Activation of server 2008 on emergancy backup server


i have a server with an OEM copy of server 2008 installed, i need to take this server down due to technical issues;

what i want to do is - Load a virtual image of the server in hyper -v before i make the physical server redundant as there is alot of software configurations etc that will take forever to set-up again

when i try to load the image, i get asked for the product key - which i enter - but activation fails

when i done this before on server 2003 - i got an installation key, which i gave to microsoft, and when i explained the situation to them they gave me a new install key!

but obviously this has all changed?

can anyone advise what my options are?
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You have an OEM license. OEM licenses are locked to the original hardware system the license was initially activated on and cannot be moved to new hardware. Once the license was activated on the first server, there is no way to re-activate it on new hardware. That would breach the licensing agreement.

Your only option to move the server is to purchase a new OEM license. Again, once activated in Hyper-V, it will be locked to that system.


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meteorelecAuthor Commented:
i cant understand why  they helped me with server 2003 in the exact same scenario then? i fully explained the situation to them and were more than happy to help me

They broke the rules if the did. Legally an OEM license is locked to the first hardware box and CANNOT be migrated to new hardware. The only time I have heard they MAY make an exception is in the event of a motherboard failure in the original server, AND if you can prove it was ONLY the motherboard which was replaced (in other words, you have not moved to a new box).

It is down to the discretion of Microsoft as to whether they help you or not. I can only write about the rules around OEM licensing, not around how Microsoft may bend these rules.

meteorelecAuthor Commented:
no i totally understand Matt!

and thats why i am asking - as i dont want to set something up that is illegal!

so even with tools such as symantec restore - anywhere,  and acronis universal retore, which are designed to move server installs in hard ware failures etc an OEM needs to be re purchased?
hmmm back to the drawing board!!!

That's correct. OEM licenses are locked to the first hardware box they are activated on and CANNOT legally be moved to another server without purchasing a new OEM license. That new license will then be locked to that hardware.

This is primarily the reason why OEM licenses are so cheap; they live and die with the server.

If you are looking to have the option to move instances of an OS between hardware, you're looking at an FPP (Volume or Retail) license.

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Windows Server 2008

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