SBS2003 - This computer cannot be upgraded to the OEM version of Small Business Server after reinstall

Posted on 2007-10-02
Last Modified: 2009-03-12
A client recently contacted me, because they have issues with thier Windows SBS 2003 using network resources on their server.  We detected there is a domain called with a SBS 2003 DC SERVER2, we also notice that the DNS clients was configured to point to ISP External DNS and there was created ten users in a OU, but there WASN'T Computer Objects created.

As you know, while the DNS Client settings are wrong, the Windows Authentication doesn't work. But sometimes it make fails the Mapped Network Drives.   So my client decide to install another server, with windows server 2003 and the same hostname (New SERVER2), the same domain name and nothing else, more issues on the network, because of Workstations Objetcs in Active Directory Missing, so we have two domains and two servers with the same name, all new (5) workstations was added to the new domain, so the Computer Object was created, and theses clients were working fine.

We disconnect the SBS 2003 PDC and we run DCPROMO to wipe out old domain and to change the name, but we completely forget about exchange and SBS tools, so we decided to manually remove exchange with the " How to remove Exchange Server 2003 from your computer".

We could change the name of the server and we applied the "How to install Small Business Server 2003 in an existing Active Directory domain in the ", so we have the new SERVERUDS and SERVER2 online both as a DC, and all the AD Roles on SERVERUDS.  We started to join remaining clients to the new domain, we corrected DNS Client issues, and copy or transfer user profiles in workstations, we migrated a Fox 2.6 Application that they have in server2.  And we succesfully demote the SERVER2 and wipe out them from the domain

All were working fine, until we pretend to install the Windows SBS Components, we don't need exchange, just the domain that's why we didn't detect this problem before.

Now we cannot add licenses because of the Message "This computer cannot be upgraded to the OEM version of Small Business Server" when we run the "CD1 Setup".  Actually it is a OEM version but we used the same disc that was first used, and we didn't repair or do something with that.

It's the second time that i've got this message but last time we reformat the server to proceed.  

I don't want to reformat because this client lives outside from my city, and i can use Logmein to get into the server

Any ideas?

Question by:bad3000
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Well it sounds like a right mess!!

    The CD clearly does not match the OS that is installed and as it says an OEM version cannoyt bue used to upgrade a previously installed starem - OEM disks are provided for new hardware only.

    Given all the issues and the mess it appears to be in I would be sorely tempted to back up any data and start again with a clean install.
    LVL 74

    Accepted Solution

    Actually, the mess would be recreated if you decided to keep ignoring the basic design of SBS and it's requirements.  There is actually a workaround for the OEM error issue, ( but that will not begin to fix your problems since you don't add licenses to an SBS by inserting CD1 anyhow.

    Going back to your initial comment about changing the domain name on the SBS... this cannot be done!  Even though you think you may have been successful an SBS must have the domain name established during it's initial installation procedure.  Furthermore, whether or not you "need" Exchange doesn't really matter if you are going to use SBS you MUST install Exchange.  

    I'm a bit confused about which server is SERVERUDS and which is SERVER2 from your comments above, but basically the best way to deploy an SBS is to install it cleanly, using all of it's default settings, including all AD structure, DNS and DHSP.  You can read an overview of why these things are important here:

    LVL 1

    Author Comment


    This part worked fine: (
    HKLM\software\microsoft\smallbusinessserver\IsRunFromWeb and set the value to Decimal 1 i.e. 0x1.

    And from another Blog:

    I've write my OEM Id in the following key: HKLM\software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    and opened the ProductID key, i've get from another installation restart and later i've write mine again, and the message has gone.  

    I forgot to write that we renamed (file.old) almost al the folders and references like Windows Small Business Server folder in program files and Windows Small Business Server 2003 before we change the name of ther server.   Also the registry keys like HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Small Business Server were deleted all before we change de name of one of the servers to SERVERUDS.

    SERVERUDS is the final server with SBS, the SERVER2 has only win2k3 and was the temporary Client's solution.

    But, I can choose to install Exchange, companyweb, networking and administration tools, something that i didn't.  Thanks in advance, i apreciate that you were worried about licenses, i have two 5 CAL packs that i couldn't install. Now i can install administration and management tools.  i've installed this 10 CAL now.

    I'd prefer to sell the server, install sbs and support later, but from time to time we need to support any server if its shown.

    Thank you

    I'll accept your solution to close the question.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    An update:

    There was an issue with the c:\program files\windows for small business server folder manually deleted, we restored from a backup

    There was an issue also with the NTFS permission of c:\documents and settings\allusers\datos de programa\microsoft\smallbusinessserver

    Also, you need to remove the Active Directory Structure after My Business OU. We moved some SBSusers to Users default Container and SBScomputers to Computers Default Container.  Later we delete My Business OU.

    I confirmed that the solution was the IsRunFromWeb was enough to remove the "OEM version" error message

    Now i'm glad to announce that everything is working fine: CAL Licenses added, SBS Administration Tools in place, that means that Phase 2 of Windows SBS setup was completed successfully.

    Thanks a lot

    LVL 74

    Expert Comment

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    "Later we delete My Business OU."

    That's a major problem... you cannot change the default SBS AD OU's.  See for nfo.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Don't worry about the MyBusiness OU, this was re-created by the SBS Second Phase Setup, in some part of the SBS Setup i get a warning that it cannot create Distributions groups on Active Directory.  So i decided to rename the original My Business OU, the message changed a bit, so i deleted the OU, and voilá it was recreated, including administrator, user and mobile templates, and DFEAULTDOMAINNAME Distribution Group

    I didn't write that it was recreated, and all is working in the SBS way, with all the wizards working and easy admin.


    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Any change to registry IsRunFromWeb and copying OEM id is useless, you can copy suiteinfo.dll to C:\program files\Microsoft integration\windows small business server 2003\suiteinfo.dll from CD or DVD #1 cd1\setup\i386\suiteinfo.dll from your OEM version, you don't need to restart just backup and replace the file



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