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Upgrading windows server 2003 sp2 to r2. CD disk 2.

I need to upgrade Windows 2003 server SP2 standard to Windows server R2. I understand that I need the R2 disk 2 CD but when I use a disk 2 from another set, I get a notice that the product id is either invalid or if I proceed, Windows will have to be re-activated. I heard that Microsoft had an .iso that could be downloaded to upgrade without re-activating. Is that true & if so, how do I acquire it? I don't mind purchasing the upgrade if it is available also.
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This is happening because I'm assuming you are using a Retail or Volume License CD2 on an OEM original install of the 2k3 sp2.

If you have an OEM version of 2k3 sp2 and have a valid license for the Retail or Volume key, you can convert your original install to that license type by running a repair install (in place upgrade if you will, similar to the repair install of XP).  During that repair, it will ask for the new key and all your stuff should be the same.  I would recommend backups just in case of course.

Once converted, you can install from CD2 of that same license type and it won't cause you any problems.

The only reason I say convert it with a repair install rather than converting it with the R2 item, is I wouldn't want you machine to flip out during the install process while the server is active.  I'd always rather see everything be configured correctly before moving forward with an "in-place" install such as moving to R2.

PLEASE be sure you have a valid license for the Retail or Volume copy you are using the second disk from, as we wouldn't want to be doing anything wrong.  As long as you have a proper license for 2k3 R2 you should be fine converting and then upgrading.


Thanks for your response.
The original 2k3 CD came with no service packs (early 1st release) & I put SP1 & SP2 on manually so if I use the original 2k3 CD to repair, won't it revert back to no SP's? or do you mean to place the 2k3 R2 disk with a valid license for the Retail or Volume key in to do the repair?
Here's what I mean.

You currently have a Standard Windows Server 2003 SP2 install.  I'm guessing the disks that came with it were a different license type then the 2003 R2 disks you have now (i.e. the original install was OEM, the new R2 disks are retail or Volume License).

If you have a valid copy/license of the Windows Server 2003 R2 disks, you can drop in Disk 1 of this set and run a repair installation, which will convert it to Windows Server 2003 SP2 with a different license type (won't add R2 just yet, the 1st disk of the R2 set is only 2k3 sp2, nothing to do with R2 since thats all on the second disk).

Once that finishes you will now have a (for example) Retail copy of 2k3 sp2 on your server instead of the OEM version.  From there, you can run the second disk to install the R2 features and upgrade the server, only this time it won't have a problem with the previous version being invalid since it will be the same license type.  

Again, you're just running into a licensing issue and the examples I provided are just samples.  It could be anything really.  If you're machine now is Retail and your R2 disks are Volume Licenses, you'll need to convert it as well.  The only thing you can't do is take an OEM R2 disk and convert a retail or volume copy to it, since the OEM software/license is tied to the machine.

Please let me know if you need further clarification, but I think that about sums it up.


Ah Ha!!
That's what I thought. Just wanted to clarify the proceedures.
Thanks for your help.


Great response time.