MIGRATE PRINTERS from 2003 to 2012 R2

To migrate from 2003 printer server to 2008/2008 R2/2012:

  1. Add the PRINT SERVICES role
    1. Open Server Manger (in Server 2012)
    2. click MANAGE, ADD ROLES AND FEATURES
    3. click NEXT throught the first few screens (and yes, it is a ROLE BASED FEATURE)
    4. on the SERVER ROLES screen, select PRINT AND DOCUMENTATION SERVICES
    5. accept the defaults to the end
    6. in my case a reboot was required
  2. Launch PRINT MANAGEMENT (i.e. on the tiles screen, click PRINT MAN and it will show)
  3. Right click on the PRINT MANAGEMENT section head and select MIGRATE PRINTERS
  4. Select EXPORT
  5. Select A PRINT SERVER ON THE NETWORK, and browse to what will be your old print server
  6. Name the export file (this single file will house ALL the drivers, ports and print queue)
  7. Follow the wizard’s remaining obvious steps
  8. Right click on the PRINT MANAGEMENT section head and select MIGRATE PRINTERS
  9. Select IMPORT
  10. Browse to the file you just created
  11. Follow the wizard’s remaining obvious steps

This process will take a few minutes and take note that some errors are to be expected.  For instance if you have TYPE 2 drivers, they will not be imported because Server 2012 ONLY supports Mode 3 and Mode 4 drivers. This tool works between 32bit and 64bit servers.

Web references:

Use the Printer Migration Wizard or the Printbrm.exe command-line tool:http://support2.microsoft.com/?id=938923

Technet reference and procedures: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722360.aspx

To migrate print services to 2012: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134150.aspx

WINDOWS SERVER 2012 / 2012 R2 GUI TIPS / WINDOWS.OLD

Source: https://itworldjd.wordpress.com/

Tips and Tricks:

Tip#2: http://www.boche.net/blog/index.php/2012/08/16/microsoft-windows-server-2012-tips/

Tip#1: After in-place upgrade on Windows 2008 r2 server, I noticed that there’s a Windows.old folder in my System drive which takes around 10-20GB of space !

image

now that I have already upgraded in to Server 2012 / R2 and confirmed that all my applications / file are available, I decided to delete Windows.old folder.

Best way to do this, is to use Disk Cleanup Tool.

Start –> Search for “Disk Cleanup” and run this program (If you cannot to locate this program you need to install Desktop Experience Featureshttp://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/15221.enabling-disk-cleanup-utility-in-windows-server-2012.aspx)

image

On driver selection, select your System Drive

image

Now you will notice that there’s “Previous Windows Installations & Windows Upgrade log files” options available on Disk Cleanup. you can select both of them and click “ok”

image

you will get a prompt to confirm whether you want to delete. Hit “ok” and proceed.

image

this will clear windows.old folder and free up disk space on your system drive.

else

Removing the Windows.old uninstall cache without installing Desktop Experience

Unfortunately you can no longer copy/paste the two cleanmgr.exe files out of WinSxS like you used to be able to do with 2008 (the store is compressed). I found that a few loops of the following will eventually remove the Windows.old upgrade cache from the root of the OS drive.

:: This is very slow as it is disk intensive: run out of hours!!
takeown /F C:windows.old /R /D Y
takeown /F c:Windows.old* /R /A /D Y
takeown /F C:windows.old /R /D Y
takeown /F c:Windows.old* /R /A /D Y
cacls C:windows.old /T /G Administrators:F
rd /s /q C:windows.old

p.s. run each line manually, the above is not setup as a batch script and will ask for yes / no input. Several runs may be required.

HOW TO MANAGE STORAGE SPACES AND STORAGE POOLS IN WINDOWS SERVER 2012 (Repost)

How To Manage Storage Spaces and Storage Pools in Windows Server 2012

Source: MCPMag.com

Microsoft delivered a completely new way of looking at our disks and storage in Windows Server 2012, with the biggest change in how storage is laid out and provisioned. Here’s how to create and manage it all.

Windows Server 2008 R2 used the traditional disk management MMC snap-in to manage the disk configuration, as well as the handy DISKPART command-line tool. It is fair to say that the storage subsystem was not exactly optimized for high speed, resilience or large-scale file server operations. So when the Windows Server team designed the new Windows Server 2012, they took a long hard look at storage.

The solution that Microsoft delivered is a completely new way of looking at our disks and storage in Windows Server 2012, with raft of changes in the storage arena. These include SMB 3.0, which opens up a number of exciting new possibilities. The biggest change, though, has been reserved for the layout and provision of the storage itself. The introduction of storage spaces bring with it the ability to provide clustering for high availability and integration with Cluster Shared Volumes for scalable deployments of virtual machines, file shares and other workloads.

Storage Spaces lets you group industry-standard disks into at least one storage pool. You can then create virtual disks from the available capacity. One of the most useful add-ons when using this technology is that you can thin provision a pool and it can grow as needed.

How Microsoft Achieves All This Disk Trickery
The concept of a storage pool and a Storage Space is based on taking a bunch of physical disks and creating a virtual single pool of space. This pool is then used to create volumes for our use. Clever!

Storage Pools and Storage Spaces

(Click image to view larger version.)

File and storage services is one of the 18 roles within Windows Server 2012 and requires nothing other than a working installation. The server can be a full GUI or the Server Core version. The storage subsystem can be controlled locally, remotely through a GUI or by PowerShell cmdlets:

storage subsystem can be controlled locally, remotely through a GUI or by PowerShell

(Click image to view larger version.)

Server Manager is the place to manage the role. Clicking File and Storage Services opens up the individual management areas:

Server Manager is the place to manage the role.

Storage Pools shows the individual storage spaces you have created on the local server or have access to on a remote server. The “primordial” space refers to any physical disks added to the server but not yet added to a storage space. Adding a disk wipes all data from it.

The full pool screen shows details about the storage spaces and the constituent physical disks, as well as any virtual disks already created on it:

storage spaces and the constituent physical disks details

(Click image to view larger version.)

To create a new pool, simply click Tasks then Create New Storage Pool to fire up the wizard:

Click Tasks then Create New Storage Pool

Choose the physicals disks you want to be part of the pool:

Choose the physicals disks

The pool shows up. Note that if you use all physical disks, the primordial space will disappear:

The pool shows up

You can remove an individual disk from a pool, but this creates a warning about data loss:

data loss warning

Having created a pool, the next task is to create a virtual disk on which to create our volume. I will create a three-way mirrored disk, although my choices are from simple spanning (or JBOD), Parity (three disks needed) or two- or three-way mirroring (three-way requires at least five disks):

create a virtual disk

(Click image to view larger version.)

Choose resilience type:

Choose resilience type

(Click image to view larger version.)

Choose provisioning type:

Choose provisioning type

(Click image to view larger version.)

Choose a disk size:

Choose disk size

Choose two- or three-way mirroring:

two- or three-way mirroring

(Click image to view larger version.)

On completion, the wizard creates the mirror:

wizard creates the mirror

(Click image to view larger version.)

Note that although I created a 10GB three-way mirror, only 1GB is allocated at present (thin provisioning). As data is saved, the allocation will increase accordingly:

allocation will increase accordingly

(Click image to view larger version.)

The final step is to create a usable volume on this mirror. This could be a mount point or a drive letter. A new wizard is required.

Right-click the new mirrored virtual disk, then se

MS extending disks 2003/2008R2,2012R2 Storage Space, Storage, Pools, and Clustered environments…

Source: MCPmag

WINDOWS ADVISOR

How To Manage Storage Spaces and Storage Pools in Windows Server 2012

Microsoft delivered a completely new way of looking at our disks and storage in Windows Server 2012, with the biggest change in how storage is laid out and provisioned. Here’s how to create and manage it all.

Windows Server 2008 R2 used the traditional disk management MMC snap-in to manage the disk configuration, as well as the handy DISKPART command-line tool. It is fair to say that the storage subsystem was not exactly optimized for high speed, resilience or large-scale file server operations. So when the Windows Server team designed the new Windows Server 2012, they took a long hard look at storage.

The solution that Microsoft delivered is a completely new way of looking at our disks and storage in Windows Server 2012, with raft of changes in the storage arena. These include SMB 3.0, which opens up a number of exciting new possibilities. The biggest change, though, has been reserved for the layout and provision of the storage itself. The introduction of storage spaces bring with it the ability to provide clustering for high availability and integration with Cluster Shared Volumes for scalable deployments of virtual machines, file shares and other workloads.

Storage Spaces lets you group industry-standard disks into at least one storage pool. You can then create virtual disks from the available capacity. One of the most useful add-ons when using this technology is that you can thin provision a pool and it can grow as needed.

How Microsoft Achieves All This Disk Trickery 
The concept of a storage pool and a Storage Space is based on taking a bunch of physical disks and creating a virtual single pool of space. This pool is then used to create volumes for our use. Clever!

Storage Pools and Storage Spaces

(Click image to view larger version.)

File and storage services is one of the 18 roles within Windows Server 2012 and requires nothing other than a working installation. The server can be a full GUI or the Server Core version. The storage subsystem can be controlled locally, remotely through a GUI or by PowerShell cmdlets:

storage subsystem can be controlled locally, remotely through a GUI or by PowerShell

(Click image to view larger version.)

Server Manager is the place to manage the role. Clicking File and Storage Services opens up the individual management areas:

Server Manager is the place to manage the role.

Storage Pools shows the individual storage spaces you have created on the local server or have access to on a remote server. The “primordial” space refers to any physical disks added to the server but not yet added to a storage space. Adding a disk wipes all data from it.

The full pool screen shows details about the storage spaces and the constituent physical disks, as well as any virtual disks already created on it:

storage spaces and the constituent physical disks details

(Click image to view larger version.)

To create a new pool, simply click Tasks then Create New Storage Pool to fire up the wizard:

Click Tasks then Create New Storage Pool

Choose the physicals disks you want to be part of the pool:

Choose the physicals disks

The pool shows up. Note that if you use all physical disks, the primordial space will disappear:

The pool shows up

You can remove an individual disk from a pool, but this creates a warning about data loss:

data loss warning

Having created a pool, the next task is to create a virtual disk on which to create our volume. I will create a three-way mirrored disk, although my choices are from simple spanning (or JBOD), Parity (three disks needed) or two- or three-way mirroring (three-way requires at least five disks):

create a virtual disk

(Click image to view larger version.)

Choose resilience type:

Choose resilience type

(Click image to view larger version.)

Choose provisioning type:

Choose provisioning type

(Click image to view larger version.)

Choose a disk size:

Choose disk size

Choose two- or three-way mirroring:

two- or three-way mirroring

(Click image to view larger version.)

On completion, the wizard creates the mirror:

wizard creates the mirror

(Click image to view larger version.)

Note that although I created a 10GB three-way mirror, only 1GB is allocated at present (thin provisioning). As data is saved, the allocation will increase accordingly:

allocation will increase accordingly

(Click image to view larger version.)

The final step is to create a usable volume on this mirror. This could be a mount point or a drive letter. A new wizard is required.

