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Automatic Virtual Machine Activation was added into Windows Server 2012 R2. It allows you to activate your VM’s without using a KMS Server or using MAK Keys and you do not require an internet connection either! The VM’s activate against the host Hyper-V server. Using this method the Guests activation only lasts for 7 days before it renews the activation against the host again.

To use AVMA you need your Hyper-V host server to be running Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Datacentre or above. The guests have to also be Microsoft Server 2012 R2 or above, but they can be Datacentre, Standard, or Essentials.

Each edition of Microsoft Server has its own AVMA key and you need to enter this on the guest when you are installing the Server OS or when you are activating it. This only needs to be done once.

Windows server 2012 R2

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


Windows Server 2016

Edition AVMA Key
Standard C3RCX-M6NRP-6CXC9-TW2F2-4RHYD
Essentials B4YNW-62DX9-W8V6M-82649-MHBKQ


For AVMA to work successfully the guest VM needs to have Integration Services installed and the Data Exchange option ticked. To check this open up the settings for the Guest VM and go to Integration Services.


If you have entered a key already in your guest VM but now you want to use an AVMA key, you can do this easily using a Command window with elevated credentials.

Open CMD with elevated credentials.

Type the following cmdlet. Replacing with the AVMA Key that relates to the installed version of the OS.

That’s it. Not really a step by step as its just so easy!

Pixel Robots.

I’m Richard Hooper aka Pixel Robots. I started this blog in 2016 for a couple reasons. The first reason was basically just a place for me to store my step by step guides, troubleshooting guides and just plain ideas about being a sysadmin. The second reason was to share what I have learned and found out with other people like me. Hopefully, you can find something useful on the site.


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