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Windows Vista

Activating Windows Vista Enterprise Edition

Note: Windows Vista Enterprise Edition is available for departmental use ONLY.

Once you have installed Windows Vista Enterprise edition on your departmental computer, you'll need to activate your license using the university's Windows Vista Key Management Service (KMS). If you are on the university network (wired or 'utexas' wireless network), this should happen automatically.

Important: Your computer MUST be on campus to properly activate your license using the university's KMS. You CANNOT access the KMS from off-campus, even if you use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to campus remotely.

To check the activation status of Windows Vista Enterprise Edition:

  1. Go to the Control Panel, select System and Maintenance, then System.

  2. In the Windows Activation section, make sure it says "Windows is activated."

Note: If you see "X days to activate. Activate Window now," select the link to open the activation wizard, then follow the steps to activate your license.

Once activated, the operating system will regularly check in with the university's KMS server to keep activation up-to-date.

If you have Windows Vista Enterprise Edition and will be away from the university for more than 240 days, you may be eligible to use an alternative activation method. Departments must contact ITS Software Distribution & Sales for eligibility information.

If you do not activate Windows Vista Enterprise edition immediately, the software will attempt to contact the Key Management Service (KMS) every few days to activate itself. After 30 days, Windows Vista Enterprise edition stops trying to contact the KMS, but notifies you each time you turn your computer on that the license needs to be activated. If you still have not activated the license after 210 days, some of Windows Vista Enterprise edition's functionality — including Aero, Windows-ready boost (USB memory), and optional updates (critical updates will still be allowed) — will stop working until the license is activated. In addition, you will only be able to use Windows Vista for one hour at a time. After 240 days, all of Windows Vista's functionality, except Notepad, will stop working until the license is activated.

Note: If you have questions about activating Windows Vista Enterprise edition using the KMS, please address them to

Last updated March 16, 2015 @ 8:38 am

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