Archive for April, 2011

Migrations ,what an interesting topic each and every one of us will do it eventually , currently I am working on several projects (secure endpoint) ,a part of this projects is windows7, this post series will help anyone interested in migration to windows 7 , in easy steps .

So the first part of this series is the assessment

This part is one of the important parts because if you don’t know what you have, you will not know how to fix it. We will be using a several tools to do our migrations

we will be using one server 2 GB  Ram and 160GB disk space throughout this series

The Assessment Tools

Microsoft® Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT)

The Microsoft® Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.6 enables software developers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and IT professionals who work in a corporate environment to determine, before deployment within the organization, whether their applications are compatible with a new version of the Windows® operating system. ACT also enables such individuals to determine how an update to the new version will affect their applications.

You can use the ACT features to:

  • Verify your application’s, device’s, and computer’s compatibility with a new version of the Windows operating system, including determining your risk assessment.
  • Verify a Windows update’s compatibility, including determining your risk assessment.
  • Become involved in the ACT Community, including sharing your application assessment with other ACT users.
  • Test your applications for issues related to User Account Control (UAC) by using the Standard User Analyzer (SUA) tool.
  • Test your Web applications and Web sites for compatibility with new releases and security updates to Internet Explorer®, by using the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool.

For better understanding of Application compatibility please visit

You Can download ACT from


· Dot net 3.5.1


· Install SQL 2008R2 Express

You can download it from






Making Basic configuration Enable TCP/IP and Named pipes


1.1.2. Installing ACT 5.6





Type in the server name and the name of the database (the database can be anything)


Set a folder that will receive the logs from the clients




Staring the management console and creating a data collector


The Label will be used if you want to create more than one package for each department and later you need to filter based on that .


Saving the created package



Creating a GPO to auto install that package over our environment

First we place the package inside a share that all clients can access with read only


Create GPO that apply to windows XP only

We create a GPO with WMI filter attached (we don’t need to install the package on windows 2003 or any other version of windows)

Windows versions for you reference

  • · Windows 2000 Server =5.0%
  • · Windows 2000 WS =5.0%
  • · Windows server 2003 =5.2%
  • · Windows XP =5.1%
  • · Windows server 2008=6.0%
  • · Windows Vista = 6.0%
  • · Windows server 2008 R2 =6.1%
  • · Windows 7=6.1%

As you see in the above versions it only different in windows 2003 and xp the rest Is the same

So to hit another OS we will need to add ProductType =/<> "1" in the WMI statement


  • · OS Windows 2008 server

SELECT * FROM Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version = "6.0%" and ProductType <> "1"

  • · OS Windows Vista

SELECT * FROM Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version = "6.0%" and ProductType = "1"

To explore the WMI we download a tool called WMI explorer

You can download it from


We create a WMI filter in the GPO with our select statement


Next step we import the ACT MSI file to the GPO software installation section


We change the WMI filtering to the ACT filter (windows XP )


Now every XP machine that will restart will install our collector package

Note: it might take several restarts for the package to be distributed properly


Note before you start you need only one KMS host in your organization .so don’t start entering KMS keys in all of your servers .I have seen this happen once and caused a lot of issues .having the KMS Host is the same as having windows XP old VLK key .its unlimited .this does not mean you don’t have to buy each and every windows you have . but in a lot of scenarios this will help you .KMS is your friend Smile


What is KMS ?

Key Management Service (KMS) uses a KMS key to establish an activation service that is hosted locally in your environment. The KMS key is used only to activate a computer that you designate as the KMS host to enable KMS. After the service is established, your Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 systems can activate by connecting to the KMS host.

No keys are used to activate the KMS client systems. Systems activated via KMS must reactivate at least once every six months by connecting to the KMS host. A minimum number of physical KMS client machines is required and must be maintained for activation of KMS clients to occur.

A KMS key can activate six KMS hosts(KMS Servers ) with up to 10 activations per host. Each host can activate an unlimited number of computers that are running Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Enterprise operating system, so you may need only a single KMS host. If you need more activations for your KMS key, you can call your Microsoft Activation Center to request an increase.

You must establish and maintain a minimum number of KMS client computers for activation to occur. You must have at least five (5) computers to activate Windows Server 2008 and at least twenty-five (25) computers to activate Windows Vista clients. Computers needed to meet the thresholds can be both physical and virtual.


What is MAK ?

A MAK is used for one-time activation of a computer with Microsoft’s hosted activation services. There are two ways to activate computers using a MAK.

  • MAK Independent activation requires each computer to independently connect and activate with Microsoft, either over the Internet or by telephone.
  • With MAK Proxy Activation, a computer acting as the MAK proxy gathers activation information from multiple computers on the network and then sends a centralized activation request to Microsoft’s hosted activation services on their behalf. A free application, the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT), enables you to do a MAK Proxy Activation.