Right-click the new mirrored virtual disk, then select New Volume. Without this, the storage we just created will not be accessible to the operating system or users:

Right-click the new mirrored virtual disk, select New Volume

Choose the correct disk (physical or virtual on which you wish to create a volume — note all unallocated physical disks will appear here as well as virtual ones):

Choose the correct disk

Choose the volume size, up to the full size of the virtual disk you created:

Choose the volume size

Decide whether the user is going to see a new drive letter or whether you wish to use this volume as a mount point in an empty NTFS folder on another volume:

Decide whether the user is going to see a new drive letter or whether you wish to use this volume as a mount point in an empty NTFS folder on another volume

Choose the format of the file system. Options include NTFS and the new Resilient File System:

 NTFS or ReFS

The chosen drive letter now appears in your list of volumes available. Note it is shown as thinly provisioned:

New volume shows up thinly provisioned

In summary
Microsoft has now given us a tool that has huge implications for our local and centralized storage on servers. Small businesses that cannot stretch to Fibre Channel or iSCSI implementations can now provision scalable, resilient systems for clustering, file servers and application usage. All this can be achieved out of the box, with industry-standard cheap storage hardware.

The Mirror and Parity resilience types are pseudo-RAID and will apparently recover even in a totally unrelated system and will auto-recover on a local server when new storage is added. Despite this, I would still only ever trust my data to hardware implemented RAID and then place that in a storage pool — some habits die hard.

The Storage Spaces and storage pool feature within Windows Server is a huge leap forward in Windows Server usability.

About the Author

Ed Baker, MCSE, MCT, is a 20-year IT veteran who specializes in Windows server and client products. Ed teaches for Firebrand Training and the Firebrand Microsoft IT Academy Programme in the UK. 

Source: Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) – Extending a Volume

 

There are often times where you have a need to expand a LUN when running enterprise systems.  This is a trivial action in most cases because you simply add physical drives to the array and then use Disk Management to extend the drive to encompass the newly expanded volume.  Unfortunately, on highly-available systems such as those running Failover Clustering with Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV)-enabled features the drive is reserved and un-manageable by Disk Management.  However, this procedure is possible and capable of being done without any loss of service to client services such as virtual machines.

First:  Extend LUN using OEM-specific tools

The first step isn’t one that I can document specifically because it is OEM-specific for the toolset.  As you know, SAN’s are a form of Shared I/O and due to this they are managed using a set of proprietary tools (usually) and as such I can’t really provide guidance because of this.

However, to summarize a bit what you should do is similar to the following steps as I performed on our EMC Clarion AX4-5 using Navisphere Express –

  1. Connect to Navisphere via browser
  2. Click Disk Pools
  3. Click Extend
  4. Provided percentage or size

After extending the LUN, I verified that the LUN was fully extended through the Navisphere client and when completed, I moved to the next step.

Second:  Find the CSV Owner

To find the owner of the CSV, the easiest method is to use the Failover Clustering administration tool.  This can be found on any of the cluster hosts or you can install on your workstation as part of the Remote Administration Tools for Windows 2008 R2.

To determine the CSV owner, do the following:

  1. Click Start, Administrative Tools, Failover Cluster Manager
  2. Connect to the Cluster by clicking Manage Cluster from the MMC action pane
  3. Highlight the Cluster Shared Volumes node, and locate the server name under Current Owner

image

This server name will be used in Step 3.

Third:  Remote Desktop (RDP) to CSV Owner Server

CSV’s are a tricky “volume” unlike many seen in the past.  The entire LUN is presented to all hosts in the cluster; however, the lock for each server is done at the folder level rather than the traditional LUN level.  This allows n number of hosts to all connect to a LUN but only own the applications contained in the folders they utilize.  Beyond that, the drives that are managed in Disk Management are set as reserved and un-manageable using the UI hence causing trickiness.  Using the information determined in Step 2, let’s RDP to the server.

To RDP to the server, just use mstsc /v:{server FQDN}

Fourth:  Use DiskPart to Extend Volume

The last step, now that you are at the server who owns the CSV, is to execute DiskPart and issue the command to start the extend process.  To do this, you do the following –

  1. Run DiskPart from an elevated command prompt
  2. Type rescan
  3. Type list volume
  4. Type select volume {enter volume number from output from #3 step}
  5. Type extend

To confirm that all changes were taken and that the volume is the correct size, you can do the the list volume command again and verify the size change from step 3 above.

Summary

In this post, we focused on a scenario where you’ve “outgrown” your planned capacity and you now need to extend your CSV-based volume.  Unfortunately, the traditional methods of extending the size of a drive isn’t capable of being used due to the tools (Disk Management) disabling the functionality.  The next challenge, though, is finding the volume with DiskPart and the trick here is to find the CSV owner and execute the toolset from this server.  After doing this, your LUN should extend to the size you provisioned in your OEM-specific tool.

Thanks,

It is fully supported to extend a Windows Disk ONLINE as of Windows 2008

Microsoft CSS team have recently updated KB304736 to explicitly confirm and support online disk extension on Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2.  In many cases online Windows extension will also work on Windows 2003 Service Pack 2 x64 Edition.

Here is a summary of the capabilities of Windows 2008 or higher

  1. Both Local disks and Shared Cluster disks can be extended Online
  2. Almost every modern SAN supports extending LUNs online, allocating this new space at the end of the disk and presenting this information to Windows
  3. The word “Online” means that the end-to-end service is preserved.  A disk may be extended with the cluster running, SAP & SQL Server running and on the system is on high load.  There is no necessity to wait for a period of low activity, though some customers choose to time such operations off peak
  4. Windows supports several kinds of disks.  MBR Disks are limited to 2TB in size.  In general GPT disks are recommended.
  1. Both Basic Disks and Dynamic Disks can be extended online.  Dynamic Disks are not supported in a Windows Cluster, but there is no real use for Dynamic Disks with SQL Server Clusters. This blog explains the background on Basic and Dynamic Disks.
  2. Windows 2008 & Windows 2008 R2 offer a simple way to extend a disk through the Disk Management GUI.  A command line tool diskpart.exe can also be used
  3. Windows allows for both extending and shrinking a disk (though we seldom find customers who need to shrink disks)

Windows 2003 based systems can usually extend a disk online.  Extending a disk on Windows 2003 needs testing prior to executing in a production environment.  This is because of the age of the Windows 2003 product and the fact not all drivers and components support online disk extension.  It is best to check with the SAN vendor and/or to test with the applications shutdown first.

2003 OS storage expansion in clustered setup

Source: Extending cluster storage

A question recently came in on the bloghotline from a customer who asked about implementing scalable storage on server clusters and how to avoid downtime when storage needs to be extended. One of our cluster PMs, Elden Christensen, replied as follows:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In regards to the ability to dynamically increase volume sizes to eliminate downtime, this can be accomplished today on Windows Server 2003 with basic volumes using the DiskPart utility. After dynamically extending the LUN size in the storage cabinet, you can use this utility to extend the volume size. See the DiskPart Help on the web for the DiskPart syntax. Diskpart is available as a download utility for Windows 2000 and is included in the product in Windows Server 2003.

You can also use Diskpart on Failover Cluster volumes to dynamically extend volumes with no down time.  Here’s a KB that discusses how to use Diskpart on clusters: 304736 How to extend the partition of a cluster shared disk.

You can also use dynamic disks to create spanned volumes, where a volume can be dynamically extended to all another separate physical LUN, and extend the single logical volume over multiple LUN’s.

Note that dynamic disks are not natively provided in the core Windows Server operating system for failover clustering. Support can be added by purchasing the Storage Foundations product by Symantec. Here is a KB article with details: 237853 Dynamic Disk Configuration Unavailable for Server Cluster Disk Resources.

An important distinction between Dynamic Disks and DiskPart is that Diskpart can be used to extend a partition on an already existing LUN where the size of the existing LUN has been increased. Diskpart is not used to span a volume over multiple disks/LUN’s.

Another option is that additional storage capacity can be added and preserve the single name space for users by using volume mount points (also called mounted drives).  With mount points, volumes are mounted under directories, such as D:MarketingPresentations. Users access Marketing as they are used to, but the Presentations directory can actually reside on a separate volume/disk.  This allows you to increase storage capacity without impact to users.

You can also create volume mount points on clusters, here’s an article that discusses how to do that: 280297 How to configure Volume Mount Points on a clustered server.

I have outlined several ways that you can dynamically increase storage capacity on the fly with no down time today with Windows.  I hope you find this helpful.

–Elden

How to extend the partition of a cluster shared disk: MS Q304736 Repost

Source: MS Q304736

This article describes how to add additional storage capacity to a cluster if the underlying hardware RAID supports “capacity extension” technology. Capacity extension provides the ability to add additional drives to an existing RAID set and extend the logical drive so that it appears as free space at the end of the same logical drive. You can use the Diskpart.exe command-line utility to extend an existing partition into free space. This process has the following requirements:

  • The additional disk space must appear as free space at the end of the existing drive, and it must be directly behind the existing volume that is to be extended.
  • The extension must not rely on software fault tolerance to combine the existing partition and free space.
  • The disk signatures of the existing drive remain the same.
  • Use of the Physical Disk Resource type for the disk. If the disk resource is provided by a third-party manufacturer, you must contact that manufacturer for information about how to increase disk space.

This article describes how to add additional storage capacity to a cluster if the underlying hardware RAID supports “capacity extension” technology. Capacity extension provides the ability to add additional drives to an existing RAID set and extend the logical drive so that it appears as free space at the end of the same logical drive. You can use the Diskpart.exe command-line utility to extend an existing partition into free space. This process has the following requirements:

  • The additional disk space must appear as free space at the end of the existing drive, and it must be directly behind the existing volume that is to be extended.
  • The extension must not rely on software fault tolerance to combine the existing partition and free space.
  • The disk signatures of the existing drive remain the same.
  • Use of the Physical Disk Resource type for the disk. If the disk resource is provided by a third-party manufacturer, you must contact that manufacturer for information about how to increase disk space.

MPORTANT: If you add an additional drive to an existing array and the new drive appears as a new logical disk (instead of free space at the end of the existing drive), the hardware does not support capacity extension because it refers to the free space as a new drive, and the following procedure will not work. Some storage hardware will, by default, automatically create a new logical disk and volume for the new space despite the fact that the expansion of the existing logical disk is a possible option. When you are using server clusters of Windows Server 2003 or failover clusters of Windows Server 2008 or of Windows Server 2008 R2, software fault tolerance is not natively supported, and the creation of a spanned volume (Volume Set) is not a viable option. To add additional space: 

  • Create a second physical disk resource.
  • Delete and then re-create the array with the additional disk, and then replace the disk by using the instructions that are included in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
305793 How to replace a disk that is on a Windows 2000 or a Windows 2003 Server cluster

How to Extend an Existing Drive into Free Space if the Hardware Supports Capacity Extension

You can perform an online extension or an offline extension of a data volume.

How to perform an online extension of a data volume

You can perform an online extension of a cluster data volume in Windows Server 2008 or in Windows Server 2008 R2 without stopping the cluster application(s). However, not all vendor specific applications, drivers and utilities for Windows Server 2003 fully support transparent online extension of cluster volumes. Therefore, we recommend that you test the specific hardware environment and hardware configuration to confirm that it will behave correctly before you perform the online extension in Windows Server 2003. 

To perform an online extension of the disk partition, follow these steps:

  1. Add the additional physical drives and extend the additional disk or disks as free space by using the instructions that are included with the hardware vendor documentation.
  2. Open the Disk Management snap-in, verify that the new free space is added to the end of the proper drive.
  3. Right-click the existing partition, and then click Properties. On the General tab, type a unique name for the partition. This name will be used to identify the partition that you want to extend. 

