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Disappearing CALs in Windows 2003 SBS

Posted on 2013-11-04
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Last Modified: 2014-03-17
We created a virtual server for a Windows 2003 SBS box that was showing hardware issues.  Since virtualizing the server we have had non-stop issues with licensing.  We enter the license information  but overnight the licenses no longer are showing when accessing the Licensing feature of SBS Server Management.  We have been using the licstr.cpa work around to get the licenses back but we want to find out what the root cause is rather than applying a fix every day. Anybody have any ideas what could be causing this?
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Question by:Frogworks
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39622292
Likely your antivirus program is causing the issue.  Though I don't think SBS 2003 is supported in a virtual configuration.  (It should work, but it's unsupported - and VERY OLD now - you really need to upgrade that).

Reference:
http://www.matthewglover.co.uk/2010/10/28/small-business-server-2003-lostmissingdisappeared-cals/#.Unf1NxASFSU
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Author Comment

by:Frogworks
ID: 39622759
The disk space on this client's server is so small (20 GB with only 1.33 GB free) that there is no antivirus software running on it.  We have advised the client to upgrade their hardware on numerous occasions but they have so far chosen not to do so.  Any idea what else could be causing this?
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by:Frogworks
ID: 39627251
Anybody else have any idea what could be causing this problem with the CALs other than antivirus software?
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Jakob Digranes earned 500 total points
ID: 39633083
Maybe this does it for you ...
 
http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000339.htm

ended up in that mess one time, but fortunately that made the customer upgrade to new solution (win2008R2 AD + File and Print, then DirSync and ADFS and Office 365) --- way better than SBS was :-)
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Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 39633086
is there an event log message about the licensing change ?

if there is, is there anything preceding it ?
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 39633131
As leew points out SBS 2003 is not supported in a virtual environment.  secondly SBS 2003 will not be supported at all after April 2014.  if this was an OEM install, it's most likely seeing the hardware change...does the event log say anything about activation?
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Author Comment

by:Frogworks
ID: 39633324
Hi Cris,

Yes it did say to activate Windows, which I did through Microsoft.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Coltharp
ID: 39639097
You nailed it with disk space. I have several SBS 2003 customers in the field and whenever disk space gets critical, this happens. I have made a habit of backing up the CALs to a file on the data drive and restoring them whenever they are lost.

Try to get 20% free space on the boot drive. With SBS 2003, the log files for remote web workplace can grow to hideous proportions. I would start by cleaning up those logs and disabled the IIS logging on those virtual directories in IIS.

HTH

Gary
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