How do I license / activate my virtual OSEs on my W2008 Data Centre server?

Licenses Hyper-V virtual OSEs

OK, here's my understanding:
1. Using Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Data Centre Edition you can have unlimited virtual OSEs installed
2. Whilst you have to provide a product key, you DO NOT need to purchase a license
3. On the CD that came with DC, it has a Product Key and the Virtual Key
4. I can install any version of Windows Server below the DC version, e.g. W2k, W2003 and W2008 standard and enterprise editions

So, what's my problem?  Well, I've installed my copy of W2008 Data Centre and activated and validated my product key - no problems there.

I've set up Hyper-V and installed a number of virtual servers, again no problem, even setting up the networking and resillience etc, worked like a dream, but where I do have a problem is activating my virtual OSEs.

I've tried the virtual key code from the CD, I've tried the product code, I've tried the command line util and automated phone service.  I've tried calling the number provided on various forums but they tell me as I'm not a VOlume License Holder, they can't help.

I've been passed from pillar to post in MS talking to people who just have no idea what I'm talking about when I explain I have Data Centre edition and want to license my virtual OSEs.

I've spoken to the retailer that sold me the software, they're worse than any of them.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks
Simon

PS. The only other thing is, do i need to get downgrade rights or product set?  If so, where from?
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sbennettsAsked:
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
Are you sure that the Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Key is a Volume License Key ?
The reason I am asking this is, most of the product documentation pertaining to Microsoft Hyper-V mentions only about Volume Licenses and nothing about Retail or OEM Editions of Windows Server 2008 Editions.
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sbennettsAuthor Commented:
Hi, thanks for your reply

I really don't know - it's a valid and genuine MS product key, but I'm not sure what difference that should make?

Thanks
Simon
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sbennettsAuthor Commented:
OK, an update...

I've just tried installing a new VM OSE using Windows 2008 Data Centre edition and using the virtual key provided with the software.  That works and allows me to activate it correctly.

Clearly, I don't want all my installations to be Data Centre edition, so I'm beginning to think I need downgrade rights or whatever it's called - but to whom do I get that from?

Thanks
Simon
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
With respect to Edition query, I am not certain whether Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter Edition can be installed when we have a Datacenter Edition Key.
As per this URL, it only states the instances and not being specific to the edition.
http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/virtualization.aspx 
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Darius GhassemCommented:
You have the ability to run another previous verison of Windows in a VM on DataCenter.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/2008-dc.aspx


Here are licensing Docs from MS.

download.microsoft.com/.../windows_server_2008_virtual_tech-vl_brief-jan_09.docx


download.microsoft.com/.../Win%20Server%20Lic%20Book%20customer%20hi-res.pdf -
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sbennettsAuthor Commented:
Hi, thanks for the reply.  The docs you reference tell me what I'm allowed to do (which I think I already know and understand) but not how I can physically get the virtual OSEs to activate successfully.

Do you have any specific guidance about that?

Thanks
Simon
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Darius GhassemCommented:
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znetindiaCommented:
IF you have a key with Microsoft SPLA for your DC as well as your virtual OS, than only you can activate your virtual OS. Can you post the error which you are getting while activation?
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sbennettsAuthor Commented:
OK, so I've got a Windows 2008 Enterprise server which I've tried to license using my virtual OS key.  In my server summary, it shows a Product ID but says it's failed to activate.  If I run SLUI and click activate windows online now, I get "Error Code 0x8007232B" - If I click the link for more information, it says the "DNS name does not exist" as if it's looking for a licensing server or something similar.

If I retype my product key (using the virtual key), it sits there for a few seconds, and then tells me "The product key you have entered will not work with this edition of Windows Server.  You must either run Windows Server Setup or enter a Windows Server Enterprise product key."

If I try to built a data centre edition and use the virtual key for that, it works, but I don't want a million instances of data centre edition on my server that is supposed to enable me to put various editions on my data centre server without the need to license each one!

I hope you can help.

Thanks
Simon
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Darius GhassemCommented:
You need to get the keys from you Volume Licensing
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sbennettsAuthor Commented:
I've tried!  They say as I'm not a Volume License holder, they can't help me.  We are a small company, not a big corporate firm.
Cheers
Simon
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Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/downgrade-rights.aspx

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) Customers
Customers who obtained their Windows Server license from a server manufacturer or installer (OEM) have the same rights to run a prior version or lower edition of Windows Server as Volume License and Retail customers: Customers may run an instance of an earlier version of Windows Server in place of Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. However, the server manufacturer or installer are not obligated to supply and may not support earlier versions of the software. In addition, for some products, the OEM may not have any additional rights to supply the downgrade media.

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On the same page, 2nd Last heading "Original Equipment Manufacturer OEM Customers" Expand "Obtaining Product Keys and Media for Previous Versions"

OEM customers will need media and a product key to run a previous version. There are several options to obtain them.

From a previous license. Customers may use media and/or a product key from a previous license in order to install, activate and run an earlier version of the product. The product key and media must match. If the product key being used has already been activated, the customer may not be able to activate over the internet. In these cases, the customer will be prompted to call the Activation Support Line and explain their circumstances to the Customer Service Representative. Once it is determined that the end user has a valid Windows Server license the Customer Service Representative will help them activate their software. For more information on Product Activation Call Centers go to http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/resources/vol/numbers.mspx. Some OEMs have pre-activated their software. In these cases, a customer would not need to activate over the internet or via the phone.
From an OEM. From now until March 31, 2011, some OEMs may support fulfilling Windows Server 2003 R2 downgrades (includes Windows Server 2003 Web Edition, Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems, and Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition for Itanium-based Systems) to their customers. There are several options available. Contact your OEM to determine if it supports downgrade fulfillment. Please note that downgrade media is not a new license for Windows Server. It only enables a customer to install, activate and run an earlier version of Windows Server under a Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 license.
OEMs may provide their existing Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 customers one copy of downgrade Windows Server 2003 R2 media only if their customer requests it.
Some OEMs have pre-activated their software. In these cases, a customer would not need a product key or to activate over the internet or via the phone.
For Windows Server 2008 R2 downgrade requests, end customers should fulfill downgrade requests through the Windows Server Downgrade Fulfillment site.
Downgrade Media Kit. Customers who do not have media or a product key from a previous license and are unable to obtain one from their OEM, may order a downgrade media kit of Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 R2 from the Windows Server Fulfillment website. The downgrade media kit will contain a copy of Windows Server and a corresponding product key that the end user may run under a valid Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 license. The downgrade media kit is not a new license for Windows Server. The media kit is a retail version of the software and may not be supported by your server manufacturer. The customer should contact the OEM from which the server was purchased for its support policy when installing this downgrade version of the software on server hardware. To order from the Windows Server Fulfillment website, a customer will need the product key from their Windows Server 2008 license which can be found on their Certificate of Authenticity (COA). For more information on COAs, please go to www.howtotell.com. The following versions are available:


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if you are a retail customer you expand the appropriate section on the same page.

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What I ended up doing was to install Datacenter R2 instances and when required 2003R2 (using existing license) and 2008 existing license.

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