Re: Ghost Imaging and KMS activation
"brichter45" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I'm working on deploying Vista Enterprise on our campus using Ghost
> and KMS activation.
> My question is, what do i need to do before I make an image of Vista. I
> it to be able to just pull the image down on a computer and have it go
> and activate. I know you can do this through Slmgr.vbs. I've been having
> problems pulling the image down and having it activate through slmgr.vbs
> -ato, i keep getting errors. Is there something i'm doing wrong?
If you've stood up a KMS box and have made (or allowed the KMS box to make)
the appropriate entries in your DNS database, you don't have to do anything
for most systems.
A volume-licensed Vista installation for which you have *not* entered any
product key will use the product key that's canned on the Microsoft disk,
and will quietly locate the KMS server through a SRV record on your DNS and
activate itself. There's no need to use slmgr.vbs.
There are some exceptions. Systems which cannot attach to the network
(e.g., a remote campus where the network doesn't bridge back to yours,
systems at the president's house, etc.) unless they can set up a VPN
connection - and see the next note. If there is no connection possible at
all, you'll need to enter the MAK at some point and use the traditional
There's one gotcha that I've never seen documented: Vista interrogates the
DNS server to locate the KMS box only during the boot procedure, so if at
boot time the computer isn't on the same net as the KMS (typical of a system
that uses VPN) Vista will report that it is unable to locate the KMS. All
is not lost, however, since you can tell Vista where to find the KMS.
Setting the KMS address is easy. From an elevated command prompt use the
following (assume that the KMS hostname is "KMS.FOOBAR.EDU"):
slmgr.vbs -skms kms.foobar.edu
You could set that before burning the Ghost image, but I would advise
against it since in the future you might want to use some other hostname.
Use the hard-coded KMS hostname and the MAK/activation process only where
necessary -- and consider making it somewhat painful for users to obtain.