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MAK Key Activation with Provisioning Services


Christoph Sinabell

Question

Hi,

 

Can someone explain why one has to follow https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX221317 for MAK Key activation other than to strictly comply with MS Licensing. I cannot find any technical reason to use VAMT and the method outlined on PVS Disks running a Windows Server OS (tested with 2008, 2012R2 and 2016). Usually if you just activate the Windows Server OS in a private disk using a MAK Key and then switch to Standard Mode, while setting "Microsoft Volume Licensing options" on the vDisk to "None" the activation will be retained, regardless of how many differnet Target Devices the same image is streamed to. Also unassiging and reassigning different vDisks to target devices has no discernible effect on the MAK activation contained inside the image and the image will remain activated. This also works if there is no internet access from the target device, so I am pretty sure Windows is not silently re-activating itself in the background.

 

As far as I understand, following the steps in CTX221317 is required to properly decrement the MAK Key activation count in the online Microsoft Volume Licensing service and using it without following the steps works, but is violating MS licensing guidelines.

 

Regards

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MAK activations periodically expire the activation token and then force a re-activation.  This can quickly chew up your MAK licenses.

 

Better option is to get a KMS key so that all your activations are local and you don't run the risk of exhausting your seats when non-persistent machines restart.

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