Recently I needed to install Windows Server 2019 on a couple of bare metal servers. I didn’t want to go through the trouble of figuring out what credentials I needed to sign in to the company’s Volume and Licensing Center account so I figured I could just download an eval edition copy of the ISO and figure out the rest later. So, here is the rest.
Get the KMS key
For a computer to activate with KMS, first it needs to have the right key installed. This is called the KMS Client Key and usually you don’t need it except when you downloaded and installed the evaluation edition of Windows Server.
We can grab the key from this site, make sure to get the one that matches your version of Windows. For Windows Server 2019 Standard it will look something like this:
Use DISM to change the edition and product key
The docs for KMS uses a different command that didn’t work for this scenario so instead I followed the steps on the doc for DISM. The DISM command will change the eval key to the KSM Client Key and change the edition all in one go.
DISM /online /Set-Edition:<windows edition> /ProductKey:<KMS Client Key> /AcceptEula
Once you’re prompted to restart say yes and once it boots back up the OS should be fully activated through the network’s KMS host.
Read more about DISM from here