P2V Windows Server 2003 - Unique Situation With OEM & Open License

Posted on 2013-12-07
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi, I have been doing some research on P2V and activation issues.  I have read numerous articles about the licensing problem for OEM to a virtualized environment.

This situation is a little different and I would like to get some input.

In this scenario, Open License for Windows Server 2003 was acquired.  For some reason Dell OEM media was used to do the install instead of the Open media.  Now years later, that is creating an issue for the P2V.  Since Dell media comes pre-activated, it cannot be activated on the new hardware in the virtual environment.

Since the license is correct and the media was wrong, are there any options for getting the software activated without having to do a repair installation before P2V?

Any thoughts on this would be welcome.  There are numerous applications that I am concerned about a repair install causing problems with.  Again, since the license was the Open License all along, I really hate to go through that process if I don't have to.
Question by:edward47150
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LVL 118

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39703240
If the wrong media e.g. OEM Media was used, once you have completed the P2V, you will need to "Run a Repair, or RE-install over the top using Retail or Open" Media.

which is generally, what Admins, do, when P2V-ing an OEM Media Version and Licenses to a VM, and then run a repair/reinstall with Retail Media and Applying a License.!

Have you also tried this, because somes times it does not re-activate!

Also, I've read that the OEM rules is only applicable in some Countries, so check with Microsoft Licensing!

see my EE Article

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

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.


Author Comment

ID: 39703256
I have not tried it.  I am being brought in to assist with the conversion.  I am hoping I can somehow just get the software re-activated as it is being decommissioned as part of the transition.  It will only need to run for a few more months and then be shut down.  Therefore, I didn't want to have to deal with the potential damage to other applications due to the repair install.

Do you or anybody else have any idea if Microsoft would provide activation if you can demonstrate that you have adequate licensing and the wrong media was used in the first place?
LVL 118
ID: 39703340
I would try and start the P2V anyway, you've got to do it anyway, and once you have the VM, copy it.

Start it and check, we've seen some strange effects sometimes, where it works with no issues, and is Activated! (so all this text, is worthless!)

They can assist but it depends on

1. Your support contract
2. OEM situation
3. Country
4. Licenses you hold.

Because technically you are tampering with the License.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39755987
Sorry for the delay in getting this awarded.  This may have fizzled so I haven't had a chance to check it but based on all I am reading, this is the best method.  Thanks for your help.

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