To make sure that View Composer properly activates Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista operating systems on linked-clone machines, you must use Microsoft volume activation on the parent virtual machine. The volume-activation technology requires a volume license key.

To activate Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista with volume activation, you use Key Management Service (KMS), which requires a KMS license key. See your Microsoft dealer to acquire a volume license key and configure volume activation.


View Composer does not support Multiple Activation Key (MAK) licensing.

Before you create linked-clone machines with View Composer, you must use volume activation to activate the operating system on the parent virtual machine.


Windows XP machines with volume licenses do not require an activation.

When a linked-clone machine is created, and each time the linked clone is recomposed, the View Composer agent uses the parent virtual machine's KMS server to activate the operating system on the linked clone.

The View Composer QuickPrep tool implements the activation through these steps:

  1. Invokes a script to remove the existing license status on the linked-clone virtual machine

  2. Restarts the guest operating system

  3. Invokes a script that uses KMS licensing to activate the operating system on the clone.

Each time QuickPrep runs on a linked clone, the activation takes place.

For KMS licensing, View Composer uses the KMS server that is configured to activate the parent virtual machine. The KMS server treats an activated linked clone as a computer with a newly issued license.