How to setup the Key Management Service on Windows Vista

This blog post outlines the process to setup the Key Management Service setup on a Windows Vista system. The Federal Vista Team would like to thank Joel Yoker for providing this content.

Those of you not familiar with the new Volume Activation 2.0 scenarios may want to read for some background on this technology.

1.       Install Windows Vista Enterprise VL (DO NOT ACTIVATE from the UI)

2.       Run the following command to install the product key

a.       cscript C:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ipk <Volume License Key>

3.       Run the following command to activate the product

a.       cscript C:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato

4.       Make the follwoing registry change

a.       Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL

b.      Value Name: DnsDomainPublishList

c.       Value Type: REG_MULTI_SZ

5.       Start and stop the Software Licensing service

a.       Net stop slsvc

b.      Net start slsvc

6.       Validate that all domains have registered the KSM DNS SRV record entry: _VLMCS._TCP.<domain>

a.       Check for the existence of the 12294 Application event log entry for both domains

b.      Validate the existence of the record in DNS.  E.g. –


> set type=srv


Server:  UnKnown

Address: SRV service location:

          priority       = 0

          weight         = 0

          port           = 1688

          svr hostname   = internet address =


7.       Validate by installing a client (requires 25)

8.       You can also check the KMS by running the following command:


>cscript \Windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -dlv


Software licensing service version: 6.0.6000.16386

Name: Windows(TM) Vista, Enterprise edition

Description: Windows Operating System – Vista, VOLUME_KMS channel

Activation ID: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx

Application ID: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx

Extended PID: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxx-xxxxxx-xx-xxxx-xxxx.xxxx-xxxxxxx

Installation ID: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Processor Certificate URL:

Machine Certificate URL:

Use License URL:

Product Key Certificate URL:

Partial Product Key: XXXXX

License Status: Licensed


Key Management Service is enabled on this machine

    Current count: 5

    Listening on Port: 1688

    DNS publishing enabled

    KMS priority: Normal


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