How to Setup A Windows 7 KMS Host for VMWARE View Desktops

Background:  I am in the midst of a VMWARE View desktop deployment, and through the process of testing and rolling out have used up one MAK key and am well on my way to a second.  I have a KMS Key available to me so I decided to use that instead, and well, it became quite a pain.

I setup a brand new Windows 7 VM called WIN7KMSHOST,with a  basic configuration (minus the floppy) with 1 CPU and 1 GB of RAM and joined it to the domain.  Disable UAC as well and I then followed the steps in this video, and have outlined them below as well:

  1. Open up a command prompt with administrator privileges and browse to the C:WindowsSystem32 directory.
  2. Enter the command:  cscript slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX where the X’s are your KMS key.
  3. When that finishes successfully enter the command:  cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv and you should see an output similar to the one shown in the video at the 2:09 mark.
  4. Next step is activation of the KMS host key, to do this run the command:  cscript slmgr.vbs /ato
  5. When that finishes successfully you will see an output similar to the one shown in the video at the 2:50 mark.
  6. If you have Windows Firewall enabled you will need to go into the settings and allow the Key Management Service through the domain firewall.  If you use another firewall, you will need to make sure that Port 1688 is open on the firewall.
  7. On your primary domain controller, go to DNS, Forward Lookup Zones, YourDomain.com, and then TCP and you should see an entry for _VLMCS with the name of your KMS Host machine.  This is shown at the 4:05 mark in the video.
  8. Final step is to install a KMS Key on the client.  If you have previously used a MAK key, or need to setup a KMS key, visit this link.  It contains the Windows 7 Client Keys you need to use for whatever version of Windows 7 you are running, along with what to do if you previously used a MAK key.
  9. Remember, you need to have 25 machines running KMS keys for them to activate on the KMS host for the first time.