Downgrade server 2003 to server 2000

Posted on 2004-10-30
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have bought server 2003 licenses with software assurance through my computer wholesaler.
My customer wanted to run server 2000, so I checked that downgrading was allowed and bought the server 2000 media.
Now, when I log in to the eopen website, microsoft only tells me a volume licencing key for server 2003.
This is not what I exptected as I have previously done  a downgrade with office 2003 and both the 2003 and XP key were on the eopen site.
When I rang the microsoft licensing number I got some vague story about my reseller should give the key to me. This sounds like B.S.
Elsewhere on microsofts site I found a FAQ that says the key will be provided with the media.


If anyone can tell me exactly how to get this key.. that would be great.
Otherwise, I would just like to hear from anyone who has installed server 2000 as a downgrade.
Question by:ccceqo2
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    For 2000 there should be a key with the media. It is usually on a yellow sticker that is attached to the envelope the disk is in. The key isn't on the eOpen web site.

    The reason you had keys on the eOpen web site is due to the product activation feature. Volume media doesn't need activation, but Microsoft need to keep track of the keys otherwise everyone will be using them.
    Windows 2000 doesn't need activation so protection of the keys is not so critical.

    If the key wasn't on the media kit you bought for Windows 2000 Server then you need to take that up with the supplier of the media or call the Microsoft fulfilment house. If you have another volume media kit for Windows 2000 Server then you can use that key - there will no issues for updates etc.

    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Simon, you put my thinking on the right track with the bit about activation.
    I stopped trying to use HP's SmartBoot cd or whatever they call that thing and just stuck my W2K media in.
    Well, it was the latest CD with SP4 built in and it turns out you don't have to enter your key at all, ever.
    I can't believe that microsoft activation center couldn't tell me this and that it wasn't on their website anywhere.


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