How to upgrade KMS server to new OS

Iron Contributor

We have KMS server running win 2012 r2, now we want upgrade to 2019 . We will install new server 2019 and install kms server . so we need backup what from old kms migrate to new server ? 

12 Replies
Steps to migrating the KMS:

1. Uninstall the KMS host key first by running the following command:

slmgr -upk

2. Then, install the default kms key by running the following command:

slmgr /ipk [KMS Client Setup Key]

The default KMS client setup keys can be found here:

3. Delete the record from the DNS:

Open DNS console:

Expand _tcp node under the There will be a record _VLMCS. Delete this record.

4. The KMS server is uninstalled.

5. To install KMS on a new server, enter:

cscript C:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <KmsKey>

then to activate the KMS host, enter:

cscript C:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

6. After activation is complete, restart the Software Licensing Service.

7. Verify that the record is created for the new server in the DNS.

To verify that the KMS host is configured correctly, you can check the KMS count to see if it is increasing. Run slmgr.vbs /dli on the KMS host to obtain the current KMS count. You can also check the Key Management Service log in the Applications and Services Logs folder for 12290 events, which records activation requests from KMS clients. Each event displays the name of the computer and the time-stamp of an individual activation request.
If this server error hardware and can not start then we can delete computer in ad and install new one difference computer name then ok ?
Yes, basically the same steps as above. Not sure if I understand your concern....
There are actually official documents for this:
hope it's helpful for you
as my understand then old server need online to so that step 1-> 3 . but in this case if old server die then how ? we can install new server and install add key as normal ?

@watcher89 It's not only the question how to upgrade, but how to migrate the current KMS installation.

best response confirmed by thanhtien19 (Iron Contributor)
You can always install a new KMS server with your Microsoft KMS key, you don't have to keep the old server


i have a 2012 KMS server, is possible to do an inplace upgrade to 2019 and keep kms without changes?

thank you!

2012 or 2012 R2? You can upgrade from 2012 R2 to 2019 and then add the KMS Host for 2019, you could also install a new server and install KMS (Volume Activation Services) on that and update DNS so that the clients can find the new KMS server using the SRV record
Thanks we have beed upgrade to 2019
Good to hear!

@thanhtien19 , it seems that you have a happy ending, can you please share step by step how you did it?