely nothing. I’ve been an MCSE since 1998 on Windows NT, then Windows 2000, then Windows 2003. When they came out with the MCITP certification back in 2009/2010, I was a little annoyed since all of the products and technologies I like to show expertise on now each required their own certification. So I got the MCITP on EA, SQL and Exchange. It was a lot of tests and some extra tests I wouldn’t have normally taken, except I wanted the cert.

But back to my original point: I got an email that I’ve attained the new cert “Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate” on Windows 2008. Being always suspicious of “free” stuff I immediately put 2 and 2 together and saw that my new cert was MCSA, which has always been the lesser of Microsoft certs. I’d seen all the articles lately saying that they were completely changing the program again for Windows 8 (now 2012) so I assumed that when the new software got released that I’d have to change over. Who knew that you needed to re-up before the new one even came out??

Here’s a good article on the changes: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/2012/04-11CloudCertifications.aspx

So now to get your MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) you have to decide which track you want (Cloud, SQL, etc.) and take yet another couple of exams. (And then of course take more tests when Windows 2012 comes out). Who’s ready to take more tests? Annoying!

Regardless of my complaints, here I am studying up on Systems Center, which seems like a heck of a lot of bloated software (my test environment has 8 servers, with 7 different pieces of software running) to do some very cool stuff. But who wants to go back to being an MCSA??