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Re-using Windows Server 2008 R2 product key after server crash

trinisteve asked
Windows Server 2008 will have to be re-installed on the physical server due to hardware failure. Will I be able to reuse the existing product key? Will it achieve validation with microsoft?
Watch Question

Yes, but the automatic system working will depend on how many times you have used it.

I believe a standard retail key will authorize automatically at least 2 times.

If it doesn't work, just call the number provided by the system and tell Microsoft what happened and they should resolve it for you.

PS, if you have a valid backup and you are restoring, you shouldn't have to reauthorize.
If the original Windows Server 2008 R2 was an OEM version, then it is tied to the hardware and you cannot reuse it. If is a retail or volume license, then it can be moved to new hardware and rsimsee is correct.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

WalterH is unclear, at least to me.

You can reinstall 2008 R2 EVEN if it's OEM PROVIDED your server does not materially change.  Meaning, If the motherboard is replaced DUE TO FAILURE with an otherwise IDENTICAL board, you can legally reinstall.  If you replace the motherboard to "upgrade" the server, then you CANNOT reinstall an OEM copy.  OEM is essentially tied to the motherboard make and model and the only time it can be reused is if the motherboard fails and is replaced with a like board.


Thanks leew for the details.