Rutgers Volume Activation Overview

The Rutgers Windows Activator is designed to simplify the activation process involved with Microsoft's Volume Activation 2.0 first introduced with Windows Vista and carried through past MS Office 2010.

The application is typically unnecessary for machines that are regularly or always connected to the Rutgers network, provided the Rutgers media is used for installation. These machines will typically activate automatically upon reboot.

The following are some of the situations in which running the Rutgers Windows Activator is necessary:

  • The machine cannot reach Rutgers private address space. This is almost always the case when the machine is kept off-campus.
  • The machine's initial hardware configuration indicates that it was not shipped from the manufacturer with a valid Windows installation.
  • Your machine is connected to the Rutgers network via one of the following connection types:
    • RUWireless
    • RUWired
    • VPN (ecomplex)
    • Resnet network
    These connection types have been blocked in an effort to prevent students from activating against the KMS server, as required by the terms of the Microsoft Campus Agreement.
  • You used the original volume-licensed media from the IT Support Package on the Software Portal. Installations from this media cannot locate the Rutgers KMS server. Running the Rutgers Windows Activator will resolve this issue. Alternatively, you can manually point your computer to the Rutgers KMS server using the procedures outlined on the Vista Deployment page.

In these situations, the Rutgers Windows Activator will perform a one-time activation request against Microsoft's server (as opposed to the Rutgers KMS server).

One-time activation requests are limited in quantity. In order to limit the one-time activation requests, the application will prompt users for their NetID and Password and ensure that they are either Faculty or Staff. The application keeps track of one-time activation requests and limits the amount of requests a particular user can make.

Users requiring additional requests will need to formally request an increase here. Once the request is processed, you will be notified via e-mail whether or not your request was approved.

Valid reasons for extending your threshold include:

  • You are IT support staff configuring off-campus University-owned equipment.
  • You are performing the activation on behalf of another faculty or staff member where KMS activation is not possible.
  • You have replaced hardware and your installation activation was revoked.

Invalid reasons for extending your threshold include:

  • Installations on personally-owned equipment. Windows will be made available via the Software Portal at discounted rates for personal use. The Volume License media is not intended for personally owned equipment and you will be unable to activate.
  • You are installing Windows on a friend or family member's machine.

The KMS and one-time (MAK) activation models are only compatible with Volume License editions of Windows. The Rutgers Windows Activator will not be able to activate retail or OEM versions of Windows, nor any other editions (i.e., Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate). The Rutgers KMS server will not process activation requests for these products whether your machine knows where to find it or not.

Conversely, the Volume License media cannot be activated in the same way that retail or OEM media can. If you install a copy of Windows with the Volume License media on a non-University owned machine and have exhausted your activation requests, you will need to purchase a retail or OEM version of Windows to activate the machine. You will not be able to downgrade the computer to XP and you will not be able to activate the unauthorized installation. Unauthorized installations will enter reduced functionality mode 30 days after installation.

The restrictions in place are a part of Microsoft's Volume Activation 2.0, introduced with the release of Windows Vista. The Rutgers Windows Activator was designed to minimize the confusion and inconvenience associated with these changes.

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Last Updated: 8/6/2009 9:27:54 AM