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Fun with AVMA

By Joseph Yedid

Recently I ran into a situation where I had to spin up new VMs.

The issue: How do you activate multiple VMs without running into licensing issues?

The solution: Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA)

Turns out that the host server was running a MAK product key.

To test that AVMA would work, I setup a new Server 2012 R2 VM. During the setup, I entered the AVMA key and the setup continued. So far so good. Once the setup completed and I was able to login, I had to verify that the AVMA key took hold.

Off to the Event Viewer we go!

What was I looking for in the Event Viewer? Well confirmation that the AVMA key worked.

In the Event Viewer, under Windows Logs \ Application, the log with Event ID 12309 is what I needed to find.

Fun with AVMA-Event ID 12309

On the host server, I looked for Event ID 12310:

Fun with AVMA-Event ID 12310

Just for good measure, in Server Manager of the guest VM under Local Server, I checked the Product ID:

Fun with AVMA-Product ID


So what is needed to get AVMA to work? Here is the recipe:

Hyper-V Host: Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter (With a KMS, MAK, or OEM key)

Guest VMs and AVAM keys:

Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter


Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard


Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials


Integration Services:
Data Exchange must be selected in the VM settings.