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SBS 2011 activation fails after virtualisation

Posted on 2014-07-17
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hello,

We have a DELL SERVER that came with a SBS 2011 standard license, installed from OEM media supplied by DELL.
We virtualized this server using vmware ESXI, I didn't notice at first but now our SBS 2011 server is not activated anymore.

We are unable to activate it using the windows wizard, any advise?
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Question by:Benderama
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by:Frosty555
Frosty555 earned 167 total points
ID: 40203040
You may not be able to. Many OEM-branded Windows installs will look for vendor signatures in the BIOS. After you virtualize you are now using a virtual BIOS provided by the hypervisor which no longer contains that signature. It is considered a different, non-OEM machine, and the OEM license does not grant you the rights to use the software on that platform.

If telephone activation is an option, try to activate that way.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 166 total points
ID: 40203612
Phone activation.  But they won't activate it if it wasn't installed on the same hardware that it came with.  OEM licenses are locked to the machines they came with.
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by:
Adam Ray earned 167 total points
ID: 40203746
Check the software DVDs that came with your server. I have seen Dell ship two product keys with some SBS media.--One key was specifically for use when installed as a virtual server.

Disclaimer: I'm not sure how common this practice was for Dell, only that I saw it on multiple servers I've ordered over the last 5 years.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Benderama
ID: 40203926
Phone activation was not an option. I found another key on the media like wcllc said. all answers contained some helpful comments
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