    Note If you encounter any problem with the previous steps when you are extending the drive, contact your hardware vendor for assistance.

  4. Extend the partition by using one of the following methods:
    • Use the Disk Management snap-in in Windows Server 2008 R2

      To extend the partition by using the Disk Management snap-in, follow these steps:

      1. In Disk Management, right-click the data volume that you want to extend.
      2. Click Extend Volume…. .
      3. Follow the instructions in the Extend Volume Wizard.

      Note Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 does not allow Disk Management snap-in to Extend volume and user should use diskpart to extend volume instead.

    • Use the Diskpart.exe utility

      To extend the partition by using the Diskpart.exe utility, follow these steps:

      1. Open a command prompt, type diskpart, and then press ENTER.
      2. At the DISKPART prompt, type list volume , and then press ENTER to display the existing volumes on the computer.
      3. At the DISKPART prompt, type select volume <volume number>, and then press ENTER. Here volume number is the number of the volume that you want to extend. The volume has the unique name that you created in step 3. The volume is listed in the output of the list volume command.
      4. At the DISKPART prompt, type extend, and then press ENTER to extend the partition into all of the available disk space to the end of the drive. Or, type extend size=<size> to extends the selected volume by sizemegabytes (MB).
      5. Type exit, and then press ENTER to exit the command prompt.

How to perform an offline extension of a data volume

 To perform an offline extension of the disk partition in Windows Server 2003 , follow these steps:  

  1. Back up the shared disk (or disks) that you want to extend.
  2. Power off all but one node in the cluster.
  3. Take the entire group that the physical disk resource is located in offline. Bring only the physical disk resource that is to be extended online. This process should close all open handles to the disk.

    Note If you have any disk or Host Bus Adapter (HBA) utilities that access the disk, you may need to quit them or stop the services so that they will release any handles to the disk.

  4. Add the additional physical drives and extend the additional disk or disks as free space by using the instructions that are included with the hardware vendor documentation.
  5. Open the Disk Management snap-in, verify that the new free space is added to the end of the proper drive.
  6. Right-click the existing partition, and then click Properties. On the General tab, type a unique name for the partition. This name will be used to identify the partition that you want to extend. Exit Disk Management snap-in. 

    Note If you encounter any problem with the previous steps when you are extending the drive, contact your hardware vendor for assistance.

  7. Open a command prompt, type diskpart, and then press ENTER.
  8. At the DISKPART prompt, type list volume , and then press ENTER to display the existing volumes on the computer.
  9. At the DISKPART prompt, type select volume <volume number>, and then press ENTER. Here volume number is the number of the volume that you want to extend. The volume has the unique name that you created in step 6. The volume is listed in the output of the list volume command.
  10. At the DISKPART prompt, type extend, and then press ENTER to extend the partition into all of the available disk space to the end of the drive. Or, type extend size=<size> to extends the selected volume by size megabytes (MB).
  11. Type exit, and then press ENTER to exit the command prompt.
  12. Now that the volume is extended, you can bring the entire group that contains the physical disk resource online, and then power up all of the other nodes in the cluster.
  13. Verify that the group can come online and failover to all other nodes in the cluster.

CLUSTERING SERVER 2012 R2 WITH ISCSI STORAGE

Wednesday, December 31, 2014   , , , , , , , , ,,   No comments

Source: Exit The Fast Lane

Yay, last post of 2014! Haven’t invested in the hyperconverged Software Defined Storage model yet? No problem, there’s still time. In the meanwhile, here is how to cluster Server 2012 R2 using tried and true EqualLogic iSCSI shared storage.

EQL Group Manager

First, prepare your storage array(s), by logging into EQL Group Manager. This post assumes that your basic array IP, access and security settings are in place.  Set up your local CHAP account to be used later. Your organization’s security access policies or requirements might dictate a different standard here.

SNAGHTML3b62e029

Create and assign an Access Policy to the VDS/VSS in Group Manager otherwise this volume will not be accessible. This will make subsequent steps easier when it’s time to configure ASM.image

Create some volumes in Group Manager now so you can connect your initiators easily in the next step. It’s a good idea to create your cluster quorum LUN now as well.

image

Host Network Configuration

First configure the interfaces you intend to use for iSCSI on your cluster nodes. Best practice says that you should limit your iSCSI traffic to a private Layer2 segment, not routed and only connecting to the devices that will participate in the fabric. This is no different from Fiber Channel in that regard, unless you are using a converged methodology and sharing your higher bandwidth NICs. If using Broadcom NICs you can choose Jumbo Frames or hardware offload, the larger frames will likely net a greater performance impact. Each host NIC used to access your storage targets should have a unique IP address able to access the network of those targets within the same private Layer2 segment. While these NICs can technically be teamed using the native Windows LBFO mechanism, best practice says that you shouldn’t, especially if you plan to use MPIO to load balance traffic. If your NICs will be shared (not dedicated to iSCSI alone) then LBFO teaming is supported in that configuration. To keep things clean and simple I’ll be using 4 NICs, 2 dedicated to LAN, 2 dedicated to iSCSI SAN. Both LAN and SAN connections are physically separated to their own switching fabrics as well, this is also a best practice.

image

MPIO – the manual method

First, start the MS iSCSI service, which you will be prompted to do, and check its status in PowerShell using get-service –name msiscsi.

image

Next, install MPIO using Install-WindowsFeature Multipath-IO

Once installed and your server has been rebooted, you can set additional options in PowerShell or via the MPIO dialog under  File and Storage Services—> Tools.

image

Open the MPIO settings and tick “add support for iSCSI devices” under Discover Multi-Paths. Reboot again. Any change you make here will ask you to reboot. Make all changes once so you only have to do this one time.

image

The easier way to do this from the onset is using the EqualLogic Host Integration Tools (HIT Kit) on your hosts. If you don’t want to use HIT for some reason, you can skip from here down to the “Connect to iSCSI Storage” section.

Install EQL HIT Kit (The Easier Method)

The EqualLogic HIT Kit will make it much easier to connect to your storage array as well as configure the MPIO DSM for the EQL arrays. Better integration, easier to optimize performance, better analytics. If there is a HIT Kit available for your chosen OS, you should absolutely install and use it. Fortunately there is indeed a HIT Kit available for Server 2012 R2.

image

Configure MPIO and PS group access via the links in the resulting dialog.

image

In ASM (launched via the “configure…” links above), add the PS group and configure its access. Connect to the VSS volume using the CHAP account and password specified previously. If the VDS/VSS volume is not accessible on your EQL array, this step will fail!

image

Connect to iSCSI targets

Once your server is back up from the last reboot, launch the iSCSI Initiator tool and you should see any discovered targets, assuming they are configured and online. If you used the HIT Kit you will already be connected to the VSS control volume and will see the Dell EQL MPIO tab.

image

Choose an inactive target in the discovered targets list and click connect, be sure to enable multi-path in the pop-up that follows, then click Advanced.

image

Enable CHAP log on, specify the user/pw set up previously:

image

If your configuration is good the status of your target will change to Connected immediately. Once your targets are connected, the raw disks will be visible in Disk Manager and can be brought online by Windows.

image

When you create new volumes on these disks, save yourself some pain down the road and give them the same label as what you assigned in Group Manager! The following information can be pulled out of the ASM tool for each volume:

image

Failover Clustering

With all the storage pre-requisites in place you can now build your cluster. Setting up a Failover Cluster has never been easier, assuming all your ducks are in a row. Create your new cluster using the Failover Cluster Manager tool and let it run all compatibility checks.

image

Make sure your patches and software levels are identical between cluster nodes or you’ll likely fail the clustering pre-check with differing DSM versions:

image

Once the cluster is built, you can manipulate your cluster disks and bring any online as required. Cluster disks will not be able to be brought online until all nodes in the cluster can access the disk.

image

Next add your cluster disks to Cluster Shared Volumes to enable multi-host read/write and HA.

image

The new status will be reflected once this change is made.

image

Configure your Quorum to use the disk witness volume you created earlier. This disk does not need to be a CSV.

image

Check your cluster networks and make sure that iSCSI is set to not allow cluster network communication. Make sure that your cluster network is setup to allow cluster network communication as well as allowing client connections. This can of course be further segregated if desired using additional NICs to separate cluster and client communication.

image

Now your cluster is complete and you can begin adding HA VMs, if using Hyper-V, SQL, File or other roles as required.

References:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2013/03/12/speaking-iscsi-with-windows-server-2012-and-hyper-v.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2013/03/18/is-nic-teaming-in-windows-server-2012-supported-for-iscsi-or-not-supported-for-iscsi-that-is-the-question.aspx

How to build a Windows 2012 R2 VMware Template (Repost)

Things to get ready

You should have the following handy when you start.

  • vSphere infrastructure
  • Windows 2012 R2 ISO up on your virtual infrastructure – and know where it is!
  • Windows PID
  • You will need to use a utility to copy the profile that you can find here.  This is important as Microsoft has been working since Win2K8 to make it difficult to copy a profile – that we do a bunch of customization in, to the default user so after our template is used to provision, new users will get our customization.
  • You might consider to use the Microsoft EMET tool to secure your Windows 2012 template but I have not done that yet and am in fact hesitating.

Note: I am not installing the PVSCSI driver in this process.  I may add a new article for that, or update this one. Not sure yet.  I should also note that I am not using PVSCSI in any of my labs currently but plan on in the near future.

Process

BTW, I am putting what I consider is more than I need to in terms of instructions and screenshots.  This is to make sure I can help the people that need more help, but yet I am trying to not put too much so I don’t put off those who don’t need more help.  You can always skim through if you only need a little help.  Update – Thanks to a comment from @vStorage I thought I would add a little more info on the process.  I do more configuration of the virtual machine below then I need to.  Some of my config can be done by GPO.  However, I like to be careful, and I think a little extra work on the VM before it becomes a template is good.  After all, it may not be used on the domain after all.

Virtual Machine and Operating System

  • Create a new virtual machine.  Use a good name.  For example I use wn2k12r2STD-TPL  (fifteen character limit here to remember).
  • I use a 40 GB drive C:, 1 vCPU, and 4 GB of RAM.  Both of those can be changed later after you deploy from this template.
  • You should change your Network type to VMXNET3, and attach the Win2K12R2 ISO.  See below for an example of what this should look like.

VM virtual hardware info

  • Note: this is the time we would do PVSCSI if we were doing that.  I will add that later but for now we will not cover it off.
  • Once we have this virtual machine created, we need to make some changes before we power it on.  So right+click on the VM and select Settings and change to VM Options.
  • We need to Enable the next boot to enter BIOS setup, and we need to Disable logging.  See below for what this should look like.

VM options to change

  • Before we power up, I like to use the Tags and Notes to identify this VM.  I find this useful, especially in big environments.

Notes and Tags Info

  • Now we can power up.  Do that and than use the right+click to open a console.  You should see the BIOS when you get the console open.

main BIOS screen for a VM

  • Now change to Advanced, and than I/O Device Configuration.
  • We want to disable the Serial, Parallel ports, and the Floppy controller.  Note, if we were doing the PVSCSI we would have to disable the floppy controller after the VM had the OS installed and running as the driver for PVSCSI is floppy based.

