This document provides information for system administrators about obtaining and configuring Microsoft Multiple Activation Keys (MAK).
Warning KMS highly preferred: All university machines capable of connecting to U-M's universitywide no-charge Key Management Service (KMS) server should use KMS activation.
Microsoft developed the MAK to activate licensed software on machines not able to access a U-M Key Management Service (KMS) server.
A MAK can be used when a university-owned server or workstation cannot connect to the universitywide no-charge KMS server for at least 6 months. In most cases, machines located off campus should be able to connect using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A MAK has a significant weakness for system administrators, especially those who manage computer labs or other machines that are routinely reformatted or reimaged. It provides a limited number of activations for operating systems and other products. Each time an activation occurs, the MAK decrements the count. Activations include:
- Installing a product.
- Reinstalling a product.
- Reimaging a product.
- Making a significant physical change to a workstation, such as replacing a motherboard or hard drive.
Warning OS Images: Please do not use a MAK for OS images created in your environment. Imaged machines quickly decrease the number of available activations.
You must include a statement of justification regarding a machine's inability to access the U-M KMS server. For non-server machines, departments may need to purchase work-at-home media from the Computer Showcase.
- Log on to the workstation or server using an administrative account.
- From the Start menu, select Control Panel then System.
- At the bottom of the System control panel, click Change Product Key.
- In the User Account Control window, click Continue.
- In the Product Key field, enter the MAK and click Next.
- If you do not receive a Success screen, repeat these steps. Most failed MAK activations are due to temporary network connectivity issues.
Note Hardware configuration changes: You may need to reactivate the machine if you later change the hardware configuration.