I have a test and a dev farm of Search Server Express servers.  While trying to resolve some early on search issues, Microsoft support informed me that when you are not running MOSS but you wish to use Search Server Express, all servers need to run SSE however to comply with the "free" clause of this product, the crawl and index components (basically everything search related) needed to be isolated to one server...which it is.  There are 3 total servers in the farm...two are solely web front-end servers and the 3rd is for search and central admin.  In both of my farms I just got an error saying the trial has expired.   Excuse me?   What trial?  Search Server Express is FREE!  

What I have done in my test farm is remove the server that provides search functionality, removed the SSP and added in a new server with the current download from the Microsoft web site which matches a build number of x.x.x.6421.  Sure enough, the new server triggered a task that it will expire in 90 days.

Can someone explain why this is happening with a free product?  The error message users get when trying to search is "Your license for Microsoft Search Server has expired".

I want to know why a free product expired?
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ModernAgeConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
After diligent research and a call to Redmond, the following hotfix needed to be installed on each server in each farm.

This is due to the fact that the product has no product key and apparently the SP2 I installed late last year was one of the bad downloads with the expiration bug.

Nonetheless problem solved and hopefully this can help out someone else.
Hi - I have the same problem.

I installed patch 971620, but when I go to Central Administration > Operations > Convert License Type, it still says "Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express Trial".

How can I be sure the patch worked?
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