Yes and no.  After SP1 is installed, it's back to the nagging system 
instead of shutting you down. 

The activation for Vista Enterprise operates much like DHCP, the system 
contacts the KMS server to extend activation.  If the machine can't talk 
to the KMS after a good while (I forget the exact figure), pre SP1, it 
will go into RFM.  We can activate individual machines using the MAK 
code for UVM, but there is a limited pool so we can't do them all by 
default.   We reserve this for machines that will be off the campus 
network for extended periods with no contact even by VPN.

We also have to keep a much tighter leash on that MAK code than we did 
with the previous volume license key for XP.  If the code leaks, we will 
have to lock it and replace it with another, so we have used it 
sparingly and distributed it even less.  In the previous volume license 
scenario, one leaked volume code on a web site/board/newsgroup/etc. 
meant unlimited free copies of windows for the world. 

I think Nick's issue will probably be resolved when that system gets a 
solid network connection for a moment or two (per his reply after I 
started writing this one).  If not, we'll work though some diagnostics 
using functions of the slmgr.vbs script.

You can call slmgr.vbs thus:
cscript %windir%\System32\slmgr.vbs

and use options like -xpr to show license expiration dates.  There are 
about a dozen listed functions of the script shown if called with no 

The results of this command on my machine are:

C:\>cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -xpr
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Volume activation will expire 10/19/2008 12:30:22 PM

So, 6ish months of no contact?


David Houston wrote:
> So does this mean that even a Vista imaged machine that uses the campus 
> agreement install CD (which I presume has a product key that is the same 
> for all) must have network connectivity sustained over a certain minimum 
> period of time in order to NOT "deactivate"?