IO devices - disabled

  • Now you can hit F10 to Save and Exit and you should boot right to the OS install.  If it doesn’t then when that happens to me it is due to my forgetting to connect the ISO.  You can change to the vSphere Web Client and connect the CD in the VM settings area and by the time you return to the Console it should be installing.  You may have to hit the Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete button to help.
  • The first place the OS stops and waits for you is seen below.

WinSetup1

  • You can just hit Next to continue.
  • Of course that assumes you can actually mouse over to Next and click.  I do not have much luck with that and I find that the TAB key is more efficient – of course as no Tools installed yet to help!
  • You will need to enter a license.  I have to type it in as I am not able to do copy and paste successfully!
  • The next screen gives you a choice between installing Server Core, or Server with a GUI.  I suggest that you do the Server with a GUI.  It is more familiar and you can change to the Server Core later if necessary.

Server Core, or Server with a GUI - GUI Please!

  • Again, the TAB key will help, and the arrow keys.
  • Accept the license and let’s go.
  • In the next screen you will be prompted to select a Type of Installation.

Make sure to use Custom choice

  • I was confused the first time I used this screen and I used the default choice which was wrong.  Not sure why it let me do that.  So make sure to use the Custom choice.
  • The next screen will ask you about where to install Windows.  We are not using PVSCSI so the disk is visible and we can actually hit Next.  If we were using PVSCSI I believe this is where we would load the required driver disk to see the disk.  (BTW, the floppy image is on a datastore.  You will need to browse to it via VM Settings, Floppy drive, Use existing floppy image, vmimages, floppies, and than select and use pvscsi-Windows2008.flp file.)

WinSetup5

  • Now we wait, and watch.

Watch now ....

  • Like the screen says, there may be several restarts.
  • We will need to add a password to the administrator account.

Now we are done with the creation of the virtual machine, and install of the OS.  We now need to configure Win2K12R2.

OS Configuration – VMware Tools

I generally want to get VMware Tools installed and working so we can work a little easier (meaning that your mouse works now!

  • We need to log in.
  • Once you are logged in, you will be in the Server Manager.  Change over to the vSphere Web Client and start the install of VMware Tools.  You will see the option for that on the Summary tab for the VM.  You can also find it when you right+click and select All vCenter Actions, followed by Guest OS and finally selecting Install VMware Tools.  See both of these options below.

Installing VMware Tools

  • Once you select you will see the option below.

VMwareTools2

  • I have had some odd experiences installing VMware Tools in Win2K12R2.  Sometimes it works best if you can click on the popup of how to handle the CD message.  Sometimes you can close and open the Console to make things work a bit better.  But this is fustrating.  In Win2K8 and Win2K8R2 this was manageable since the install could be unattended and just restart.  But for whatever reason I cannot do that any longer with Win2K12.
  • The best advice for this is stop the install (unmount is the term) and start it again if necessary.  Than use the TAB button. Use it to move to the Server Manager in the task bar.  Than use the arrow keys to arrow over to the Explorer option, and than use the TAB and arrow keys to maneuver through the Explorer until you can select the VM CD.

VMwareTools3

  • Now you can use the Return key to start the process.  Again the TAB key will help enormously and before you know it the mouse will work nice.  Restart when prompted.

OS Configuration – Tweaks and Tuning

In this phase we tweak the OS and get it ready for a wide range of potential use.  Meaning this is the template that is most general.  It will be used to make other templates that are more specific – such as SQL.  The changes below are the ones I make, and think useful but in this section you make the changes that work best for you and your organization.

  • We need to log in again so we can start making changes.  Yes, our mouse should work good now!
  • I like to get the Date / Time right first.  So first do the Time Zone.  Click on the Clock in the taskbar and select Change date and time settings …
  • When we first started all of this you may have noticed that the time of the VM was way off.  In fact it was in Zulu or Universal Time because the host time was when the VM started.  But now with the right Timezone it should be the right time.  If not, your ESXi host may have the wrong time.
  • I also like to have the 24 Hour clock in use so this is when I do that change (Change date and time, Change calendar settings, followed by changing to the Time tab).
  • We should be back in the Server Manager now.  Use the Local Server setting in the top left corner and you will see something like below.

ServerManagerLocal

  • We will make a number of changes here.
  • Lets start in the top right – we want to work with Manage Server Manager Properties.

ServerManagerProperties

  • Literally only one thing to change.  We want to select the checkbox for Do not start Server Manager automatically at logon.  Don’t forget it is in the task bar all of the time – it has a toolbox in the icon.
  • Now we want to get fully patched.  Again in the top right, we can see Windows Update, and it shows as Not configured.  Configure it as appropriate in your world.
  • Now update until there is no more patches.  Reboot as necessary.  BTW, the way I reboot is to right+click on the bottom left corner where you see the funny Windows icon.  Than use Shut down or sign out and select Restart.  This is a very powerful Right Click!

rightclick

  • See all of the choice on this menu?  Very handy.
  • Once you restart, and log back in, please start up the Server Manager again.  It is the first icon in your task bar.
  • Select Local Server again.
  • You should start with Computer name and change it to match your VM name.  You will be limited to 15 characters and that is a little tight so there may be a change.  Restart later.
  • You can use the Advanced option here on System Properties (found in Server Manager by clicking on Computer Name) to tweak the Performance in Visual Effects for Adjust for best performance.

Startupetc

  • Also on the Advanced tab you can change the Startup and Recovery settings so that the Time to display is changed from 30 to 5.  Some people will deselect the option to Automatically restart here but it is something rather to think about.
  • While in here remove the swap file – we will add it back later (found in Performance Settings / Advanced).
  • Now tweak the Firewall if necessary.
  • Do you need to change the Remote Management option – I suggest not if you are not sure.
  • You very likely need to change the Remote Desktop option.  To add users (or even better groups) it is a little hard if you are not in the domain.  If you cannot, during deployment from the template when the server is added to the domain you can manage the users (using for example Restricted Groups).
  • We will tweak the network now.  We likely do not need QoS Packet Scheduler or TCP/IP v6.  By the way, when you are back in Server Manager if you do not see what you think you should, than use the Refresh button at the top of the screen and it will update things so they look more appropriate. You can click on the IPv4 in Ethernet0.
  • Windows Update may show never updated but it has been so ignore that.
  • We generally want to enable Windows Error Reporting and Customer Experience Improvement Program.  Both of these end up helping users and we are users so that is good!
  • Often people will change IE Enhanced Security Configuration to off.  I am turning it off for Administrators.
  • Now we should add features.  Scroll to the bottom of the Server Manager page.

RolesAndFeatures

  • Now you can select Add Roles and Features from under the Tasks menu.
  • Roles is where you would add things like IIS.
  • I like to add Telnet Client as a feature to help with testing.  This is where you might add things like .NET or IPAM.
  • Now leave Server Manager.
  • I like to pin IE to my Task Bar.  So click on the Window icon in the bottom left.  This will change your desktop to Aero.
  • Now right+click on IE and select Pin to taskbar.  Now return to the normal desktop.
  • Right+Click on the Window icon in the lower left corner and select Control Panel, followed by Hardware.
  • We want to use High performance in the power plan.  You can also set the Turn off Display here to never.
  • Now start IE and save the home page as About:blank.
  • We need to make a change at the command line before we restart.  So right + click on the Windows icon at the lower left and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Use the following command at the command line.

powercfg -h off

  • We should disable the index on drive C:.  Use Explorer to explore This PC and right+click on drive C: and select Properties.  You will see at the bottom of the screen the option to disable indexing.
  • Now we should defragment the drive. This option is on the Tools tab.: and select the Optimize option.
  • While you are here you should disable the weekly optimize option as it is not necessary.
  • Often people will want to lower or disable the User Account Settings.  You can do that by right+click on the Windows icon in lower left corner and select Control Panel, followed by System and Security, than select Change User Account Control Settings.  Chose the setting that is best for you.
  • Now we should restart.

Configuration – Installing software

We only install software here that we really need and is useful for most users.  Some of what I install is listed below.  Remember this template is general and will be used to make the SQL template (with the addition of SQL) or any other software.  So software that will be used by most users like – anti – malware, Acrobat Reader, maybe some helpdesk or troubleshooting tools should be installed..

  • Bginfo – see this for help.
  • Acrobat Reader – make sure to open it to accept the EULA and update if necessary.
  • Google Chrome
  • Autoruns – a great tool to make sure you know what starts with your server.
  • Process Explorer – a great tool for troubleshooting.
  • 7-Zip – from here more flexible than what is built in – for example can extract ISO.
  • Thanks to StuartM I now suggest installing the Sysmon utility which you can find here.  You may not want it running all of the time but you might.
  • Generally by now I am prompted to activate the Microsoft license.  I do let it activate.  If you don’t you may have some issues with sysprep.  You can see more about this in this article.

Note: For things like Chrome and Acrobat they will install fine since they have installers and they can be found on the Aero Desktop as you might expect.  For things like BgInfo and Autoruns which have no installer it is more complex.  Use the info in the BgInfo article to help.  Basically you will create a Utilities program group for them and install them manually.  This is an example of software that is harder to install via GPO since they have no MSI.

Ready to make it a template?

We are ready to make this virtual machine a template now.  If you have connected it to the domain previously, for reasons such as getting the GPO’s to help configure it you should remove it from the network now.

  • Enable the swap file.
    • Start Server Manager, select Local Server
    • Click on Workgroup, than select Advanced
    • Select Settings in Performance.
    • Now select Advanced and select Change in the Virtual Memory section.
    • You can select Automatically manage paging file size for all drives if that works for your organization.  I should mention that I like to have a separate drive and put the paging file on it.
  • If necessary remove this VM from the domain and restart.
  • I always like to check Windows Update before I finish and yes, today I did find a bunch of updates that I did no find earlier.  So I update and restart as necessary.
  • Disconnect the ISO and reset to Client Device.
  • Remove the backup copies of the patches – use this command – dism /online /cleanup-image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase
  • Make sure you are really ready to proceed!
  • We now need to manage the profile
    • We first install the Copy Profile tool – called DefProf.
    • We use it to copy my profile to the Default Profile – unzip, and execute defprof your_account_name and you are done.
    • When that is done we remove the tool,
    • And shut the VM down.
  • Once the VM is shut down we are ready to turn it into a template.
  • I generally now do an update in the Notes section to account for what I have done.

TagsNotes2

  • Now we use right+click on the VM, select All vCenter Actions and Convert to Template as seen below.

ConvertTemplate

  • Done.  We now have a Windows 2012 R2 template.

 Deploy from Template

I suspect everyone knows how to deploy from this new template but remember that any passwords put into the customization script should be done using the vSphere Client and not the vSphere Web Client.  I also suggest using the following commands in the Run Once part of the customization specification.

  • powercfg -h off
  • bcdedit /timeout 5

I have seen a lot of different things done via Run Once.  Scripts for example that install applications, or do inventory related tasks, so remember that and you can use it as you need.  Always test your deploy from template.  In particular make sure the joining the domain works.

Things to think about

  • I believe that if the User Profile Manager tool works for you that it should be purchased.
  • If you are doing a template that has a bunch of drive letters – like a SQL server, you will lose the order of those drive letters after you deploy.  It can be fixed – problem avoided – if you use the info in this article.  Thanks Michael for this!

