What Is KMS?
KMS stands for Key Management Service. Some Microsoft products such as Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 series, Windows Server 2008 series and Windows Server 2012 series require activation. KMS is the default method to activate Windows, since the release of Microsoft Vista and Windows Server 2008. The KMS service allows Microsoft software purchased under a volume license agreement to be activated locally on campus without having to contact Microsoft.
NCSU’s KMS Service
Locating The KMS Service
There are 2 ways in which KMS clients (Windows 8.1 workstations, for example) can locate a KMS service:
- Auto Discovery: Client uses DNS to automatically locate the KMS service.
- Direct Registration: KMS service host and port are set in the registry. This can be done using a VBS script that is installed with Vista.
See the Troubleshooting KMS Activation page for more information.