IT Services provide a server running KMS to provide activation leases. This KMS server may be used to activate systems installed from volume licence media obtained under the University Microsoft Select or Campus agreements. It may not be used to activate versions of operating systems obtained from other sources.
For details of how to configure Windows operating systems to activate against the University KMS, registered ITSS should refer to the ITSS Wiki Microsoft Volume Licensing Activation pages (restricted access).
If you need to run servers that cannot periodically contact the central KMS server (for example you have servers on an isolated network for security purposes) please contact IT Services via email@example.com to discuss alternatives.
The following generally applies to systems activated via a KMS server.
- Systems can be installed from media without being activated. They will be fully functional immediately, and there is an initial grace period before activation is required. This is 30 days for desktop operating systems and 60 days for server editions.
- Systems are activated by obtaining a lease; they are not permanently activated.
- The lease must be renewed periodically. Systems will automatically renew the lease every 7 days by contacting the KMS. Systems without a valid lease will contact the KMS more frequently (every 2 hours).
- Systems can remain activated for up to 180 days without needing to re-contact the KMS.
- Systems that haven't renewed their activation lease within 180 days have a 30 day grace period before they will persistently notify that they need to be activated. In addition they will display a black desktop background, and Windows Update will only install critical updates.