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Change the install key for sbs 2003

Posted on 2008-09-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I want to change the "installation key" (the key from the sbs 2003 box that I typed in when I installed sbs 2003) in my sbs 2003 setup. I can remove the extra license keys by moving licstr.cpa but i cannot change the key typed in at installation.

I have another SBS key to use. (I bought another sbs 2003 just for this purpose)

The reason I am doing this is that I have created a virtual server of the original sbs installation and I want to be able to have it run concurrently as a backup in case the original fails. That is why I want to change the installation key. I have tried winkey, etc. but to no avail.

Is there a way to do it? It is ok if your method may "break" the os as it is a virtual machine and I can roll back to the snapshot.
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Question by:05fdml
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:nlcafe
ID: 22598720
1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.  
2. In the left pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents
3. In the right pane, right-click OOBETimer, and then click Modify.  
4. Change at least one digit of the OOBETimer value to deactivate Windows.
5. Click Start, click Run, type the following command, and then click OK:
%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a
6. Click Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows, and then click Next.  
7. Click Change Product key, type the new product key in the New key boxes, and then click Update.  
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22598883
Maybe I'm misunderstanding things here... but if I'm not, you cannot do what you want.  The key is unimportant.  You cannot have a second SBS server on the same network.  One of them - that is not the FSMO master - will start rebooting because you are violating licensing.
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Expert Comment

by:nlcafe
ID: 22599002
You can have this as a back up but you will have to do what leew says.  One will get mad if both are plugged in to the same domain.  
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Author Comment

by:05fdml
ID: 22599912
The install in question is self contained on a server with no connection to the network that is currently running sbs 2003. The server running the vmware asr version of sbs is connected to the internet via the dmz to register the new install key
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
ID: 22997966
I realize this question is a bit old, but thought I'd provide the answer anyhow.

To replace a key on SBS 2003 you need to do an in-place upgrade (even if it's SBS 2003 to SBS 2003).  This will allow you to enter a new key.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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