Server 2003 Enterprise Activation problem.

Posted on 2006-10-21
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Client has a running Server 2003, enterprise edition machine.  Don't know if this is from volume or retail media..

Previous consultant illegally installed using an invalid license key.  The machine is activated, but refuses to install SP1 due to the bad key.

We purchased a license for the machine but are having problems changing the license key.

I've attempted to change the key by modifying the OOBETimer data.

When I re-launch the activation tool, it reports that the machine is still activated.

Anyone seen this?  How can I change the license key?


Question by:scdavis
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 17782409
Hi scdavis,

Macig Jellybean's keyfinder has an option to change the key;

There is also the MS way (ignore that it says XP);en-us;328874

Hope that helps,


Author Comment

ID: 17782600
JellyBean lets me view the product key, but the Change option is not enabled.

Microsoft script returns a generic error 0x80041001

LVL 39

Accepted Solution

redseatechnologies earned 250 total points
ID: 17782610
Petri has a VBS script to do this as well, which would be worth looking at;

It is also entirely possible that the new key you have is not compatible with the version of windows installed (the version installed could be an OEM version, or a retail version, or a manufacturers version - while the new key may not be)

In which case, a reinstall may be the only way forward.  Which is what I would suggest anyway - if someone has installed a cracked version of windows, who knows what else they have done

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Author Comment

ID: 17978971
Sorry - Ressea's suggest of using the VBS scripts didn't answer the question.  

LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 17982467
Well then the new key you have is incompatible with the version of windows installed, reinstall windows, as recommended in my previous post.

If you really dont want to do that, you could call MS and pay their $500 fee to try to help you over the phone.  My bet is they are going to tell you to reinstall anyway though


Author Comment

ID: 18357147

None of these people answered the question.  Please leave the question OPEN until someone actually answers it, or declare it unanswerable.  It's not appropriate to award points to someone that didn't actually answer the question.

I want to put this on the record, again, because it isn't clear, I think:

The installation will not let me enter a new key.  Dosen't matter what it was initially, as there's no apparent way to input the new (legal) OL key.

To Repeat:
- msoobe registry changes don't work.
- magic JellyBean won't allow change of the key (option is greyed-out)
- VBScript reg mod returns 0x80041001, as I noted above.

Thanks, folks.  No offense intended.
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 18357758
When you are reinstalling, are you doing a repair install, or installing over the top?  Do the latter.

Also, when you reinstall, what kind of disk are you using?  A supplier disk (like a Dell Windows CD?) these frequently do not ask for serial numbers.

I would call MS, get a genuine cd (for like $20) and then install over the top.  You should only lose your service packs and patches, which should be installed immediately.


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