To make sure that Windows is properly activated when the clones are created, you must use Microsoft volume activation on the golden image virtual machine before creating an instant-clone desktop. The volume-activation technology requires a volume license key.
Two volume-activation models are supported for instant clones:
- Key Management Service (KMS) allows organizations to activate systems within their own network. Microsoft recommends using this method for large scale deployments.
- Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft's hosted activation services.
MAK treats each activated clone as a computer with a newly issued license. When an instant clone is refreshed on log off or an instant clone push image operation is performed, an additional MAK activation may be consumed based on Microsoft’s proprietary logic. Each MAK license has a pre-determined number of allowed activations based on your Volume Licensing Agreement. Therefore, depending on your operations, you will need to request an increase in MAK activation quantity per Microsoft guidance. Hence, KMS activation is the preferred approach.
Reach out to your Microsoft dealer to acquire the appropriate volume license key and configure volume activation. For the latest information from Microsoft regarding KMS and MAK, see https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/products-keys-faq.
Activating Windows with Key Management Service (KMS)
- Acquire a KMS license key.
- Invoke a script to remove the existing license. For more information, see the Microsoft Windows documentation to remove the Windows license key using a command.
- Restart Windows.
- Invoke a script that uses KMS licensing to activate Windows.
KMS treats each activated clone as a computer with a newly issued license.
Activating Windows with Multiple Activation Key (MAK)
You must activate Windows on the golden image before creating an instant-clone desktop. Follow the steps below to activate Windows with MAK.
- Acquire a MAK license key.
- Invoke a script to remove the existing license. For more information, see the Microsoft Windows documentation to remove the Windows license key using a command line option.
- Restart Windows.
- Run the following command to configure MAK:
slmgr /ipk MAK_License_Key