Updating your Template

You should update your template approximately once every month or so.  This will allow you to catch any outstanding patches for the OS as well as application patches.  Just convert the template to virtual machine, turn it on, patch, than restart it, and convert it to template.  You may consider joining it to your domain to catch new GPO type stuff that may be sticky but remember to remove it from the domain before you turn it back into the template.

Links

I found useful information in a variety of places.  In particular at the links below.

  • How to build a Windows 2012 VMware Template – here
  • In-the-Lab: Windows Server 2008 R2 Template for VMware – here
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Tips – here
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Template on ESXi 5.5 vSphere – here
  • CopyProfile help from Microsoft – here
  • Microsoft EMET 5.0 tool – here

History

I plan on keeping this page updated with what I am using and what works well!  I will use this section to update you with what I updated when I do updates.

  • v2.4 – 1/4/15 – added some verbage and link to Michael Websters article on Dude Where’s my Drive Letters?
  • v2.4 – 11/5/14 – added link to Sysmon – thanks to Stuart for the suggestion.
  • v2.31 – 8/10/14 – added the link to the EMET tool.
  • v2.3 – 7/27/14 – added the command to remove the backup copies of Windows Update patches – thanks to Andreas for this.
  • v2.2 – 7/20/14 – miscellaneous grammar and spelling updates.
  • v2.1 – 7/18/14 – updated with DefProf instead of User Profile Manager 2.6.
  • v2.0 – 6/14/14 – updated with updated process and new tool (thanks to Chip for the idea on using the tool).
  • v1.3 – 5/26/14 – updated various areas to make it smoother and more clear.
  • v1.2 – 5/25/14 – don’t use the Update suggestions above.  Found some odd stuff when updating Win2K12 templates so I need to confirm things.
  • v1.2 – 5/18/14 – miscellaneous grammar and spelling plus some small clarification.
  • v1.1 – 5/18/14 – added info on process (thanks @vStorage) and info on BGInfo (thanks @seanpmassey).
  • v1.0 – 5/17/14 – first published.

As always, comments welcome and in fact appreciated!  Also, if you have suggestions on how to make this better let me know.

Michael

Microsoft KMS Activation Technology

Source ss64,com, MSBlog

Office Deployment Support Team Blog

How to discover Office and Windows KMS hosts via DNS and remove unauthorized instances

Source: TheWindowsClub.com written by View Licensing Status and Activation ID of your Windows OS

View Licensing Status and Activation ID of your Windows OS with slmgr.vbs

slmgr – Software Licensing Management Tool | Windows CMD | SS64.com

External articles: WindowsITPro.com

slmgr.vbs (Windows7/2008)

Software Licensing Management Tool. Windows Activation and Key Management Service (KMS)

Syntax
      slmgr [MachineName [Username Password]] [Option]
Key
  machinename   The machine to administer, by default the current local machine.

  username      An administrator equivalent user account for the remote computer.

  password      The password for the user account on the remote computer.

   /ato   Activate Windows license and product key against Microsoft's server.

   /atp Confirmation_ID   Activate Windows with user-provided Confirmation ID 

   /ckms  Clear the name of KMS server used to default and port to default.

   /cpky  Clear product key from the registry (prevents disclosure attacks)

   /dli   Display the current license information with activation
          status and partial product key.

   /dlv   Verbose, similar to -dli but with more information.

   /dti   Display Installation ID for offline activation

   /ipk Key  Enter a new product key supplied as xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx 

   /ilc License_file   Install license

   /rilc               Re-install system license files

   /rearm Reset the evaluation period/licensing status and activation state of the machine

   /skms activationservername:port 
          Set the Volume Licensing KMS server and/or the port used for KMS activation
          (where supported by your Windows edition)

   /skhc  Enable KMS host caching (default), this blocks the use of DNS priority and
          weight after the initial discovery of a working KMS host.
          If the system can no longer contact the working KMS host, discovery will be attempted again.

   /ckhc  Disable KMS host caching. This setting instructs the client to use DNS auto-discovery
          each time it attempts KMS activation (recommended when using priority and weight)

   /sai interval 
          Sets the interval in minutes for unactivated clients to attempt KMS connection.
          The activation interval must be between 15 minutes and 30 days, although the default (2 hours)
          is recommended.
          The KMS client initially picks up this interval from the registry but switches to the KMS
          setting after the first KMS response has been received.

   /sri interval
          Sets the renewal interval in minutes for activated clients to attempt KMS connection.
          The renewal interval must be between 15 minutes and 30 days.
          This option is set initially on both the KMS server and client sides.
          The default is 10080 minutes (7 days).

   /spri  Set the KMS priority to normal (default).
   /cpri  Set the KMS priority to low.
          Use this option to minimize contention from KMS in a co-hosted environment.
          Note that this could lead to KMS starvation, depending on what other applications
          or server roles are active. Use with care.

   /sprt port
          Sets the port on which the KMS host listens for client activation requests. The default TCP port is 1688.

   /sdns  Enable DNS publishing by the KMS host (default).
   /cdns  Disable DNS publishing by the KMS host.

   /upk   Uninstall current installed product key and return license status back to trial state.

   /xpr   Show the expiry date of current license (if not permanently activated)

Token-based activation:
   /lil   List the installed token-based activation issuance licenses.

   /ril ILID ILvID
	       Remove an installed token-based activation issuance license.

   /stao  Set the Token-based Activation Only flag, disabling automatic KMS activation.
   /ctao  Clear the Token-based Activation Only flag (default), enabling automatic KMS activation.
   /ltc   List valid token-based activation certificates that can activate installed software.
   /fta Certificate Thumbprint [PIN]
          Force token-based activation using the identified certificate.
          The optional personal identification number (PIN) is provided to unlock the private
          key without a PIN prompt when using certificates that are protected by hardware
          (for example, smart cards).

All actions (other than displaying status) require elevated administrator privileges.
Slmgr.vbs script is not intended to work across platforms i.e. between Vista and Windows 7

Examples

C:> cscript C:windowssystem32slmgr.vbs wkstn64 administrator pa55w0rd1 -dli

C:> cscript slmgr.vbs -skms 192.168.10.1:8090

C:> cscript slmgr.vbs -skms KMSServer:8090

“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above little things” ~ John Burroughs

Related:

SLUI – Software Licensing (Windows Activation) SLUI.exe 3 XXXXX.XXXXXX.XXXXXX.XXXXX
Activation Error Codes – TechNet
CERTREQ – Request certificate from a certification authority
WINVER – Display Licence Activation status
Q921471 – Activation fails when you try to activate Windows Vista, Windows 7…
PERMS – Show permissions for a user
SYSTEMINFO – List system configuration

Source: Windows Server 2012 KMS Service Activation | Working Hard In IT

Edited with additional notes and re-post of a MS Blog article.

// //

// // // <![CDATA[
var amznKeys = amznads.getKeys();
if (typeof amznKeys != “undefined” && amznKeys != “”) { for (var i =0; i // // // // //

Now we have the Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 OS in my environment and Volume Licenses, I will need to update our KMS Server to the latest version.In our case it is running on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Install the following update: An update is available for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS hosts to support Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 as described in KB2691586. This is also the place where you can request this hotfix.  If you don’t install this hotfix registering a Windows Server 2012  KMS will throw an Error: 0xC004F050 The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid

Request the hotfix and install it from an elevated command prompt.

image

Once you’ve clicked OK the installation will start

image

After that’s finished you will be asked to restart the server. Do so. Just restarting the KMS service (“net stop sppsvc” and “net start sppsvc“) doesn’t suffice.

image

Now we have that out the way we can start putting our brand new KMS key into action.

Let’s take a look at what is already running:

slmgr.vbs /dlv => clearly the Windows 2008 R KMS key
image

Uninstall the current KMS key using slmgr.vbs /upk, please use an elevated command prompt

image

Now you can install the new KMS key.

slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxx

image

Now activate your brandnew KMS key running slmgr.vbs /ato

image

Show what’s up and running now by running slmgr.vbs /dlv again and as you can see we’re in business to activate all our Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 hosts.

image

Notes:

SLMGR /UPK may be necessary in some organisations. Without this the new key wouldn’t activate.

 

The KMS key activates:
•Windows Server 2008 R2
•Windows Server 2008
•Windows 8
•Windows Server 2012
•Windows 7
•Windows Vista

There is no requirement to have any W2K12/Windows 8. So it doesn’t matter, you can do that update, never even install a new KMS activation key and even if you do never activate any Windows Server 2012 / Windows 8. Even if that counter is reset doens’t matter either. The moment you reach the required number it just starts counting again.There is nothing dangerous or magic about that counter bar from people’s tendency to sit around watching it count. KMS if done well is set en forget until a new OS arrives and that you just update the KMS host. Nothing to worry about and if you have Volume Licensing so Microsoft support will help you when in doubt. KMS is loose that you could blow it up and take weeks to set up a new one, meanwhile
the company will keep running. All of this very well documented http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793418.aspx and here’s the entry point for all Volume activation info http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff719787.aspx

 

Server VL VOLUME_KMS_2012_C_channel activates:

Windows Vista Business
Windows Vista Enterprise
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Enterprise
Windows 8 Professional
Windows 8 Enterprise
Windows 2008 (all editions)
Windows 2008 R2 (all editions)
Windows Server 2012 (all editions)

Activation on the Enterprise client machines- Open cmd prompt and enter: slmgr.vbs /ato

 How to install the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 – Office Deployment Support Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

How to install the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012

Source: Office Deployment Support Team Blog
by Eric Ellis
1/7/2013 UPDATE: The “Product activation failed” error that can occur when attempting to perform a phone activation of an Office 2010 KMS host installed on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 machines has been addressed in the latest release of the KeyManagementServiceHost*.exe file, which can be found in the link below.12/4/2012 UPDATE: This issue has been addressed in the latest version of the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack, which can be found at the link below.

Microsoft is working on an update for the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack which will allow it to be successfully installed on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 machines.

All of the steps below are no longer required as of 1/7/2013. See related note above in red, bold text.

In the meantime, the following steps can be used to work around the issue:

1) Download the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=169244)
2) Run the downloaded KeyManagementServiceHost.exe file to extract files that it contains. Ignore the “Unsupported operating system” error that occurs and click OK.
3) Press the Enter key to close the command window that is related to cscript.exe.
3) Browse to the %programfiles% or %programfiles(x86)% folder and navigate to the MSECacheOfficeKMS subfolder. If you installed the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack on a 64-bit operating system, %programfiles% is the Program Files (x86) folder.
4) Rename the existing kms_host.vbs file to kms_host.old
5) Download the kms_host.zip file from the Office Deployment Support Team’s SkyDrive share at http://sdrv.ms/RiZ8Q9.
6) Extract the kms_host.vbs file from the zip file and place a copy of it in the %programfiles(x86)%MSECacheOfficeKMS or %programfiles%MSECacheOfficeKMS folder.

7) From an elevated command-prompt navigate to the %programfiles(x86)%MSECacheOfficeKMS or %programfiles%MSECacheOfficeKMS folder and run the following command:

cscript kms_host.vbs

7) If the KMS host machine has Internet connectivity, click Yes to enter the Office KMS host product key and activate online. Otherwise, click No, and press Enter to close the command window.

