Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS



  • Got a issue after all the problem Microsoft had with the activation servers. Some of our machines are reporting the license will Expire.

    Now the problem is several years ago we had a KMS server..... Now we don't 🙂

    I've found a few commands online that are meant to change a KMS machine back to OEM/BIOS but this laptop is being a pain.

    We're replacing it for the user to get them going again. So when I get it on my desk i'll post the commands I've tried and the errors i'm getting.



  • Assuming you have an install based on the VLMS ISO, can you use the BIOS/OEM key to activate?



  • @Dashrender Yeah I can get the BIOS key, but all the commands to activate with it just give errors 😞
    Once I get the laptop in my hands I can post some errors etc.



  • I would fully expect the need to reinstall using OEM or MS public downloaded Windows 10 Image - which of course you can't use to deploy images (at least legally).



  • @Dashrender Yeah that's the thing i'm sure it's a "Out of the Box" machine so wouldn't of been reinstalled with any ISO.
    My plan is to see if I can "Convert" it from KMS/MAK into a OEM/BIOS license. If not will just re-install.



  • @hobbit666 said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    @Dashrender Yeah that's the thing i'm sure it's a "Out of the Box" machine so wouldn't of been reinstalled with any ISO.
    My plan is to see if I can "Convert" it from KMS/MAK into a OEM/BIOS license. If not will just re-install.

    I'm confused - if they were out of the box images - why was KMS/MAK put on there in the first place? There would be zero benefit to that.

    In fact, if you machines had an issue from MS's activation servers being down, that tells me that likely they are already using the OEM key - though I suppose it's possible they are using the MAK (Those activate from MS directly).



  • @Dashrender said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    I'm confused

    Me too 🙂 will know more when it's in my hands tomorrow



  • @Dashrender said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    I would fully expect the need to reinstall using OEM or MS public downloaded Windows 10 Image - which of course you can't use to deploy images (at least legally).

    Not true. You can use any source media you want.

    You have to buy a single volume license of the appropriate version of Windows that you will image.



  • If you are already using the OEM factory image, is there a reason you wouldn't just factory reset it?



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  • OK looks like we've found the issue.

    The laptop was bought with Win10Home and were given 10Pro upgrades. But I think when we upgraded them they activated against our KMS server. Now that's gone and the BIOS key is for Home, we need to find the Upgrade keys lol 🙂
    *When I say "upgrade" I think we did a wipe and reinstall with our KMS key from our Volume Licensed win10



  • @hobbit666 said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    OK looks like we've found the issue.

    The laptop was bought with Win10Home and were given 10Pro upgrades. But I think when we upgraded them they activated against our KMS server. Now that's gone and the BIOS key is for Home, we need to find the Upgrade keys lol 🙂
    *When I say "upgrade" I think we did a wipe and reinstall with our KMS key from our Volume Licensed win10

    It's only possible to activate against your KMS if you gave Windows 10 the generic KMS keys. I'm curious how they were given "10Pro upgrades"?

    Has anyone tried using the generic KMS Win10 keys with the OEM or MS public provided ISO? I know in the Win7 days the KMS generic keys would not work in the OEM ISO.



  • @Dashrender Not sure of the full story.
    But from what I've been told is they were sold as openboxed Win10 Home laptops. Supplier "gave us" some Win10Pro keys.
    The laptops were then wiped and re-installed with Win10Pro but with a VL iso and the KMS key.

    Now they say license expired 🙂

    Just done one by using the Phone Activation option. So it works lol wont ask how or why 🙂



  • @hobbit666 said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    @Dashrender Not sure of the full story.
    But from what I've been told is they were sold as openboxed Win10 Home laptops. Supplier "gave us" some Win10Pro keys.
    The laptops were then wiped and re-installed with Win10Pro but with a VL iso and the KMS key.

    Now they say license expired 🙂

    Just done one by using the Phone Activation option. So it works lol wont ask how or why 🙂

    OK - well, all of that makes sense then. Though - gave you some Win10Pro keys? how legal is that?



  • @hobbit666 said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    Home laptops. Supplier "gave us" some Win10Pro keys.
    The laptops were then wiped and re-installed with Win10Pro but with a VL iso and the KMS key.

    Licenses do not expire from Volume License, once activated that is it.
    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2007/04/03/do-my-licenses-expire-after-three-years-with-open-value/



  • @Dashrender said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    @hobbit666 said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    @Dashrender Not sure of the full story.
    But from what I've been told is they were sold as openboxed Win10 Home laptops. Supplier "gave us" some Win10Pro keys.
    The laptops were then wiped and re-installed with Win10Pro but with a VL iso and the KMS key.

    Now they say license expired 🙂

    Just done one by using the Phone Activation option. So it works lol wont ask how or why 🙂

    OK - well, all of that makes sense then. Though - gave you some Win10Pro keys? how legal is that?

    I am pretty sure that in order for you to use a VLK license, it is considered an upgrade license, only to be "upgraded" from OEM pro. You can't use the Home OEM license as a qualifier to apply a VLK; you need to purchase a pro version license and then purchase the VLK.



  • @wrx7m said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    @hobbit666 said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    @Dashrender Not sure of the full story.
    But from what I've been told is they were sold as openboxed Win10 Home laptops. Supplier "gave us" some Win10Pro keys.
    The laptops were then wiped and re-installed with Win10Pro but with a VL iso and the KMS key.

    Now they say license expired 🙂

    Just done one by using the Phone Activation option. So it works lol wont ask how or why 🙂

    OK - well, all of that makes sense then. Though - gave you some Win10Pro keys? how legal is that?

    I am pretty sure that in order for you to use a VLK license, it is considered an upgrade license, only to be "upgraded" from OEM pro. You can't use the Home OEM license as a qualifier to apply a VLK; you need to purchase a pro version license and then purchase the VLK.

    Not sure about this. I'm pretty sure you can purchase Pro upgrades - though if they qualify for upgrading from Home or not would be a good question.

    Though the OP doesn't say if the licenses they were 'given' are VLK licenses or FPP licenses. Legally I would think he could only give FPP licenses, which also don't qualify for VLK usage themselves - BUT if the company already had a single VLK Win10 Pro license, the company would be covered by deploying VLK installs.



  • Yeah the upgrade keys were full upgrade not vl keys.

    I think they"expired" because we removed our Kms server a while ago.

    Any way it all works now 😁



  • @hobbit666 said in Windows 10 Pro Volume License (KMS) to OEM/BIOS:

    Yeah the upgrade keys were full upgrade not vl keys.

    I think they"expired" because we removed our Kms server a while ago.

    Any way it all works now 😁

    Well - the expire notice is, as you said, because the VLMK ISO that was used to install these machines making them KMS/MAK dependant, can't contact a KMS server. You can fix this by replacing the KMS key with a MAK key. Then the machine will activate directly against MS and you'll be golden.

    I had to do this for a Win7 machine I moved off my main network and onto a private network that only had direct internet access - i.e. it could no longer reach my KMS server.

    Dec 2019 I'm going to have to move another Win7 machine to a totally isolated network. I'm guessing I'm going to need to get it to an OEM Key, activate against MS, then it should be fine forever being offline.