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Monday, July 1, 2013

Automatic Virtual Machine Activation–Windows Server 2012 R2

Couple days has passed since I’ve setup few virtual machine in my testing environment. In my environment, I’ve setup
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center Preview Edition
Virtual Machine
  • VM1 - Windows Server 2008 R2
  • VM 2- Windows Server 2012
  • VM3 – Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Edition (Standard Edition)
During Tech Ed North America 2013, Ben (Hyper-V Program Manager) has mentioned about “Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA)” . This feature allow system administrator to skip activate Windows for the following guest operating system:
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
How about Windows Server 2008 R2 or Win 2012? Well based on my testing, automatic activation does not work on these version of OS. You need to manually activate older version of operating system VM.
However this is definitely a nice and welcome feature.
To try AVMA, perform the following steps:-
1. Install Host with Windows Server 2012 Data Center (Preview Edition) and activate it
2. Install the Win2012 R2 Edition VM
3. In the VM, open command prompt with elevated prompt:-
slmgr /ipk (AVMA key)
AVMA key (Preview Edition):-
Edition Key
Standard HXFNP-8HYQ3-4FMC3-2DHJ9-M97JF
Essential 7VW9N-8C48X-J6442-J3KM6-FVTM9
The virtual machine will automatically activate the license against the virtualization server. 

[Updated on 28 Nov 2013]
To reflect new product key after the product General Availability, please refer to

For more information:-


  1. Thanks for the information! since AVMA is not working for 2008 R2 and 2012, and I have purchased the 2016 DC version for my hosts, how can we activate these 2 OS? for my understanding 2016 DC cover all the VM OS licenses so we didnt purchase any license for 2008 and 2012. tq!

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