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Retrieve SBS CAL license info from crashed server disk

Posted on 2007-03-22
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Our SBS 2003 server crashed and we have had to reinstall on a new server. The original disk is accessible and mounted on a PC. Is there any way to retrieve the CAL license info so that we can transfer it to the new server?
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Question by:johnelly
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18791055
You don't have the License Keys for your additional CALs?  How many additional CALs do you have?
How did you aquire them?  If you have Open Value Licensing, you can just retrieve the Product ID Keys from https://eopen.microsoft.com.  The PID's are all you need to add the CALs to your new install.  

Or was your original server license OEM?  If so, you cannot install to a new server.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:johnelly
ID: 18791191
We can't find the documentation so we're not sure. All I have is the server disk. The server came new with the CALs installed probably OEM.
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LVL 74

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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18791932
Well CALs aren't OEM, only the OS is.  Which is a problem if you've now installed it onto a new machine.  You're in violation of the licensing agreement.  How far along in the install have you gotten?  Because you would have had to enter a Product ID Key at the very beginning.  Where did you get that from?

You didn't answer my question about how many CALs.  So I'll assume that you had more in addition to the 5 that are included with SBS?  Those Product ID Keys are stored in the registry of your old system, and they ARE transferable to another machine.  But unfortunately, the keys are encrypted within the registry.  

What exactly did you mean when you said the "server crashed"?  What piece of hardware actually failed?

Jeff
TechSoEasy

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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
ID: 18791961
One other thing... I see in your other open question that you say you DCPROMO'd your SBS into an existing domain?  You can't really do that.  Do you have an additional domain controller on the network?  

I'm bringing this up because if you did not fully complete your SBS installation, which includes having SBS create it's own domain for which it is the root of the forest and holds ALL FSMO roles, then your server will stop functioning 14-days after the install date.  The ONLY work-around to this is to EXACTLY follow this Microsoft KB Article:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884453.  But even then, it doesn't sound like you will be successful because of the licensing issues.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:johnelly
ID: 18794154
The motherboard failed damaging the memory and processor. The quickest way to get going again was to buy new server hardware as the motherboard was going to take 3 days to arrive. We transferred the disk but it wouldn't come up properly so we reinstalled the OS on the new box instead with the 5 built in CALs, found another 5 CAL license and installed that but were 20 short of what we had before (30). We had a 2003 server at aonther site conencted by VPN acting in a backup role so the DCPROMO worked by syncing to that. Got all our active directory users back etc.
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Author Comment

by:johnelly
ID: 18794178
Just looked at the link you provided and that describes the procedure I followed. The server now holds all roles as described. (we'll see after 14 days I guess) but the tests show it does.
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Author Comment

by:johnelly
ID: 18800862
Contacted Microsoft Licensing in the UK about this and they say it can be done and will assist. With regard to recovering an SBS server into an existing domain, it can be done if you follow the procedure detailed by microsoft in the article mentioned above.
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18821609
Hopefully they can also help you with the issue of you using an OEM license on another server... which is still against the EULA.  

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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