Open an elevated command prompt and run the following command line to check the installation, licensing state, and current status of the Office KMS host:

cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv bfe7a195-4f8f-4f0b-a622-cf13c7d16864

See the following articles for additional information related to Office KMS host installation, activation, and troubleshooting:

Deploy volume activation of Office 2010
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624357.aspx

Troubleshoot volume activation for Office 2010
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624355.aspx

Office Deployment Support Team Blog, “Office 2010 KMS installation and troubleshooting”
http://blogs.technet.com/b/odsupport/archive/2010/06/01/office-2010-kms-installation-and-troubleshooting.aspx

Source: Windows Blogs

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// ]]>// // // // How to discover Office and Windows KMS hosts via DNS and remove unauthorized instances – Office Deployment Support Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

External MS Blog post

How to discover Office and Windows KMS hosts via DNS and remove unauthorized instances

 Eric Ellis [MSFT] Eric Ellis [MSFT]
When troubleshooting KMS configuration and activation issues, our customers are often surprised to find unexpected Windows or Office KMS hosts in their environment.By default, Windows and Office clients discover KMS hosts via DNS and a related _vlmcs SRV record. To determine whether a KMS client can locate a KMS host and/or whether undesired KMS hosts exist on the network, run a command line similar to the following:

nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp >%temp%kms.txt

Review the kms.txt file. It should contain one or more entries similar to the following:

_vlmcs._tcp.contoso.com                            SRV service location:
priority       = 0
weight       = 0
port            = 1688
svr hostname   = kms-server.contoso.com

Running this nslookup command frequently reveals _vlmcs SRV entries which are tied to unauthorized Windows or Office KMS hosts.

In many cases, Windows KMS hosts may have been unintentionally set up by users who mistakenly entered a KMS host product key, rather than a Windows client product key. To remedy this issue, perform the following steps on the machine(s) in question, to replace the KMS product group key and “convert” it to a KMS or MAK client:

1) Open an elevated command prompt.
2) Run a command similar to the following:

cscript slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx   (where xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx is a 25 digit, Windows product key)

3) To prevent instability in the license service, the system should be restarted or the Software Protection Service should be restarted. The following command lines can be used to restart the Software Protection Service:

net stop sppsvc
net start sppsvc

4) Run a command line similar to the following to display the license information for the installed, active Windows edition:

cscript slmgr.vbs /dli

5) Using DNS Manager, in the appropriate forward lookup zone, delete the _vlmcs SRV records that exist for each machine which is not to serve as a Windows KMS host.
6) See the following articles for additional information:

Slmgr.vbs Options
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793433.aspx

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Customer Hosted Volume Activation Guide / Deploying KMS Activation
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793409.aspx

Unintentional creation of an Office KMS host is less common, because setting up an Office KMS requires a specific product key and the installation of the Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack.

To determine whether a machine has the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack installed and is an active Office KMS host, run a command line similar to the following:

cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv bfe7a195-4f8f-4f0b-a622-cf13c7d16864

The output of a machine which has the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack installed will resemble the following. Key items are “Partial Product Key: GB7AH” and “License Status: Licensed“, which indicate that the Office 2010 KMS host key is successfully installed and activated.

Name: Microsoft Office 2010, KMSHost edition
Description: Microsoft Office 2010 KMS, VOLUME_KMS channel
Activation ID: bfe7a195-4f8f-4f0b-a622-cf13c7d16864
Application ID: 59a52881-a989-479d-af46-f275c6370663
Extended PID: 55041-00096-199-000004-03-1033-7600.0000-3632009
Installation ID: 008523674214771124199799184000850026888810090415321136
Processor Certificate URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=88342
Machine Certificate URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=88343
Use License URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=88345
Product Key Certificate URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=88344
Partial Product Key: GB7AH
License Status: Licensed
Remaining Windows rearm count: 1
Trusted time: 10/16/2011 2:07:42 PMKey Management Service is enabled on this computer
Current count: 0
Listening on Port: 1688
DNS publishing enabled
KMS priority: Normal

Perform the following steps to remove an Office KMS host in your environment:

1) Open an elevated command prompt.
2) Run a command similar to the following:

cscript slmgr.vbs /upk bfe7a195-4f8f-4f0b-a622-cf13c7d16864

 CAUTION: If the above command line is run without the Office activation ID (“bfe7a195-4f8f-4f0b-a622-cf13c7d16864”), all installed product keys are uninstalled, including those for Windows.

3) Run following command line again, to check the status of the Office KMS host:

cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv bfe7a195-4f8f-4f0b-a622-cf13c7d16864

4) If the Office KMS host product key has been removed, the output will be similar to that below. Key items are “This license is not in use” and “License Status: Unlicensed“.

Name: Microsoft Office 2010, KMSHost edition
Description: Microsoft Office 2010 KMS, VOLUME_KMS channel
Activation ID: bfe7a195-4f8f-4f0b-a622-cf13c7d16864
Application ID: 59a52881-a989-479d-af46-f275c6370663
Extended PID:
Installation ID:
Processor Certificate URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88342
Machine Certificate URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88343
Use License URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88345
Product Key Certificate URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88344
This license is not in use.
License Status: Unlicensed
Remaining Windows rearm count: 1
Trusted time: 8/16/2011 7:49:23 AM

5) Using DNS Manager, in the appropriate forward lookup zone, delete the _vlmcs SRV records that exist for each machine which is not to serve as an Office KMS host.
6) See the following articles for additional information:

Deploy volume activation of Office 2010
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624357.aspx

Troubleshoot volume activation for Office 2010
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624355.aspx

Source Office IT Blog: Migrate an Office 2013 KMS host from the command line or the UI

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// ]]>// // // // // // Migrate an Office 2013 KMS host from the command line or the UI – Office IT Pro Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

You can find the basics for Office KMS host migration at  Migrate an Office 2010 KMS host. For Office 2013, there is a new Microsoft Office 2013
KMS Host License Pack
and activation ID. And if the migrated Office 2013 KMS host will be running on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, you can also set
up and activate the KMS host by using the Windows UI.To migrate an Office 2013 KMS host

1. Uninstall the Office 2013 KMS host key by running the following command:

cscript C:windowssystem32slmgr.vbs /upk 2E28138A-847F-42BC-9752-61B03FFF33CD

2. Delete the record from the Domain Name System (DNS):

a. Open the DNS console.

b. Expand the _tcp node under domain.com.

c. Delete the _VLMCS record.

After you do this, the Office 2013 KMS host is uninstalled.

3. On the Microsoft Office 2013 KMS Host License Pack website, download and then run office2013volumelicensepack_en-us_x86.exe on the new server.
You are then prompted to enter the product key, and the Office 2013 KMS host will try to become activated. If the activation fails, do the following:

a. On the new server, re-install the product key for the Office 2013 KMS host by running the following command from an elevated prompt:
cscript C:windowssystem32slmgr.vbs /ipk [ProductKey]

b. Activate the Office 2013 KMS host by running the following command from an elevated prompt:
cscript C:windowssystem32slmgr.vbs /ato 2E28138A-847F-42BC-9752-61B03FFF33CD

Note: For a complete list of slmgr.vbs commands for Office KMS host activation, see Prepare and configure the Office KMS host.

4. After activation is complete, restart the Software Licensing Service and verify in the DNS that the record is created for the new KMS host server. For more information about how to configure DNS for the KMS host, see Understanding KMS.

5. To verify that the Office 2013 KMS host is configured correctly, check the KMS activation request count to see whether it is increasing. On the KMS host,
the current count is displayed when you run the following command:
cscript C:windowssystem32slmgr.vbs /dlv 2E28138A-847F-42BC-9752-61B03FFF33CD

You can also check the Key Management Service log in the Applications and Services Logs folder, which is where activation requests from KMS clients are recorded, for the 12290 events. Each event displays the name of the computer and the time-stamp of the activation request.

To activate an Office 2013 KMS host that is running on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, you can also use the Windows UI. For more information, see Volume activation methods in Office 2013 and Volume Activation Overview.

 

View Licensing Status and Activation ID of your Windows OS with slmgr.vbs

Source: TheWindowsClub.com written by

Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.

RECOMMENDED: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

Windows Software Licensing Management Tool, slmgr.vbs is a command line licensing tool. It is a visual basic script used to configure licensing in Windows and also helps you see the licensing status of your Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation.

Activation is the initial process by which a Windows running on a PC is determined to be properly licensed and genuine, and it’s really quick and easy. It is different from Registration, in the sense that, Activation is the process of ensuring that your copy of Windows is used according to the Microsoft Software License Terms, whereas registration is the process of entering information to sign up for product support, tools and tips, and other product benefits.

View Licensing Status & Activation ID

To see the licensing status of your Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation, open the Run box, type the following and hit Enter:

slmgr.vbs /dlv

The following dialog box will appear.

To get all the Activation IDs for the installed version of Windows, open the Run box, type the following and hit Enter:

slmgr.vbs /dlv al

Because of WMI changes in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the Slmgr.vbs script is not intended to work across platforms. Using Slmgr.vbs to manage a Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 system from the Windows Vista operating system is not supported.

If you are looking for more Slmgr.vbs Options visit TechNet.

Troubleshooting Windows 7 Activation States may also interest you!

Go here to find out how to check the activation status & type of Microsoft Office.

Related Posts:

 

Error Codes:

Source: Microsoft Website

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Table 10 provides troubleshooting help for problems that occur when activating volume editions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

