Activate Windows-Computing Services - Carnegie Mellon University

Activate Windows

There are two methods for activating Windows products on Carnegie Mellon computers: Key Management Service (KMS) or Multiple Activation Keys (MAK).

Step 1: Choose the activation method

KMS Server for on-campus computers 

If you typically use your computer ON-CAMPUS, activate via our KMS server

  1. Connect to the campus network and install the Windows software. Windows will automatically activate via our Key Management Service (KMS) server.
  2. Connect your computer to the campus network once every 180 days, this includes general VPN, for the software to remain activated.

If KMS activation fails, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Command Prompt (see Command Prompt FAQ).
  2. Type CD \Windows\System32 at the prompt.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Type cscript slmgr.vbs /skms kms1.andrew.cmu.edu:1688 to specify the KMS host. 
  5. Type one of the following commands to specify the KMS client key manually:
    • Windows 7 Enterprise - cscript slmgr.vbs -ipk 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
    • Windows 8 Enterprise - cscript slmgr.vbs -ipk 32JNW-9KQ84-P47T8-D8GGY-CWCK7
    • Windows 8.1 Enterprise - cscript slmgr.vbs -ipk MHF9N-XY6XB-WVXMC-BTDCT-MKKG7
    • Windows 10 Enterprise - cscript slmgr.vbs -ipk NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43
  6. Type cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato to activate immediately.
  7. Type cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -dlv to confirm that the computer has received a full product activation key.

MAK Server for off-campus computers

If you travel or use your computer off-campus for extended periods, follow the MAK activation steps below. The computer will contact Microsoft to activate

  1. Install Windows on your computer. You will not be prompted for product key during installation.
  2. Click Start then right-click Computer and select Properties once installation completes.
  3. Click Continue through the warning message.
  4. Enter the MAK product key and click Next. Our campus MAK key is included on the software packaging. If the label is damaged or missing, contact software@andrew.cmu.edu.

Step 2: Verify activation

To verify the product activation:

  1. Click Start, then right-click Computer and select Properties.
  2. Scroll down to the Windows activation section.
  3. Verify that Windows is activated and displays the Genuine Microsoft Software logo.

Activate on your personal computer

If you purchased Windows from Computer Sales for personal use, the activation works the same as other software. Use the product activation key that is included in the packaging.