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SBS 2008 and SBS 2003

Posted on 2011-02-18
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Hello Experts Exchange,

I purchased SBS 2008 and now we cannot use this OS as it is not compatible with our client's software applications.

We need to use SBS 2003. Is there anyway to downgrade the lisence key from SBS 2008 to SBS 2003?


Thank you,

JBond2010
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Question by:JBond2010
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zippybungle2003 earned 250 total points
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Yes you can, depeding on the country your in you need to contact micrsoft.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdnsbsc/archive/2008/12/23/sbs-2008-downgrade-rights-and-process.aspx
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by:JBond2010
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Hi Zippybungle2,

I need to downgrade the SBS 2008 Product Key to use with SBS 2003 not the CALs.
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by:zippybungle2003
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here, you will need your 2008 license keys

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/downgrade-TC.aspx

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by:JBond2010
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@zippybungle2,

This is only valid for Windows Server 2008. It does not say anything regarding SBS2008 downgrade to SBS2003.
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by:Rob Williams
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Only fully boxed SBS or volume licenses can be downgraded. OEM cannot. What type of license have you purchased?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957708
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by:Rob Williams
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Please ignore link in my post has nthing to do with this thread
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by:Rob Williams
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If you have OEM: to the best of my knowledge there is no downgrade rights, although Zippybungle2's post implies that is possible
If you have Volume licensing the downgrade software and CD keys are available on the volume licensing site
https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/home.aspx
If you have FPP (full boxed version) you need to call Microsoft. I would use the link provided in Zippybungle2's post:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdnsbsc/archive/2008/12/23/sbs-2008-downgrade-rights-and-process.aspx

You say you don't need to, but if you have any SBS2008 CAL's to downgrade those to SBS 2003 use the following key in SBS to install KJQBH-XJ6YQ-THYJY-PVDCP-87QT6
from: http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/licensing-faq.aspx
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by:JBond2010
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The SBS 2008 Product Key is OEM. Can this not be downgraded to SBS 2003 OEM?
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by:Rob Williams
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I didn't think it could but I would call zippybungle2…'s number to find out.
If a Del, HP, or other server you could also call them. Dell I know will sell you a server with 2008 and 2003 downgrade rights and an OEM license. Whether you can get it after the fact I don't know.

Are you certain you app is not compatible? This is not a common problem. May I ask what it is?
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by:JBond2010
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I spoke with the software vendor and they told me that the app will not be compatible.
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by:Rob Williams
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I am surprised as 2008 will easily run 32bit apps, however if the vendor says not supported no point in trying as they will not support the product in that scenario.
If you have premium and SQL is the issue; the add on server comes with 2008 32 and 64bit options and and SQL has (or at least did) down grade rights to 2005
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by:Cliff Galiher
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Did. Downgrade rights ended about a year ago.  If this were me, I'd just buy a 2003 standard (and SQl is necessary) and add them to the SBS 2008 domain. Running 3rd-party apps on the SBS server is a bad idea anyways, 2003 or otherwise. Might as well get a more modern OS for your infrastructure and run the older OS only for the app as an "as-needed" solution.

-Cliff
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
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You can add Software Assurance to OEM or FPP if purchased with 90 days of the orginal, and, according to some sources, if you do it before the newer version (SBS 2011) is "released" whatever that is.  Once you have SA on the product, you should be able to downgrade it, and you will also get SBS 2011 and up, so long as you keep the SA in effect.  Be aware that "downgrade" means the entire suite, not just one or more parts of the suite.

As cgaliher points out you can add an Windows Standard 2003 to the SBS 2008 domain, and maybe get by with SQL Express if that meets the requirements of the app.
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by:Cliff Galiher
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SBS 2011 is released. Again, downgrade rights for OS/SQL ended back in December 2009 (as I recall.)
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by:Rob Williams
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Is SQL involved?

@cgaliher
You mention downgrade rights ended a year ago. That is only for SQL is it not?
This we have determined is OEM, but out of curiosity, if someone has vol licensing for SBS or server std purchased a while ago with downgrade rights , I assume they are still valid?
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
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Unfortunately not. MS's stance is that SBS is sold as a package (standard or premium) so you either downgrade it all, or downgrade none of it. In other words, although the premium edition is three distinct peices...SBS, the second server, and SQL, if you want to run SQL 2005, you msut exercise your downgrade rights as a bundle, aka SBS 2003.

When SBS 2008 first shipped, they allowed a limited window where you could *just* downgrade SQL for application compatibility. That was supposed to end June 2009, but then they extended it because SQL 2008 adoption was lower than expected, so the deadline of the individual component downgrade was extended to December, but no further.

Now the only downgrade rights you can get come with SA and they are as a suite, no longer individual components, so it is what is is, sadly. Hopefully this changes, but for the time being that is the situation. I know there is some push, now that SBS 2011 sells its prmium features as an add-on, to allow the downgrade rights to be incremental, but I haven't heard it actually getting traction yet. We'll see...

-Cliff
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by:JBond2010
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Hi Experts Exchange,

Thank you all for your help, I really appreciate it.

I spoke with Microsoft and they said that I will have to get in contact with the software distributor that we purchased the OS from. Microsoft said that they should be able to give me a downgrade product key for SBS 2003, fingers crossed!
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