Windows 2003 SBS activation

I would like to troubleshoot our Windows 2003 SBS server. I used VMWare converter to convert it into a virtual machine and tried to run it on VMWorkstation 8. I was asked to activate the SBS server. Can I activate the server just for troubleshooting? I don't want it to affect the actual server in any ways.
zzzyAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's possible it's an OEM version if it requires activation.

If it is an OEM version of SBS2003, i.e. the OS came with the hardware. You have breached the Microsoft Licence Agreement, only Retail and Volume licenses can be P2Ved, Converted.

You cannot activate the Server because of the change of hardware.

Experts cannot help you violate the License Agreement, it's a breach of EE rules.



See also here

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/A_3721-Can-I-transfer-my-OEM-version-of-Windows-to-another-PC.html


Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) versions

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

Source
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415
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zzzyAuthor Commented:
Thanks hanccocka

Is there any way I can change product key (full version) for the virtual server before activation ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You would need to discuss this with Microsoft Licensing.

The Windows software version you have is possibly OEM.
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zzzyAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

I appreciate the feedback. However, it seems only Microsoft can clarify licensing issues when it comes to troubleshooting malfunctioning windows operating system. Unfortunately, I don't have time to deal with this. I'm just going to upgrade to Windows 2008 Server and build the domain again.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Microsoft OEM Licenses cannot be P2Ved. Valid Microsoft URL provided.
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zzzyAuthor Commented:
The crux of the questions is how do you overcome licensing/activation issues so that an ailing Windows Server can be troubleshooted offline. The comments by hanccocka are re-stating/elaborating the problem. Unfortunately they are not helpful in solving the problem at hand. Since I've decided to upgrade to 2008 server, the question has become moot.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Can I activate the server just for troubleshooting?

Answer:  No.

The crux of the questions is how do you overcome licensing/activation issues so that an ailing Windows Server can be troubleshooted offline.

any tampering with the Licensing Activation is a breach of Microsoft Licensing, and as such, cannot be discussed on EE.

" .we still abide by a rather clear-cut set of rules that help all of us avoid legal and/or licensing issues.."
- ModSquad, Experts Exchange Moderator
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zzzyAuthor Commented:
I have no intention of tampering with Microsoft licensing. But there must be some legal way to handle this problem. Just pointing out that something can not be done is not a solution. There may be a way to activate the server using full version key or there may be an exception to the rule when it comes to troubleshooting the server.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It is NOT LEGAL to transfer the OS.

I cannot discuss on EE, ways to circumvent the Microsoft Licensing or Microsoft Activation.

I believe you original question has been answered.



Have a read of this article

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/A_3721-Can-I-transfer-my-OEM-version-of-Windows-to-another-PC.html
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