Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) on Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) is a new feature in Windows Server 2012 R2 which allows you to activate guest virtual machines automatically, when you have a Hyper-V host that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter. This is a pretty awesome feature, especially in a test lab environment when you may have a Technet (RIP) or MSDN Datacenter product key, and don’t want to use up all of your activations on temporary guests. This is how I manage my lab at home, which consists of 2 HP Microservers with 16GB of RAM in each:

  • Install your Hyper-V hosts with Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter and activate using a valid key
  • Add the Hyper-V role
  • Install guests running one of the following Operating Systems:
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials
  • During setup, either paste in the key below or add it to your unattend files
  • When you logon, you will find that Windows is already activated!
  • Note that you could also do this after installation, if you skipped entering a key during setup (see this post on how to do that), either entering it manually when activating, or use slmgr /ipk <AVMA_key>

These are the keys that Microsoft provide for use with AVMA:

Edition AVMA key
Datacenter Y4TGP-NPTV9-HTC2H-7MGQ3-DV4TW
Essentials K2XGM-NMBT3-2R6Q8-WF2FK-P36R2


In my lab setup, I run sysprep on the first VM that I create, generalise and shut it down, and then create further VMs using a differencing disk with this as the master. This saves a lot of disk space. All the VMs using this template are then activated automatically with no further configuration required.

See for more information.

4 thoughts on “Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) on Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter”

  1. Instead of focusing on who the media is demonizing, or celebrating, look to who the media is IGNORING.That's how the game really works. Sarah Palin is a distraction. I'm not even convinced she's a real person.I'm beginning to suspect that Barry Soetoro is not the first one to do this, he's just the most obvious.

  2. 12/12/2010 – 12:50pmRespecto al comentario del Madrid, decir que me parece que es bastante duro el final de temporada. Puede que para entonces ya no signifique nada porque está decidido (poco probable), pero el Madrid tiene a mediados de abril el Barça, el finde siguiente el Valencia en Mestalla, dos semanas después el Sevilla en el Pizjuán, liga entre semana y el fin de semana el Villarreal en El Madrigal (penúltima jornada). Todo esto teniendo en cuenta que, dado que se juegan Europa: Valencia, Villarreal, Sevilla y Atlético suelen acabar la liga a un gran nivel…

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