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Maximum activations of SBS 2003

Posted on 2013-02-06
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Last Modified: 2013-02-09
I am using a ShadowProtect VirtualBoot for backing up and hardware independent restores of servers.  I'm testing creating a guest using VirtualBoot (which works great, by the way), but running into a snag when the SBS 2003 server boots up in that it needs to be activated to let me log on.  It is an OEM version of SBS2003 it appears, and I have the OEM license key, however since I'm testing a DR scenario the original server with this OEM license is online.   I cannot use the phone number to activate via Microsoft it appears, since it's an OEM.

 I recall that XP was limited to 4 activations, per year, in the event of rebuilds, etc.  However, I can't find anything about SBS 2003 activation limitations.  I have to have the guest connected to the internet to successfully activate, so I just don't want their to be an issue with the current production server if I activate the test server with the OEM license, although I don't see a need to activate this test server more than a couple times in the next months.  I'm used to working in Enterprise server environments where licensing for servers is KMS based, so this is a simply issue that I've not run into aside from desktops.
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Question by:Darthyw
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 250 total points
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Server 2003 is built upon Windows XP Codebase so the 4 activations/year probably still holds true.
Remember that you are working outside of the license for OEM software which can only be used on the original hardware that it was installed on! No viritualization rights etc

Unfortunately on Technet only SBS 2003R2 is available
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by:Darthyw
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Thanks ve3ofa!  I didn't even think of the hardware limitation.  We're trying to get these small businesses to get away from OEM licensing on their servers so it's not so tied to the hardware vendor simply so we could move the OS,  but I didn't even think about the activation inability on a virtual vs. the original server. So, here's another reason.
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