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shinedog (MIS)
15 Jan 09 10:45
I just installed my first Windows 2008 server using a MAK license key (we have 500 uses of this license).  By default, the OS is set for auto activation after 3 days even though the grace period is set to 60 days.  What I am assuming this means is that after 3 days, it is going to attempt to connect to Microsoft and auto activate this server and decrement my license count down 1.  Is that correct?

This is just a test server that I built in order to configure our unattended/sysprep installs and it will be tore down within the 60 days grace period.  How can I disable the 3 days auto activation?  I know there is an option within Sysprep that allows for this, SkipAutoActivation within the Microsoft-Windows-Security-Licensing-SLC-UX component.  But how do I do that post-install?  I've tried searching around for this but its hard to find anything when 90% of any search results for Windows Activation result in hacks/cracks to disable it which is obviously not what I want.

Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!
baddos (MIS)
15 Jan 09 12:25
Simple, install windows without entering a product key. That will put it in the temporary state.
shinedog (MIS)
15 Jan 09 16:10
I did install it without entering a product key.  I actually found the solution to my problem.  When you run a default install of Windows 2008, it defaults to a KMS-based installation and what it will attempt to auto activate off of is a Key Management Server, not the Microsoft key management servers.  I actually didn't install using a MAK key like I thought as it didn't actually ever ask me for a serial key.  Anyway, to disable the auto activation key after Windows is installed, you just need to change the following registry key:

Disable automatic activation
Automatic Activation can be disabled using this registry setting.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL\Activation
Create or modify a DWORD value named Manual and set the value data to 1

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