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CD Key change

pinaldave asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
How can I change CD key for one of our server. We installed the server with incorrect CD key. We purchased two version and by mistake two developer installed SQL with same CD key. How can I change the CD key in other server without uninstall and reinstall.

Note: This question has nothing to do with hacking or cracking.
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I am not sure why you would have to... when it comes down to the legality, it is only a question of whether you can prove you purchased the required number of licenses, not whether you used the right key.

As far as I know, there is absolutely no way to change the CD key once you have installed.

That's just my opinion.

is this 2000 or 2005?



is this a retail version or msdn?

You should contact microsoft on this.

If this is an MSDN version, and the software is being used for development, you are entitled to install up to 10 times I believe.

here is the chat. I thought you were on retail, but rereading your post it is not clear... the info on whom to contact at MS is at the bottom of the chat. good luck.

Welcome to the MSDN Online Concierge
The session has been accepted.

{Jenny}Hello Aaron and welcome to the MSDN Online Concierge. How may I assist you today?
{Aaron}hi, I have a licensing question...
{Jenny}Yes let me try my best to answer your licensing issue.
{Aaron}I have a client who purchased 2 copies of SQL Server Standard edition but used the same CD key on two installatoins instead of separate CD keys
{Aaron}is there an easy way to change the cd key without reinstalling?
{Aaron}or does it matter?
{Aaron}these are old - sql 2000
{Jenny}Please wait let me try to verify this.
{Aaron}sure thanks
{Jenny}Aaron you mean, you have activated two SQL servers right>
{Aaron}yes.. using the same cd key.. even though the client had 2 legitimate different keys
{Jenny}I believe its part of your MSDN subscription where in you can activate up to 10 times an application.
{Aaron}this is a client of mine - they bought SQL on their own
{Aaron}not thru me
{Jenny}You may refer on this page: http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/faq/default.aspx MSDN FAQ
{Jenny}And where did they get this keys? From MSDN as well or retail?
{Aaron}that looks like msdn specific info.. this is a standard SQL license
{Aaron}the client has retail SQL standard they bought on their own
{Jenny}I see, retail can be activated once.
{Aaron}really? They claim they installed twice using the same cd key ... this is SQL 2000 not 2005 - i do not know if there was activation for 2000
{Jenny}Well basically a retail can be activated once only, product keys are unique, they cannot install a retail copy to another machine to activate it.
{Aaron}installed SQL Server on two different machines using the same CD Key instead of using two different keys ( which they have). their question is how can they change the key on one of the systems to "use" the second key. or can that be done?
{Jenny}I dont think its possible, Aaron.
{Aaron}not possible to change the key?
{Jenny}Since a retail copy can not be used to another machine.
{Aaron}you are saying it is not possible to install it on a different machine?
{Jenny}Key is very unique Aaron, one retail copy, one product key....
{Aaron}yes I know that... so you say it cannot be installed twice
{Jenny}Yes retail copy is not possible to install again on different machine.
{Jenny}Yes absolutely.
{Jenny}I thought you have download SQL 2k from MSDN where in you can activate it up to 10 times.
{Aaron}that is absolutely not true. the client HAS ALREADY DONE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS IMPOSSIBLE. so you are totally wrong. He has ALREADY DONE THIS and is trying to CORRECT the problem
{Aaron}nothing to do with msdn
{Jenny}For development and testing purposes.
{Aaron}How would a retail copy know it was being installed on a different machine? SQL 2000 did not go online to install
{Jenny}Aaron for this issue, I should redirect you to contact MSDN customer service. Since as what we know, if its as "retail" copy it can be only installed "once" if that's more than a retail copy like volume license or eopen, your customer can activate it depends on how many license they bought.
{Aaron}it is a retail copy.
{Jenny}I see, I understand...
{Aaron}my client does not know how to navigate MS customer support
{Aaron}I am doing this as a favor
{Jenny}No problem, you can redirect him to contact customer support or licensing instead
{Jenny}I see, may I know which country your customer is?
{Aaron}is there a website where chat like this is available?
{Aaron}he is in nevada (US)
{Jenny}I apologize, this is the only chat concierge we have here.
{Aaron}ok. so no retaill llicensing info here?
{Aaron}this is not a licensing issue - it is an installation issue
{Jenny}I am sorry Aaron, we are not the right resource for licensing issues.
{Aaron}ok ... thanks
{Jenny}Aaron please wait while I try to search the contact info for licensing...
{Jenny}Aaron thanks for waiting! You may refer your customer to contact: Microsoft Sales and Information (MSI), 800-426-9400, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Friday
{Jenny}I appreciate your kindness and patience.
{Aaron}thanks that will help
{Jenny}You're welcome!
{Jenny}Is there anything else I can help you with?
{Jenny}Have a nice day Aaron and thank you for using the MSDN Online Concierge service. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please feel free to come back at any time again!
The user has ended the session.

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A very nice talk with Blondie. They found a way how to clone them?


DigitalProductId structure is very complex, and you need to get MSSQL2K setup program sources to fill all of them correctly.

Type DigitalProductId
   CONST_Size As Long
   CONST_VER As Long
   ProductID As String * &H18
   BINK_ID As Long          &nbs= p;    '//+20 =3DsignaturID+SomeBitFlag
   StockID As String * &H10
   CDKEY As String * &H14 'byte
   CreationDate As Long  'time_t
   Year_and_more As Long
   PRC_Mode As Long 'RPC_TYPE
   Unused2 As Long
   String1 As String * &H10
   String2 As String * &HC
   Expire_Year As Long
   BLINK_Date As Long   'time_t
   Value1_L3 As Long
   Value2 As Long
   String3 As String * &H1C
   Checksum As Long
End Type


1. Install MSSQL Server on another computer with the correct key
2. Using regedit, export from the new server the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Registration
3. Using regedit, export from the incorrectly registered machine the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Registration as a backup copy
4. On the incorrectly registered machine, import the correct registry key
5. Uninstall MSSQL Server from the third computer


Thank you thank you.
We did similar thing finally as mentioned by ispaleny.
Our Sr. Network Eng verified and performed the task.

Aaron thank you very much for trying to help and find answer. This is great conversation and good help. Thanks again.
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