OEM License issue when restoring from an image to a new server

Posted on 2008-10-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Taken a backup of Windows Small Business Server OEM from the original server through Bare metal with Universal Restore and restored it on a new server. When starting up the new server, it is asking to Activate Windows before I can logon to it. If I activate it on the new server shall windows on my original server be deactivated
Question by:anas_elkhani
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 22668587
No. OEM licences only valid through the lifetime of THAT particular machine, they are NOT transferrable and you cannot restore them in other hardware. What you are doing is violating the licence agreement of using OEM.

If you need to migrate your SBS onto new server you can get a transition pack to upgrade your OEM licence to full retail one.

Expert Comment

ID: 22676239
IF you just want to know if you can activate that server, You sure can and both of your servers will work (the old and the new) but as ormerodrutter already said from microsoft point of view it will be a license violation
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 22676880
Not sure if you can activate the new server though.
What you may get is a message saying the code has already been activated and you need to contact Mircosoft if you need to activate using the code again.
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Author Comment

ID: 22686010
ok say i get a message saying the code has already been activated and i contacted microsoft.  i guess they will tell me i need to buy the transition pack? or will they just provide me with a new code then i use the activate by phone option?

how do i install the transition pack.  is it a licence code or an upgrade.  
do i need to do it before i take the image of the old server or is it something i need to implement on the new one after i have restored the image and it is asking me to activate?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 22686134
Sorry I guess I have misunderstood part of your question. Transition Pack is only for migrating your SBS to a full W2K3 domain, not SBS to SBS.

You shouldn't activate your new server using your old OEM licence, doing so will violate your OEM licence agreement. You may be able to choose the option from phone and get the code from MS but doing so you are actually commiting a crime. Although whether you get found out is another matter.

You should either be buying a full retail licence and CALs for your new server, or talk to MS representatives to see if you can upgrade your OEM to retail.


Author Comment

ID: 22712820
i undestand it is a crime and am not looking to do anything that will be illegal.

the question then i guess is "is it possible to change an oem version of sbs2003 to a full retial version on a restoed image on different hardware"
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 22712945

Author Comment

ID: 22731704
i'm not sure that link is relavent. maybe this question will help focus my issue.

how can i restore an oem sbs2003 image to a new server legally?

please dont say i cant, :)

LVL 23

Accepted Solution

ormerodrutter earned 250 total points
ID: 22731957
Technically you can restore your SBS to the new server as licencing is a separate issue. You don't need to activate your server straightaway as you have (I think) 60 days to do so.

You need to purchase a full retail licence. Best to talk to Microsoft regarding your situation. I am sure they will come up with a solution not needing you to scrap your system :)

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