How to determine number of CALs installed and/or install more

Posted on 2006-06-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
How do you find out how many user CALs are already installed on a Windows Server 2003 R2 server?  And, if it turns out more are needed, once you purchase them how do you install or activate them on the server?
Question by:drroywyo
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 16965261
look under the licensing tab in administrative tools

Author Comment

ID: 16968314
Thanks for the quick replies, folks.

Jay Jay70, if I go to Licensing under Administrative Tools, I get the message that License Logging Service is disabled.  Doing a little research at Microsoft's web site, it appears that's be design, and enabling the feature may not be a good idea.  Here's the KB link:


Also, if I choose Licensing under Control Panels, it merely lets me choose between Per Server & Per Device or User.

As for the two links Abs jaipur provided, the first is simply a description of how licensing works, and the second references Windows Small Business Server 2003, NOT Windows Server 2003.  License Logging Service functions on SBS 2003, and in fact MUST be on or the server restarts every hour, so the article isn't applicable to my questions.

Thanks again, folks, but I still need my two questions answered.
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LVL 104

Accepted Solution

Sembee earned 1600 total points
ID: 16974976
As long as this isn't SBS or a terminal server, then don't bother with the licensing logging service. It simply gets in the way - or to be a little more direct - it is a buggy piece of junk.
The only two services that must have licensing enabled is Terminal Services and SBS. TS has its own licensing service which is separate.

Installing CALs in to the licensing logging service doesn't help with your license compliance. When I was a young sysadmin i used to simply change the number to 999. Microsoft don't provide you with any file or key to put in to it.
In the event of an audit, the auditors will not look at what the application says - they will want proof either in the format of license certificates or access to the online system that shows how many CALs you own.

As for how many CALs you need, for Windows 2003 I always license per seat and in most companies number of staff = number of Windows 2003 CALs. If you have a shift system and the number of users is very different from the number of computers, then make the number of CALS equal to the number of computers that you have.

To specifically answer your questions.
How do you know how many CALs you have?
By looking at what you have bought or what was included with the server.
How do you know if you need any more?
By counting what you own and how many you need.

Windows is not able to help in either case.


Author Comment

ID: 16992633

Thank you for the good info.  It seems to confirm what little I was able to find on the internet.

However, my second question wasn't "How do you know if you need any more?" but rather, "If in the future I purchase more, how do I tell the server I bought them?"

For example, if I buy another 5 user CAL for SBS 2003, there's a place for me to type it in.  If I understand your answer to my first question, are you saying that I don't do anything at the server when I purchase additional Windows Server 2003 CALs?  Microsoft of all people is operating on the "honor system"?

Finally, you mention that you simply used to change the number to 999.  When and where in the install or operation is this done at?

LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 16995005
My reference to changing the number was from NT4 days. I don't know whether you can do the same thing with the later versions as I have never looked.

You only need to worry about CALs with applications that are hard limited like SBS. Windows 2003 isn't hard limited. When you buy the CALs, you don't get anything. You don't tell the server you have any. You could get away with any - but that is a breach of the license agreements and in the event of an audit you would be found in breach of the agreement and all the associated consequences.


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