Windows 2003 server virtulisation

I have a production SQL windows 2003 server running on dell hardware which has the OEM license on it. I need to get the server working on a virtual platform so that it becomes easier to upgrade & so that I can dispose of the old hardware.
I have managed to virtualise the server on ESXI  but when powered up in the virtual environment it goes through the windows licensing GUI. I have a volume license for 2003 server, but the licensing wizard will not accept it.
Richard GrayIT & QA ManagerAsked:
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Kash2nd Line EngineerCommented:
OEM is hardware only you can't virtualize it I am afraid.
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
OEM license will always require re-activation. You are moving it to dissimilar hardware and it technically a breach of their EULA.
You can call them for re-activation and input the code they provide.

http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/transfer_oem_licenses.aspx#fbid=F6NVYEKzkkm
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Davy ParidaensCommented:
If you are licences are genuine contact Microsoft they will solve your licences issues. Login to you Partner account and take a look at your licence status.
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Kash2nd Line EngineerCommented:
this link has some answers as well >>> http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/138099-can-i-use-oem-licensed-server-as-virtual-server

there is EULA there as well.
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Richard GrayIT & QA ManagerAuthor Commented:
I have it virtulised & it runs but the windows activation does come up. Is there NO way of getting this server running on virtual hardware with an upgraded license? I have volume 2003 licenses available.
My plan was to get it virtualised, take a snapshot & then upgrade it to 2008 serve, but if there were issues to revert back to the snapshot. Obviously I cant do that on the physical server without wasting hours backing up/restoring if anything goes wrong
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Richard GrayIT & QA ManagerAuthor Commented:
And I dont have a window long enough to try it on the production server backing up before trying etcc
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Kash2nd Line EngineerCommented:
can't you not build a new virtual server and leave that as is. It would be less hassle I think
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Richard GrayIT & QA ManagerAuthor Commented:
The production server has SQL apps written by outside contractors some 6+ years ago which we have no source for. So its easier to get it running on a virtual environment.
So am I correct saying that even though I have a VALID volume 2003 server license,I cannot upgrade the existing oem?

I have done it on Windows 7 & that worked fine.. yes newer software but....
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
You cannot do an inplace upgrade to 2008.
This will be a new server regardless.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff972408(v=ws.10).aspx
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Richard GrayIT & QA ManagerAuthor Commented:
So EVERYONE is saying that even though I have a VALID volume 2003 server license,I cannot upgrade the existing oem to a volume license product then virtulise that ?
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
You can call and do the activation over the phone. This will re-activate the license with the code they provide as this is your only option.
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
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pgm554Commented:
Here's the low down, Dell,HP and others have a special OEM build that will only work if it sees the BIOS of the HW manufacturer it is keyed to.

Normally you don't even have to put in a serial key or activate it, as it is preactivated.

It is actually within the Windows build  code itself and cannot be bypassed by any serial number.

There are a couple of special files within windows that differentiate between VL, OEM and retail.
Without those files being present ,only certain keys will work.

You can try this:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/8b102ccc-33d4-41a9-b472-787f5e64b9ad/convert-server-2003-r2-std-oem-volume-license?forum=winservergen
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Richard GrayIT & QA ManagerAuthor Commented:
Couldnt get anything to go, so built a new server & had to pay contractor to do VB stuff :(
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