Windows KMS Activation

A Microsoft Key Management Server (KMS) is used to activate most Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Windows Server installations at the Purdue Calumet, North Central, and West Lafayette campuses. Using a KMS avoids the need of entering a unique activation key for each install of Windows at Purdue. The Windows installation will automatically find Purdue's Key Management Server and obtain its license, and will continue to check into the license server at least once every seven days to make sure that it is still an authorized install of Windows.

Occasionally, a Windows installation will fail to contact the server. Usually, this is due to a network communication problem between the machine and the KMS. The machine has to be on Purdue's network with no network firewall blocking TCP port 1688. Windows will begin reducing functionality within 30 days if it fails to connect with the KMS server.

After correcting any networking issues that prevented communication with the KMS, follow these steps to make sure your Windows installation is communicating with the KMS, and manually activate your product.

Depending on your version of Windows, you need to either go the Start Menu or Start Screen.

Windows 7 Start Menu     Windows 8 Start Screen

Begin typing the word command. Windows will search for available files and applications with that name.

Windows 7 Search   Windows 8 Search

One item found will be the Command Prompt. Right-click on the Command Prompt icon or tile. Select Run as administrator in either the pop up menu or the prompt along the bottom of the screen (Windows 8).

Windows 7 Run as Administrator    Windows 8 Right click Prompt   Run As Administration

slmr command with skms option

In the command prompt that launches, type:

slmgr.vbs /skms

Found Key Management Server

Windows should respond with the following dialog box. If this command is unsuccessful, there are still communication issues between your machine and Purdue's KMS server.  Click the OK button.

slmgr command with ato switch

Next, manually activation your installation of Windows. Type:

slmgr.vbs /ato

Activation Successful

If the connection to the Key Management Server is successful, your copy of Windows should be successfully activated.

Once activated via the KMS, your installation of Windows will remain activate for 180 days, and attempt to renew at least once every seven days.