Installing a KMS Server seems daunting, but actually is pretty easy.

Here’s how to do it:

1. On the machine that you want to serve as a KMS Server, install the KMS Key you get from your Volume licensing Portal.

– Open a command prompt and use this command

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxxx-xxxx

Replace the xxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx with your actual KMS License Key.

2. Restart the licensing service (just for good measure)

net stop sppsvc && net start sppsvc

3. Force activation using

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

After successfull activiation, KMS should be up and running.

4. Check for the necessary DNS Records that will have been created by this new KMS Server using this command:

nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp

This should then reply with all your KMS Servers in your Organisation.

If you dont get a response, try this:

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /sdns

This will instruct the KMS to resend the DNS entries

If you find that there are other KMS Hosts listed, check if they are still in use and if not, remove them by looking at the end of this article

To display information about the KMS Server use this command on the KMS Server:

cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /dlv

(to display office kms infos too, add ” all” at the end)

The Client Side

If your clients have previously used other methods of activation (e.g a MAK Key), you first will have to reset the Product Key to one of the microsoft provided rearm Keys. You can find a list of these on this other great article about this issue:

To reset the product key, use this command:

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx

Again, replace xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx with the Key you found in the above link.

Then rearm the system

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /rearm

Reboot the system.

After reboot, if you want to force activation (e.g. to force the KMS count to go up), use this command:

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

For the first 25 Clients you try to activate, you will get an error about the license count not being high enough. This is normal and will go away once you try to activate the 26th client.

Office and KMS

To activate Office Clients, you will have to download and install the Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack here

During install, you can provide the office KMS Key. After installing, again configure your Office Clients with the Rearm Key from the link above.

You can do this by opening office, opening the File Tab, go to Help and then select “Change Product Key”.

After the product Key is changed, you have to again rearm the office installation by using this command:

ospp.vbs /act

To remove KMS from a Server use this:

cscript %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /upk”

Then install the new -non KMS License Key using this:

cscript %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /IPK [KMS client Setup Key]”

And at last, activate the machine again with this:

cscript %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato”

KMS will now be deactivated. Don’t forget to remove the no longer needed DNS SRV Records from the DNS server. 

Usefull Links and sources:

Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack

Ivan’s Blog

Volume activation Tips and Tricks for Office 2010

Manually configure KMS DNS Records