Can I perform in-place upgrade of Server 2008R2 from Action Pack to Retail License ?

Posted on 2011-05-05
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I performed an emergency installation of Server 2008R2 with Action Pack license at a client's office.  To fix the licensing, can I do an in-place upgrade with retail media ?

The Server has SP1 installed. If an in-place upgrade to Retail is possible, does the Retail Media have to be at SP1 to permit an in-place upgrade ?
Question by:swbruce21
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    1) You could have installed without entering the license key and worked off the 30 day trial (with rearms 120 days) until retail key was available...

    2) That said, you do NOT have to reinstall or upgrade... Just change the key and reactivate!

    Author Comment

    How sure are you about that ? According to technet article that I read recently, it is a violation of licensing terms when going from one license type to another.  
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    If you have difficulty finding the GUI for activation (activate server), you can change the key using an elevated command prompt as follows:

    1. Open a command prompt and change working directory to System32 directory
    2. Type in slmgr.vbs -ckms (this clears any KMS entry)
    3. Type slmgr.vbs -upk (this removes existing product key)
    4. Type slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx (where the x's is the new key)
    5. Type slmgr.vbs -ato (this activates the server)

    Reinstall/upgrade should NOT be necessary!
    LVL 20

    Accepted Solution

    In answer to your question about "license terms"... it depends!

    Certain VL installs are not legal on "white box" equipment without a proper base install...
    Example: Not legal to install a VL "pro" version of client OS on top of a "home" version or bare system...

    However, since you said you were installing RETAIL key, that is perfectly legal!

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