Activate a Device (Industry 8)

7/8/2014

Learn how to activate your Windows Embedded 8 Industry (Industry 8) device.

Activation is the process of registering Windows Embedded 8 Industry (Industry 8) with Microsoft to assure the product is genuine. Activation is used to do the following:

  • Reduce software piracy.
  • Protect the software industry, corporate intellectual property, software development investments, and product quality.
  • Ensure customers receive the product quality they expect.

Every device must be individually activated.

Dn195627.note(en-us,WinEmbedded.81).gifImportant:
All activation processes require that the device has write filters turned off. Activation will fail if any write filter is turned on.
By default, all devices must be activated. Depending on the type of product key used, you may be required to manually activate each device, or to create an automated script to activate each device after setup. If the device is connected to the Internet, you can enable the device to automatically activate over the Internet.

After a device has been activated, it will remain activated unless a significant hardware change triggers a need to reactivate the device, such as replacing the motherboard or upgrading the hard disk and memory at the same time. If you completely re-image the device, you may need to reactivate the device if the image was originally installed on different hardware or installed with a different product key.

Activation Process

The process of device activation encompasses the following steps:

  1. Obtain a product key and apply it to the device.
  2. Retrieve the licensing status information from the device.
  3. Send the licensing status information to Microsoft’s activation servers. You can send this information by using a direct Internet connection, by using a proxy activation tool to indirectly connect to the Internet, or by using a telephone if no Internet connection is available.
  4. Retrieve a confirmation ID from Microsoft’s activation servers.
  5. Apply the confirmation ID to your device. The device is now activated.

Activation Methods

The following methods can be used to activate your device, depending on your device’s network or internet connectivity:

Telephone activation

Telephone activation involves calling a Microsoft Product Activation Center, providing your information and your 63-digit installation ID, then using either SLMGR or SLUI to complete the activation with the confirmation ID provided by the Microsoft Product Activation Center.

The prerequisites for telephone activation are:

  • You have a telephone
  • Industry 8 is installed on your device
  • You have administrator user rights for your device
Proxy activation

Proxy activation involves using a Volume Activation Management 3.0 (VAMT 3.0) tool to proxy the activation process between a device on a private network and the Microsoft activation servers on the Internet.

The prerequisites for proxy activation are:

  • VAMT 3.0 host, which includes the following:
    • The Windows 8 Assessment and Deployment Kit is installed.
    • The VAMT 3.0 host has internet access.
    • The VAMT 3.0 host has private network connectivity.
  • The device to be activated contains the following:
    • Your device has been configured for WMI/PowerShell remote access. See Allow WMI/PowerShell Remote Access on a Device for more information.
    • Your device has private network connectivity.
    • You have an administrator account with a password for your device.
Direct internet activation

Direct internet activation involves either automatically or manually activating your device over the internet using one of several tool options.

The prerequisites for manual direct internet activation are:

  • Industry 8 is installed on your device.
  • Your device has a direct Internet connection.
  • You have administrator user rights on the device.

The prerequisites for automatic direct Internet activation after OOBE are:

  • Your device has a direct Internet connection.
  • Your device’s master image has been created with a valid product key.
  • You have administrator user rights to the master or reference image.

The prerequisites for using VAMT 3.0 to force a direct Internet activation are:

  • VAMT 3.0 host, which includes the following:
    • The Windows 8 Assessment and Deployment Kit is installed.
    • The VAMT 3.0 host has Internet access.
    • The VAMT 3.0 host has private network connectivity.
    • Windows Powershell 3.0 is installed on the VAMT 3.0 host.
  • The device to be activated contains the following:
    • Your device has been configured for WMI/PowerShell remote access. See Allow WMI/PowerShell Remote Access on a Device for more information.
    • Your device has private network connectivity.
    • Your device has direct Internet connectivity.
    • You have an administrator account with a password for your device.

Activation Tools

The following tools are used for Industry 8 activation. Not all tools are used for each activation method.

Slmgr.vbs

Slmgr.vbs is the command-line Windows Software License Management Tool and is installed as part of each Industry 8 image. It is located in the <system drive>:Windows\System32 folder. See Slmgr.vbs Options for more information.

Slui.exe

Slui.exe is the UI-based Windows Activation Client and is installed as part of each Industry 8 image.

Volume Activation Management Tool 3.0 (VAMT 3.0)

VAMT 3.0 is a tool designed to centrally manage activation status for devices over a network. You can obtain VAMT 3.0 by downloading the free Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows.

