How to P2V a Physical Windows server?

This is a planning to do a P2V conversion on few old MS Windows 2003 OEM servers. I know that I can use VMware convertor to do the conversion. But, how about the server license? can these OEM server works as VM with the oem license? As I heard that a product key is prompting upon the first bootup, and it normal won't accept the OEM product key. Does this mean that I have to change by upgrading to a volume license?

Please help!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You are correct, and it does depend on which country your reside in, as to whether Microsoft will re-activate the licenses.

Some P2V with OEM licenses have been found to re-activate with no issues!

Microsoft will state this...

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.


Best thing is to go ahead and try it, also Microsoft at the moment, are encouraging sites to move off Windows 2003, and move to Azure for FREE!
Matthew BorrussoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
here is the deal.
the OEM license is technically only valid on the OEM hardware.
Your getting bit because the P2V process changes the hardware and the OS picks that up.

Microsoft has been cool about this: check out the following URL. MS gives you keys to get yourself sorted when you run into this.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
If you have a Microsoft Open License to cover this you can perform a P2V and perform a repair using the VLK disk and license.
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MichaelBalackAuthor Commented:
Hi Matthew and Andrew,  

Thanks for your articles. Let me read through them and get back to you guys.
Matthew BorrussoCommented:
Good luck with it..
MichaelBalackAuthor Commented:
Hi Matthew and Andrew,

I need to setup a test lab to really visualize the p2v process. I will only able to start this on next monday (23/2) due to lunar chinese new year long weekends.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Look at my videos and articles with screenshots P2Vs are often misunderstood and many think point and click some P2V can be others maybe more difficult see my FAQ.
Matthew BorrussoCommented:
Also, in support of what Andrew is saying, while much of the P2v can be simple, do not just "next" your way through. Google the settings if you not sure what they are.

Last but not least, shutdown any databases on the system, back the data up! Shutdown any application services that may be running (if you have anything funky going on). This way, when you initiate the process, your not dealing with any "live" files or open tables.

Granted, the process should not impact the source, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
MichaelBalackAuthor Commented:
Hi Andrew and Matthew,

Please see how I did the conversion, and moved it to the hyperv:

-      Copy Disk2VHD folder into the C:\ drive
-      Double-click the exe file to open the console
-      Select a drive at a time, click Create to start the conversion
-      Tick Volume Shadow Copy option; if failed, untick it to continue (Does this matter?)

On MS HyperV Manager, select to create new virtual machine and continue with the activities as follows:

-      Select Edit to convert the disk to fixed disk
-      Choose the values for vCPU, RAM, NIC
-      Boot up the virtual machine, select to skip when prompted for Windows activation (as NIC not recognized)
-      Select to insert the HyperV Integrated Services CD; proceed with the setup
-      HyperV display, NIC, and other components are installed
-      Configure the IP Addressing, and then reboot the system
-      Upon rebooting, select to proceed with the Windows Activation via Internet connection; browse to C:\Windows\System32\oobe, and run “msoobe /A”

So far, I tried on 2 physical servers, and they can be converted and run as HyperV VMs without any problem. I think the most important part is, get ready the w2k3 R2 standard edition w/sp2 ISO VL (although they are not needed). In both cases, the original physical servers are installed with VL license, so no issue. The second important part is the NIC, as it wasn't identified until the hyperv integrated services are installed successfully.

Appreciate a lot with the guidance and link references to get the confusions un-rooted.
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