Rescue Windows 2003 expired trial!

We have an expired Windows 2003 evaluation (for various reasons.) And must upgrade this one to an open lisence version.

Logging in normally, crashes the server (STOP: EVAL_EXPIRED.) But safte mode works. The server works normallt if we do not log in! Trying to upgrade from safe mode fails (must run adprep which crashes under Windows 2003.) We have condluded that it is impossible to upgrade an expired version(?)

Discussions amongst ourselves have dug out this solution to the problem: We have a Windows Server 2003 Evaluation (Member Server) installed on another machine. We could promote this one to DC, transfer FSMO roles, DNS, etc. Running dcpromo on the new machine should be ok, but does it need being run on the old (expired) server? I have read this thread
and here it says that the old server must be demoted - but I think that could be a little difficult...

Have anyone got any suggestions / help for us?
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PashaModConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Closed, 500 points refunded.
Community Support Moderator
risoyAuthor Commented:
When we can't demote (or flush from domain as said in the thread I refenced) the old server using dcpromo . How do we properly "get it out of the domain"?
There is an upgrade path from the Eval version.
Boot from the setup CD and the follow the prompts. Do not format the drive and it will find the old installation. Choose "Upgrade" and then let it do its stuff.

However I would look at moving the roles to another machine if possible - it is possible to hack a domain controller out of the AD - but if the AD is dead then you are out of luck. DC promotion is so straightforward with Windows 2003.

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If what Simon suggested fails, you can remove the expired server from AD using the following KB article:
risoyAuthor Commented:
In fact it _is_ possible.

But, contrary to what Microsoft Technical Support told us, we could repair the expired Windows Server 2003 evaluation with the Open Lisence disks (and key) and it restarts perfectly with all previous settings intact, but on a different lisence. Perfect! Just what we were looking for, but Microsoft questioned it and we tried everything else before then  - at no avail.

I can then suggest repairing an expired Windows Server 2003 trial with a valid lisenced version.

Closing the thread since problem solved.
I suggested that the upgrade was possible, and included the link to the relevant FAQ from Microsoft. What grounds should a refund be issued?

risoyAuthor Commented:
An upgrade was not possible. You had to do a repair.
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