When a device is off campus for 180 days, weird things start to happen. One is that the Windows license expires. Initially, the user will be warned with a screen like this:

Eventually, if the license expires, there will be a Windows activation watermark in the lower right hand side of the desktop. 

The fix for either of these scenarios is for the computer to resync with our KMS (Key Management Service). Our computers check our KMS server to renew their licenses every 7 days while on campus, so one solution is to turn the computer on and leave it connected to the MCS network for a week. 

To solve the problem more quickly, you can force the computer to sync with our KMS server using the steps below:

1) Make sure the computer is turned on and connected to the MCS network

2) Open an administrator command prompt (type cmd into the Windows search bar and either hit ctrl-shift-enter or right-click on it and choose "Run as Administrator." This will allow you to open the Command Prompt on student computers without having to log them out.

3) Enter the following command:

slmgr.vbs /ato

and hit enter

4) After a few seconds, you should get confirmation that Windows was activated. 

To find out how long until your copy of Windows's activation expired, you can follow the steps above, but on step 3 run this command instead:

slmgr.vbs /dli

It will open a box that tells how long until the license expires (in minutes/days). If you successfully renewed, it should say "Volume activation expiration: 259200 minute(s) (180 day(s))"