Table 10. Error codes and descriptions

Error code Error message Activation type Possible cause Troubleshooting steps
0xC004C001 The activation server determined the specified product key is invalid MAK An invalid MAK was entered. Verify that the key is the MAK provided by Microsoft.Contact the Microsoft Activation Call Center to verify that the MAK is valid.
0xC004C003 The activation server determined the specified product key has been blocked MAK The MAK is blocked on the activation server. Contact the Microsoft Activation Call Center to obtain a new MAK and install/activate the system.
0xC004C008 The activation server reported that the product key has exceeded its unlock limit. KMS The KMS key has exceeded the activation limit. KMS host keys will activate up to 10 times on six different computers. If more activations are necessary, contact the Microsoft Activation Call Center.
0xC004C020 The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key has exceeded its limit. MAK The MAK has exceeded the activation limit. MAKs by design have a limited number of activations. Contact the Microsoft Activation Call Center.
0xC004C021 The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key extension limit has been exceeded. MAK The MAK has exceeded the activation limit. MAKs by design have a limited number of activations. Contact the Microsoft Activation Call Center.
0xC004F009 The Software Protection Service reported that the grace period expired. MAK The grace period expired before the system was activated. Now, the system is in the Notifications state. See the section “User Experience.”
0xC004F00F The Software Licensing Server reported that the hardware ID binding is beyond level the of tolerance. MAK/KMS client/KMS host The hardware has changed or the drivers were updated on the system. MAK: Reactivate the system during the OOT grace period using either online or phone activation.KMS: Restart, or run slmgr.vbs /ato.
0xC004F014 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is not available MAK/KMS client No product keys are installed on the system. Install a MAK product key, or install a KMS Setup key found in sourcesProduct.ini on the installation media.
0xC004F02C The Software Protection Service reported that the format for the offline activation data is incorrect. MAK/KMS client The system has detected that the data entered during phone activation is not valid. Verify that the CID is correctly entered.
0xC004F038 The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The count reported by your Key Management Service (KMS) is insufficient. Please contact your system administrator. KMS client The count on the KMS host is not high enough. The KMS count must be ≥5 for Windows Server or ≥25 for Windows client. More computers are needed in the KMS pool for KMS clients to activate. Run Slmgr.vbs /dli to get the current count on the KMS host.
0xC004F039 The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The Key Management Service (KMS) is not enabled. KMS client This error occurs when a KMS request is not answered. Troubleshoot the network connection between the KMS host and the client. Make sure that TCP port 1688 (default) is not blocked by a firewall or otherwise filtered.
0xC004F041 The Software Licensing Service determined that the Key Management Service (KMS) is not activated. KMS needs to be activated. Please contact system administrator. KMS client The KMS host is not activated. Activate the KMS host with either online or phone activation.
0xC004F042 The Software Protection Service determined that the specified Key Management Service (KMS) cannot be used. KMS client Mismatch between the KMS client and the KMS host. This error occurs when a KMS client contacts a KMS host that cannot activate the client software. This can be common in mixed environments that contain application and operating system-specific KMS hosts, for example.
0xC004F050 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is invalid. KMS, KMS client, MAK This can be caused by a typo in the KMS key or by typing in a Beta key on a Released version of the operating system. Install the appropriate KMS key on the corresponding version of Windows. Check the spelling. If the key is being copied and pasted, make sure that em dashes have not been substituted for the dashes in the key.
0xC004F051 The Software Protection Service reported that the product key is blocked. MAK/KMS The product key on the activation server is blocked by Microsoft. Obtain a new MAK/KMS key, install it on the system, and activate.
0xC004F074 The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted. Please see the Application Event Log for additional information. KMS Client All KMS host systems  returned an error. Troubleshoot errors from each event ID 12288 associated with the activation attempt.
0xC004F06C The Software Protection Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The Key Management Service (KMS) determined that the request timestamp is invalid. KMS client The system time on the client computer is too different from the time on the KMS host. Time sync is important to system and network security for a variety of reasons. Fix this issue by changing the system time on the client to sync with the KMS. Use of a Network Time Protocol (NTP) time source or Active Directory Domain Services for time synchronization is recommended. This issue uses UTP time and is independent of Time Zone selection.
0x80070005 Access denied. The requested action requires elevated privileges. KMS client/MAK/KMS host User Account Control (UAC) prohibits activation processes from running in a non-elevated command prompt. Run slmgr.vbs from an elevated command prompt. Right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as Administrator.
0x8007232A DNS server failure. KMS host The system has network or DNS issues. Troubleshoot network and DNS.
0x8007232B DNS name does not exist. KMS client The KMS client cannot find KMS SRV RRs in DNS.If a KMS host does not exist on the network, a MAK should be installed. Confirm that a KMS host has been installed and DNS publishing is enabled (default).If DNS is unavailable, point the KMS client to the KMS host by using slmgr.vbs /skms <kms_host_name>.

Optionally, obtain and install a MAK; then, activate the system.

Finally, troubleshoot DNS.

0x800706BA The RPC server is unavailable. KMS client Firewall settings are not configured on the KMS host, or DNS SRV records are stale. Ensure the Key Management Service firewall exception is enabled on the KMS host computer.Ensure that SRV records point to a valid KMS host.

Troubleshoot network connections.

0x8007251D No records found for given DNS query. KMS client The KMS client cannot find KMS SRV RRs in DNS. Troubleshoot network connections and DNS.

See also

 

 

WMI Properties and Methods for Volume Activation

Source: Microsoft Website

Published: October 18, 2013

Updated: October 18, 2013

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Table 12 lists WMI properties and methods for the Software Protection Platform. Software Protection Platform properties are defined in the file %WinDir%System32wbemsppwmi.mof.

Table 12. Software protection platform WMI properties and methods

//properties SoftwareLicensingService Class
Version Version of the Software Protection Service
KeyManagementServiceMachine The name of the KMS host. Returns null if SetKeyManagementServiceMachine has not been called.
KeyManagementServicePort The TCP port used by clients to send KMS activation requests. Returns 0 if SetKeyManagementServicePort has not been called.
IsKeyManagementServiceMachine Indicates whether KMS is enabled on the computer: 0 if false, 1 if true.
VLActivationInterval The frequency, in minutes, of how often a client will contact the KMS host before the client is licensed.
VLRenewalInterval The frequency, in minutes, of how often a client will contact the KMS host after the client is licensed.
KeyManagementServiceCurrentCount The count of currently active KMS clients on the KMS host. -1 indicates that the host is not enabled as a KMS or has not received any client licensing requests.
RequiredClientCount The minimum number of clients required to connect to a KMS host in order to enable Volume Licensing.
PolicyCacheRefreshRequired Indicates whether the licensing policy cache needs to be updated: 0=not required, 1=Refresh required.
ClientMachineID The globally unique identifier (GUID) that identifies a KMS client to a KMS host. The client includes this in requests it sends to the KMS.
RemainingWindowsReArmCount Remaining number of times the client can be rearmed successfully.
KeyManagementServiceListeningPort The TCP port the KMS host uses to listen for activation requests.
KeyManagementServiceDnsPublishing Indicates the DNS publishing status of a KMS host: 0=Disabled, 1=Auto-publish enabled (default).
KeyManagementServiceLowPriority Indicates the thread priority status of KMS service: 0=Normal Priority (default), 1=Low priority.
KeyManagementServiceHostCaching Indicates the caching status of KMS host name and port: 0=Caching disabled, 1=Caching enabled (default).
KeyManagementServiceUnlicensedRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=0 (Unlicensed).
KeyManagementServiceLicensedRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=1 (Licensed).
KeyManagementServiceOOBGraceRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=2 (OOBGrace).
KeyManagementServiceOOTGraceRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=3 (OOTGrace).
KeyManagementServiceNonGenuineGraceRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=4 (NonGenuineGrace).
KeyManagementServiceNotificationRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=5 (Notification).
KeyManagementServiceTotalRequests The total count of valid KMS requests.
KeyManagementServiceFailedRequests The count of invalid KMS requests.
KeyManagementServiceActivationDisabled Indicates whether the volume activation through KMS is disabled.
//methods SoftwareLicensingService Class
InstallProductKey Installs a product key.
InstallLicense Installs a license.
InstallLicensePackage Installs a license package for the current product.
SetKeyManagementServiceMachine Sets the KMS host name to use for volume activation.
ClearKeyManagementServiceMachine Clears any previously configured KMS host name.
SetKeyManagementServicePort Sets the TCP port used by a client to make requests of a KMS host. If not specified, port 1688 is used.
ClearKeyManagementServicePort Clears any previously specified port number.
SetVLActivationInterval The activation frequency, in minutes, of how often KMS clients will contact the KMS host before they become licensed. The frequency must be ≥15 and ≤43,200. An error is returned if the method is called and the computer is not a KMS.
SetVLRenewalInterval The renewal frequency, in minutes, of how often KMS clients will contact the KMS host after they have become licensed. The frequency must be ≥15 and ≤43,200. An error is returned if the method is called and the computer is not a KMS.
ClearProductKeyFromRegistry Clears product key from the registry.
AcquireGenuineTicket Perform online Genuine Validation. Calling this method may change the Genuine status of the computer.
ReArmWindows Resets the licensing status of the computer to OOB Grace (see LicenseStatus).

Note
You must restart the client for the changes to take effect.
RefreshLicenseStatus Updates the licensing status of Windows so that applications have access to current licensing information.
SetKeyManagementServiceListeningPort Sets the TCP port used by a KMS host to listen for activation requests. Applies to KMS hosts only. If not specified, port 1688 is used.
ClearKeyManagementServiceListeningPort Clears any previously specified listening port. Applies to KMS hosts only.
DisableKeyManagementServiceDnsPublishing Enable/disable DNS Publishing on a KMS host computer: 0=Enable, 1=Disable.
EnableKeyManagementServiceLowPriority Enable/disable KMS service running with low priority: 0=Disable, 1=Enable.
DisableKeyManagementServiceHostCaching Enable/disable the caching of the KMS host name and port on a volume activation client computer: 0=Enable, 1=Disable.
DisableKeyManagementServiceActivation Enable/disable volume activation through a KMS computer: 0=Enable, 1=Disable.
DiscoveredKeyManagementServiceMachineName Last discovered KMS host name through DNS.
DiscoveredKeyManagementServiceMachinePort Last discovered KMS host port through DNS.
GenerateActiveDirectoryOfflineActivationId Generates an installation ID for use in Active Directory activation using the specified product key.
DepositActiveDirectoryOfflineActivationConfirmation Processes an installation ID, a confirmation ID, and ActivationObjectName to generate and publish the activation object in Active Directory.
DoActiveDirectoryOnlineActivation Performs online activation of Active Directory using a specified product key.
SetVLActivationTypeEnabled Sets the activation method.
ClearVLActivationTypeEnabled Clears previously specified activation method.
//properties SoftwareLicensingProduct Class
ID Product identifier
Name Product name
Description Product description
ApplicationID ID of current product’s application
ProcessorURL Software licensing server URL for the process certificate
MachineURL Software licensing server URL for the binding certificate
ProductKeyURL Software licensing server URL for the product certificate
UseLicenseURL Software licensing server URL for the user license
LicenseStatus License status of this product’s application:0=Unlicensed,