When you install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit, you must manually select Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) to install, as it is not selected by default. If you do not have an SQL 2008 or later database available for VAMT to use, you should also select SQL Server Express 2012 to install, as VAMT requires a connection to an SQL database. You can choose not to install any of the other features, as they are not required for VAMT.

See Volume Activation Management Tool Technical Reference

Telephone Activation

Activate a Device by Using Telephone Activation and Slmgr.vbs

  1. On your device, open a command prompt with administrator user rights.
  2. Navigate to the <system drive>:\Windows\System32 folder, and then type the following:
    cscript slmgr.vbs /dti
    
  3. Record the 63-digit Installation ID.
  4. Call the Microsoft Product Activation Center. In the United States, call 855-469-9468. For a list of other phone numbers, see How to contact a Microsoft Product Activation Center by phone.
  5. Follow the automated instructions and provide the 63-digit Installation ID when prompted.
    Dn195627.note(en-us,WinEmbedded.81).gifNote:
    The phone activation system will expect the Installation ID to be entered in blocks of seven digits. It may be easier to break your Installation ID up into blocks of seven digits before placing the call.
  6. Record the confirmation ID provided by the phone activation system.
  7. On your device, at the command prompt, type the following, where <confirmation id> is the confirmation ID provided by the phone activation system.
    cscript slmgr.vbs /atp <confirmation id>
    
  8. Type the following, and then verify the License Status now displays “Licensed.”
    cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv
    
Dn195627.note(en-us,WinEmbedded.81).gifNote:
Each device must be activated separately. Batch activation is not supported.

Activate a Device by Using Telephone Activation and Slui.exe

  1. On your device, open a command prompt with administrator user rights and launch SLUI by typing the following:
    SLUI 0x4
    
  2. In the Windows Activation tool, on the Click the nearest location page, click Next to continue.
  3. Call the Microsoft Product Activation Center. In the United States, call 855-469-9468. For a list of other phone numbers, see How to contact a Microsoft Product Activation Center by phone.
  4. Follow the automated instructions and, when prompted, provide the 63-digit Installation ID.
  5. Enter the confirmation ID provided by the phone activation system, and then click Activate.
  6. To verify the licensing status, open a command prompt with administrator user rights on the device.
  7. Navigate to the <system drive>:\Windows\System32 folder, type the following, and then verify the License Status now displays “Licensed.”
    cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv
    

Proxy Activation

Activate a Device Over a Private Network by Using VAMT 3.0

  1. For VAMT 3.0 to activate a device remotely, the device must have Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Windows PowerShell enabled for remote access. See Allow WMI/PowerShell Remote Access on a Device for instructions.
  2. Once this is complete, see Activate an Individual Device Over a Private Network Using VAMT 3.0

Direct Internet Activation

Activate a Device Manually by Using a Direct Internet Connection and Slmgr.vbs

  1. On your device, open a command prompt with administrator user rights.
  2. Navigate to the <system drive>:\Windows\System32 folder, and then type the following:
    cscript slmgr.vbs /ato
    
  3. Type the following, and then verify the License Status now displays “Licensed.”
    cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv
    

Activate a Device Manually by Using a Direct Internet Connection and Slui.vbs

  1. On your device, open a command prompt with administrator user rights and launch SLUI by typing the following:
    SLUI 0x4
    
  2. In the Windows Activation tool, click Activate button.
  3. After a few minutes, activation will complete. After activation is complete, type the following and verify the License Status now displays “Licensed.”
    cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv
    

Activate a Device Automatically by Using a Direct Internet Connection After OOBE

You can set your device up to automatically activate by using a direct Internet connection after it’s deployed. To activate your image this way, you need to set a registry key on the master or reference image before it is generalized for deployment.

See Activate a Device Automatically Using a Direct Internet Connection After OOBE for instructions.

Activate a Device Over the Internet by Using VAMT 3.0

  1. For VAMT 3.0 to activate a device remotely, the device must have Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Windows PowerShell enabled for remote access. See Allow WMI/PowerShell Remote Access on a Device for instructions.
  2. Once this is complete, see Activate a Device Over the Internet Using VAMT 3.0.

Manage Industry 8 Keys Remotely by Using VAMT 3.0

Usually a license key is installed when an image is deployed, but you also have the option to use VAMT 3.0 to install product keys remotely. VAMT 3.0 can keep your product key list in the VAMT 3.0 database to allow management in a single location. In this case, VAMT 3.0 functions as a product key repository.

See Use VAMT 3.0 to Manage Standard 8 Keys Remotely for instructions.

See Volume Activation Management Tool Technical Reference for more information on VAMT 3.0.

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