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Appendix A: Optional Configurations

Volume Activation supports optional configurations that may work in some environments but are not recommended for most. The procedures in this appendix require a Software Protection Service restart before they take effect.

Enabling Standard User Activation

To enable standard user activation on a KMS client, add a new DWORD registry value named UserOperations and set its value to 1. Create this value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform registry subkey.

When complete, administrative rights are no longer required for some operations, such as installing a product key (slmgr.vbs /ipk), installing a license (slmgr.vbs /ilc), or rearming (slmgr.vbs /rearm). This means that a standard user can switch a KMS client to MAK activation, manually activate a computer, and—if necessary—replace an existing MAK with a new MAK. Doing so is not recommended, however, because it lowers security on the computer.

Note   If a standard user installs a MAK or KMS key, the ProductID registry values are not updated. This behavior primarily affects product support, and Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS) is aware of this situation.

Disabling Activation Notifications

Although not recommended, software licensing notifications can be turned off by adding a new DWORD value named NotificationDisabled with a value of 1 to the registry. Create it in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\Activation registry subkey. This value disables all software licensing notifications, including balloons, wizards, and task dialog boxes.

NOTE: This setting is ignored if the grace period has expired. For more information on Grace Period Expiration behaviors see: What If Systems Are Not Activated? (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd878528.aspx)

Registry Key Changes for Activation Features

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 include a new Software Protection Platform (SPP) key in the registry. For product activation in managed environments, configure the Activate Windows now dialog box to display an optional Learn About Activation Online link, as shown in Figure 3.

Learn about activation online

Figure 3   Learn about activation online

Clicking this custom link loads an administrator-defined URL in the user’s default browser. This URL can point to a custom Web page or other file stored on the local computer or on a network share. A Volume Licensing customer can use this link to provide customer-specific information about activation. Displaying the link requires setting the REG_SZ value AlternateURL to the URL of the Web page to display when the user clicks it. The value AlternateURL is in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\ACTIVATION registry subkey.