1=Licensed,

2=OOBGrace,

3=OOTGrace,

4=NonGenuineGrace,

5=Notification,

6=ExtendedGrace

LicenseStatusReason A diagnostic code that indicates why a computer is in a specific licensing state.
GracePeriodRemaining Remaining time in minutes before the parent application goes into Notification mode. For volume clients, this is the remaining time before reactivation is required.
EvaluationEndDate The expiration date of this product’s application. After this date, the LicenseStatus will be Unlicensed and cannot be activated.
OfflineInstallationId An identifier for this product’s application that can be used for telephone or offline activation. Returns null if a product key is not installed.
PartialProductKey Last five characters of this product’s key. Returns null if a product key is not installed.
ProductKeyID Product key ID. Returns null if a product key is not installed.
LicenseFamily The family identifier for the SKU used to determine license relationships for add-ons.
LicenseDependsOn The dependency identifier for the family of SKUs used to determine license relationships for add-ons.
LicenseIsAddon Returns True if the product is identified as an add-on license.
VLActivationInterval The frequency, in minutes, of how often a client will contact the KMS host before the product is licensed.
VLRenewalInterval The frequency, in minutes, of how often a client will contact the KMS host after the product is licensed.
KeyManagementServiceProductKeyID KMS product key ID. Returns null if not applicable.
KeyManagementServiceMachine The name of the KMS host. Returns null if SetKeyManagementServiceMachine has not been called.
KeyManagementServicePort The TCP port used by clients to send KMS activation requests. Returns 0 if SetKeyManagementServicePort has not been called.
DiscoveredKeyManagementServiceMachineName Last discovered KMS host name through DNS.
DiscoveredKeyManagementServiceMachinePort Last discovered KMS host port through DNS.
IsKeyManagementServiceMachine Indicates if KMS is enabled on the computer: 1 if true, 0 if false.
KeyManagementServiceCurrentCount The count of currently active KMS clients on the KMS host. -1 indicates that the computer is not enabled as a KMS or has not received any client licensing requests.
RequiredClientCount The minimum number of clients required to connect to a KMS host in order to enable Volume Licensing.
KeyManagementServiceUnlicensedRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=0 (Unlicensed).
KeyManagementServiceLicensedRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=1 (Licensed).
KeyManagementServiceOOBGraceRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=2 (OOBGrace).
KeyManagementServiceOOTGraceRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=3 (OOTGrace).
KeyManagementServiceNonGenuineGraceRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=4 (NonGenuineGrace).
KeyManagementServiceTotalRequests The total count of valid KMS requests.
KeyManagementServiceFailedRequests The count of failed KMS requests.
KeyManagementServiceNotificationRequests The count of KMS requests from clients with License Status=5 (Notification).
GenuineStatus Genuine status for this product’s application.
ExtendedGrace Extended grace time in minutes before the parent application becomes unlicensed.
TrustedTime Displays the currently stored trusted time in the system.
DisableKeyManagementServiceHostCaching Enable/disable the caching of the KMS host name and port on a volume activation client computer: 0=Enable, 1=Disable.
VLActivationType Defines the activation type used for the last successful client activation: 1=Active Directory, 2=KMS, 3=Token. If blank, the client was never activated.
VLActivationTypeEnabled Activation type configured for the volume licensing client: 1=Active Directory, 2=KMS, 3=Token. If blank or 0, all activation types are configured.
ADActivationObjectName Name of the activation object used for the last Active Directory activation.
ADActivationObjectDN The fully qualified distinguished name of the activation object used for the last Active Directory activation.
ADActivationCsvlkPid The CSVLK PID that is in the activation object used for the last Active Directory activation.
ADActivationCsvlkSkuId The CSVLK SKU ID that is in the activation object used for the last Active Directory activation.
// methods SoftwareLicensingProduct Class
UninstallProductKey Uninstalls a product key for the current product.
Activate Activates the current product.
DepositOfflineConfirmationId Activates a product by depositing an Offline Confirmation Identifier for this product when performing telephone or offline activation.
GetPolicyInformationDWord Gets license policy information of type DWORD.
GetPolicyInformationString Gets policy information of type string.
SetKeyManagementServiceMachine Sets the KMS host name to use for volume activation.
ClearKeyManagementServiceMachine Clears any previously configured KMS host name.
SetKeyManagementServicePort Sets the TCP port used by a client to make requests of a KMS host. If not specified, port 1688 is used.
ClearKeyManagementServicePort Clears any previously specified port number.
SetVLActivationTypeEnabled Sets the configured activation method for the volume licensing client.
ClearVLActivationTypeEnabled Clears any previously specified activation method configured for the volume licensing client.

See also

 

KMS Activation Timing and Discovery for Volume Activation

Source: Microsoft website

Published: October 18, 2013

Updated: October 18, 2013

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

On this page

KMS activation timing

KMS activation timing is controlled by two settings: the Activation and Renewal timers:

  • The KMS Activation Interval determines how often the KMS client attempts activation before it is activated. This value is set on the client by running slmgr.vbs /sai . See the sections “Slmgr.vbs Options” and “Registry Settings” for more information. Once a system contacts a KMS host, the KMS host setting will override the local client setting.
  • The KMS Renewal Interval determines how often the KMS client attempts reactivation with KMS, once it has been activated. This value can be set using slmgr /sri interval. The interval is set in minutes. The default value is 10,080 minutes (7 days). This value can be set on the client but will be overridden by the value that the KMS host provides.

In operation, the KMS client attempts to contact a KMS host on startup and again every Activation Interval minutes upon failure. By default, this happens every two hours. When KMS activation succeeds, the client receives and stores the KMS host’s Renewal Interval, and Windows activates for 180 days. Activation renewal operates as a sliding window, similar to a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) lease. The client is activated for 180 days but still attempts reactivation every Renewal Interval minutes—by default, 7 days. If it succeeds, the 180-day period is reset. If it fails, the system will watch for network changes or other qualifying events to trigger another attempt. After 15 minutes, the system stops monitoring for qualifying events but still attempts every Activation Interval minutes.

KMS discovery search order

When KMS auto-discovery is enabled (default) and KMS host caching is not disabled, KMS clients will use the following order to determine which KMS to use (they will try each step until an activated KMS host with the correct key responds):

  • SKU-specific value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSoftwareProtectionPlatformAppIDSKUIDKeyManagementServiceName REG_SZ registry value
  • AppID-specific value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSoftwareProtectionPlatformAppIDKeyManagementServiceName REG_SZ registry value
  • Global value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSoftwareProtectionPlatformKeyManagementServiceName REG_SZ registry value
  • SKU-specific cached KMS host (This is the cached identity of the host used in the last successful KMS activation.)
  • DNS auto-discovery (weight and priority honored)

If a cached KMS does not respond, discovery is performed.

See also

Activation Policy Values for Volume Activation// // // // // // //

Activation Policy Values for Volume Activation

Published: October 18, 2013

Updated: October 18, 2013

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Table 8 lists policy values for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Table 8. Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 policy values

Element Client value Server value Range
Rearm limit 1000 1000 Not configurable
KMS Client Count Threshold 25 5 Not configurable
KMS Activation duration 180 days 180 days Not configurable
KMS host listening port 1688 1688 Any open TCP port
OOB Grace Not available Not available Not configurable
OOT Grace Not available Not available Not configurable
KMS client reactivation (in minutes) 10,080 minutes(7 days—default) 10,080 minutes(7 days—default) 15–43,200 minutes(30 days—default)
Silent KMS retry interval—occurs on KMS activation failure 120 minutes 120 minutes 15–43,200 minutes(120 minutes—default)

Registry Settings for Volume Activation

Source: Microsoft Website

Published: October 18, 2013

Updated: October 18, 2013

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Registry settings

Table 3 describes the registry settings that Volume Activation supports.

Table 3. Registry settings

Value Type Description Scope
Registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSoftwareProtectionPlatform
ActivationAlternateURL REG_SZ Optionally contains an administrator-provided URL. If this key is populated, some activation dialog boxes will include a new link — Learn About Activation Online — that opens in the default browser. All
DisableDnsPublishing REG_DWORD Set this to a non-zero value to block auto-publishing to DNS by the KMS host. KMS
DnsDomainPublishList REG_MULTI_SZ Format: domain_name, <priority>, <weight>Optionally contains a list of fully qualified domains that KMS uses to auto-publish its DNS service (SRV) record. The KMS home domain is always used, so it is not necessary to include it here. This depends on the DisableDnsPublishing value.

The priority and weight parameters are optional. If not supplied, these are set to 0 in the SRV record.

KMS
EnableKmsLowPriority REG_DWORD Set this to a non-zero value to minimize contention from KMS in a co-hosted environment. Note that on a busy system, this can prevent the KMS host from maintaining a sufficient count. KMS
KeyManagementServiceListeningPort REG_SZ Set this on the KMS host to force KMS to listen on the TCP port specified. The host uses TCP port 1688 if this value is not specified. KMS
KeyManagementServiceName REG_SZ Set this value to force the use of a specific KMS host by the KMS client. No default.If you specify both App-ID and SKU-ID, this is created in a subkey under which the value is stored:..SoftwareProtectionPlatformAPPID_GUIDSKUID_GUID KeyManagementServiceName

If you specify only App-ID, SKU-ID is not allowed, and the resulting key is: ..SoftwareProtectionAPPID_GUID KeyManagementServiceName

If you specify neither App-ID nor SKU-ID, the resulting key is: ..SoftwareProtectionPlatform

KMS client
KeyManagementServicePort REG_SZ Set this to force the use of a specific TCP port by the KMS client when it communicates with a KMS. The client uses port 1688 if this value is not specified. KMS client
KeyManagementServiceVersion REG_SZ Set this for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 automatic discovery of the KMS. Delete this value if the KMS is no longer functional on the computer. KMS
UserOperations REG_DWORD This value does not exist by default, and the default is 0, which requires elevation. Create this value and set it to 1 to enable standard users to install product keys and activate and rearm computers without requiring elevation.This setting can also be configured by GPOs, which are stored under the policies registry subkey. All (not just KMS)
VLActivationInterval REG_DWORD This is set initially on both KMS server and client sides. The default is 120 minutes (2 hours). The KMS client initially picks up this interval from the registry but switches to the KMS setting after it receives the first KMS response. The minimum value is 15 minutes, and the maximum is 43,200 minutes (30 days). KMS Client and Server
VLRenewalInterval REG_DWORD This is set initially on both KMS server and client sides. The default is 10,080 minutes (7 days). The KMS client initially picks up this interval from the registry but switches to the KMS setting after it receives the first KMS response. As a result, the client-side setting will never be used. The minimum value is 15 minutes, and the maximum is 43,200 minutes (30 days). KMS Client and Server
(APP-ID)(SKU-ID)VLActivationType REG_DWORD Limits the type of activation to a single type.1 = Active Directory activation only

2 = KMS activation only

3 = Token activation only

0, blank, or values other than 1-3 = all activation types allowed (default value)

[???]
Registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSoftwareProtectionPlatformActivation
Manual REG_DWORD 0 = Allow automatic online activation (default)1 = Disable auto-activation MAK and KMS host but not KMS client

See also

Source: WorkingHardInIT.Wordpress.com 

It’s a great day as Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 bits have gone GA (“General Availability”). So it’s of to the Volume License Servicing Center to get the bits and the keys.

Before we start the roll out we need to either bring up a Windows Server 2012 R2 (or Windows 8.1) KMS host or upgrade the existing one that runs Windows Server 2012 or lower. In this example our KMS Service is running on Windows Server 2008 R2 so we need to do a couple of things.

Install the following update: KB 2885698: Update adds support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 clients to Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 KMS hosts (see Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows 8.1 KMS Service Activation).  If you don’t install this hotfix registering a Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS key will throw an error:

0xc004f015: The Software Licensing Service reported that the license is not installed.
SL_E_PRODUCT_SKU_NOT_INSTALLED

So grab the hotfix and install it from an elevated command prompt. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine .

Once you’ve clicked “Yes” the installation will start

When the installation has finished you will be asked to restart the server. You need to do so. Just restarting the KMS service (“net stop sppsvc” and “net start sppsvc“) doesn’t seem to suffice.

When your server comes back up you’ll be ready to install and activate the Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS key.

First we take a look at the current situation:

slmgr.vbs /dlv => clearly the Windows 2012 KMS key

Uninstall the current KMS key using slmgr.vbs /upk, please use an elevated command prompt

Now you can install the new Windows 2012 R2 KMS key. If you run in to any issues here, restarting the KMS Service can help ((“net stop sppsvc” and “net start sppsvc“) . Try that first.

slmgr.vbs /ipk xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx

Be patient, it’s not instantaneous.

The key listed here is for all you wannabe pirates out there, sorry, this is the navy. If you’re, looking for illegal keys, cracks, keygens, activators or dodgy KMS virtual machine for Windows 8.1 activation and such this is not the place.

You now need to activate your brand new KMS key running slmgr.vbs /ato

Show what’s up and running now by running slmgr.vbs /dlv again and as you can see we’re in business to activate all our Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 hosts. I’m happy to report that our users will be enjoying Windows 8.1 on the clients in 2014 & the infrastructure in the data center will be benefiting from the goodness Windows Server 2012 R2 brings.

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