1. What is Volume Activation Management Tool VAMT?

The Volume Activation Management Tool, or VAMT, is a free Microsoft tool to help administrators perform many tasks related to Windows product activation, using a single tool.

VAMT 1.2 released as part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK), supports Windows Vista and later, and Windows Server 2008 and later. VAMT 1.2 can perform activations with a Multiple Activation Key (MAK), and enables Key Management Service (KMS) client activations.[1]

VAMT 2.0 includes several significant improvements over VAMT 1.2. It supports all of the above Windows operating systems plus Office 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010. VAMT 2.0 is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in for a consistent administration experience, and is available as a standalone download. This version additionally enables administrators to manage KMS host and retail keys and activations. Admins may optionally use a Command Line Interface to script VAMT tasks vs. using the interactive GUI.

This document explains VAMT 2.0 and its benefits in more detail. We use Windows systems as our focus, but all of the capabilities apply also to Office 2010 products.

Example of a screen shots


Volume Activation Timeline


Setting Up VAMT





Note: VAMT use WMI so don’t forget to add exception in the client firewall for that server

For more info please visit

Todd had wrote a great post on how to setup a KMS server I would like to share it with you

thanks Todd for the great post


Setting up a KMS Server

Windows 7 Volume licensing basically has three ways to activate, MAK, MAK proxy and KMS. The first two require a key and the proxy needs to use the Volume Activation Management Tool. I won’t get into MAK today, its is somewhat straight forward. If you need information, check out the information on MAK at TechNet,

What I want to talk about is KMS, Key Management Service. Setting one of these servers up is as easy as making Kraft Dinner. Yes, simple. In reading in the forums I see people having troubles getting one up and going. I’ll walk you through the easiest setup. This walkthrough isn’t meant for someone already using a KMS server for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.

If you want to activate Windows 7 clients, the simplest choice is install Windows Server 2008 R2. You can use Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 but you need to install an update. If you have Server 2008 R2, I recommend using it, its just the easiest thing to do. There is a hierarchy of how the setup works, will give you the low down.

For me, Windows Server 2008 R2 based KMS server made the most sense. The next step is to locate your KMS key for your volume activation. The key you are looking for, is the Windows Server 2008 Std/Ent KMS B (note the KMS B). image thumb Setting up a KMS Server

Instead of using the MAK key when you enter the key for activation, you will enter in your KMS.

image thumb1 Setting up a KMS Server

You will get an warning message that you are using a KMS key, like this.

image thumb2 Setting up a KMS Server

Click OK and you will have then made a KMS host machine. That is all there is to it. Some people get worried and think they have to add a Windows 7 key for the KMS host to accept Windows 7 clients. You don’t need to do that, at least I didn’t have to.

The other thing to remember is that in order for your server to activate computers, you must have at least 5 Servers checked in for server activation to occur or 25 Windows 7 or Vista machines checked in for client activation to occur. To check the status of the computers, I find the VAMT tool which comes with the WAIK works well.


Setting up an Office 2010 KMS Host Server

This morning was quiet in the office so I decided to tackle adding Office 2010 to my Microsoft Deployment Toolkit installation.

I’ll cover off how you do the add and the options in another post but in order to activate Office 2010, you have two options now; KMS or MAK. Microsoft has moved the licensing of Office to be like that of Windows 7. Makes plenty of sense, but how do you set up your infrastructure so you can activate Office 2010?

I already have a Windows 2008 R2 Server acting as my KMS Host for Windows activations so I used that server. Don’t have a KMS Host for activating Windows 7 or Vista yet, check my post on setting up a KMS Host Server. If you just want to use KMS for Office 2010, then that is fine too. You need to head to Microsoft Download Center and download Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host software. I chose to run it on my existing KMS Server, but if you don’t yet have a KMS Server, the machine you run this on will become your KMS Host for Office 2010.

image thumb Setting up an Office 2010 KMS Host Server

Accept the EULA and click continue and it will install.

image4 thumb Setting up an Office 2010 KMS Host Server

Once the file runs, it will ask you for you KMS Key for Office 2010.

image14 thumb Setting up an Office 2010 KMS Host Server

Click Yes and enter the key.

image20 thumb Setting up an Office 2010 KMS Host Server

It will then return whether it was successful or not.

image24 thumb Setting up an Office 2010 KMS Host Server

That is all there is to it.

Once you start installing Office 2010, the KMS activation key is already defaulted in the installation. The installation will search out your KMS host server. If everything is working properly on the DNS side, then it should activate and you will be off to the races.

If you get stuck, here are some other resources:

Microsoft Office Blog – Volume Activation Tips and Tricks

Volume Activation for Office 2010


additional information on activation can be found on