Windows 2003 license keys - URGENT

Posted on 2006-06-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
What's the risk of using an illegitimate license key when installing windows 2003 R2? Here's the deal:

I have a customer who applied for the license key yesterday but would not receive it for another 48 hours. However, the server has to be built today as the application which is going to be installed on top of the OS has to be ready by end of day.

Now, I know that Microsoft doesn't care what license key you use as long as you have a valid license to back it up.

1) I'm wondering if by using an illegitimate key, would I be banned from windows updates or any other things? Any other things I should be careful of?

2) Is it possible to change the license key after the customer receives his own?

Thank you
Question by:billwharton
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 17009161
well using an illegit key is illegal.....no ways around that small fact :)

you will be barred from activation, you will also be barred from downloading windows updates, there is a way to change the key but i havent used it, no doubt someone with the know how will comment i just wanted to point out its illegal n that you probably want to avoid it.....
LVL 51

Accepted Solution

Netman66 earned 2000 total points
ID: 17009172
1)  That's bad enough.
2)  Depending on the key used you may not be able to change it later.  Each version of Windows is either OEM, Retail or Volume.  The key is matched to the media being used (yes, there is a difference) and once installed you have to do an inplace upgrade to change it.

You should be able to call MS with the reference number provided when you purchased the license and they can give you a key over the phone.

LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17009187
The proper way to do this would be to use a Trial Version of the software.  You can register for that and get a trial key immediately at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/trial/default.mspx

You will need to download the Trial Version of the software to use for your installation.  Then when you get the actual key you can upgrade the version and input the new key.

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LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 17009236
I don't understand why Microsoft only provides the 'enterprise' versions of their trial software and not standard
That way, I cannot upgrade to a 'standard' license since that's what the customer is purchasing

BTW, what's the difference between an OPEN and VOLUME license?
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 17009274
Nothing with respect to software.  Open allows you to continually buy small groups of CALs to add to your exisiting contract while maintaining a volume price.

Volume is just that, you must buy a minimum number of licenses to qualify for Volume licensing.

LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17010385
I'm not sure, but I would think you can downgrade Enterprise Trial to Standard.


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