server 2008 R2 licensing

Posted on 2012-09-18
Last Modified: 2013-09-24
I am helping a company rebuild a server that crashed. We got the install disk and server license key from the previous IT company. During the installation we typed in the licence key and it accepted it. However, when the install finished and we tried to activate Microsoft came back and said that the key was invalid.

Upon further investigation I found that the license key given was for server 2008 not server 2008 R2. Is this where the problem is?

If so, the previous server was running 2008 R2. Is there a way to find out what license key was used on that server? (similar to the magical jellybean application)

If I need to take the issue up with Microsoft does anyone know what number would be the best one to reach them for this issue?

Thanks in advance for your help
Question by:siggy9
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, are not the same.... They do use a different license key that's not mutual to both flavors.

    This applied to Server 2003 and Server 2003 R2 as well.

    There are several tools that are on the internet (google is your friend) that will easily get you the key that was used on the old system -- but if it's crashed, then you won't be able to gain anything that way.

    The other thing with licensing --- even if you have the correct key that matches the version you're installing --- it might STILL complain, and you will have to contact M$ to get them to release it for you.   If you try to use it, it won't activate, and there should (eventually) be a pop-up that will give you the calling information.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    You will find the Hotlinenumber like this ( look under Click here to show information on how to find the Windows 7 Microsoft Product Activation Center phone number. ):

    Info: The way is similar to Vista, Win7 or Server 2008 R2

    Author Comment

    It does not give me an option to call.

    And actually in trying to find the phone number I tried the activation again and it gave me the following error:
    Description: DNS name does not exist."

    My DNS servers are correct so I can only assume that it cant locate Microsofts DNS  server?
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Then I would call to one of these numbers:

    They will forward you to the proper hotline.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

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