If you have spent any time supporting Microsoft Windows or Office over the last several years, you have seen Microsoft licensing evolve. Windows and Office products now verify their licenses with Microsoft shortly after installation. For corporate environments using volume licensing, Microsoft offers the Key Management Server (KMS) as an alternative. But… by design the KMS doesn’t start activating clients until it has received a certain number of requests –the “activation threshold.” For Windows 7, this threshold is twenty-five requests.
Let’s say that you are planning a Windows 7 pilot running on XenDesktop 5. Ten users will participate. You build a KMS for licensing. When the pilot wraps up, everything looks great… except that your KMS is not activating clients yet. So you troubleshoot KMS with slmgr.vbs, and find that your KMS “current count” is not approaching the activation threshold of twenty-five. Worse, pilot users tell you that they have begun seeing licensing warnings.
You do not want to go to production before the KMS starts activating clients. You also do not want to build twenty-five unique test Windows 7 systems. How can you get the KMS to start activating clients?
It turns out that Citrix has provided a procedure that can help. If you follow this procedure carefully, each time you or your users log in and out of a pooled XenDesktop, your Windows 7 KMS current count will increase! This happens because:
- XenDesktop restarts pooled desktops after logoff
- The procedure above causes each rebooted desktop to appear “unique” to the KMS
So, with this procedure you can get your KMS to start activating Windows 7 clients simply by logging into XenDesktop twenty-five times – much less effort than building twenty-five separate systems.