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Cannot activate Windows 2012R2 after importing Hyper-V vm guest

Posted on 2015-02-18
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Last Modified: 2015-02-19
So....  I built a temporary Hyper-V server running W2012R2 Standard.  I did NOT activate Windows on it.  I created a VM on it, also running W2012R2 Standard, and also not activated.  I built up and configured this VM in a sandboxed environment, and then I transferred it to our production environment.

In order to transfer it to our production environment, I exported the Hyper-V VM.  Copied the export to our W2012R2 Datacenter server, and imported the VM.  

When I did so, Windows still needed to be activated, so I tried to activate it.  It prompted for the key, so I used the same key as I did for the Hyper-V host.  It didn't like that, and I got "That key can't be used to activate this edition of Windows.  Please try a different key."

I guess my questions are:
Should I call Microsoft to get this activated?
Did I do something wrong, or was there a better way to do this?

Thanks for your time!
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Question by:lou6150
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40617954
What version, edition, and type of key are you trying to use? What kind of media did you use for the install?
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Author Comment

by:lou6150
ID: 40617983
For the installation of the temporary Hyper-V server, I used media downloaded from the VLSC.  (Win2012 R2 Standard x64)

For the installation of the Guest VM, I used the same media.

On the production server, I used media downloaded from the VLSC (Win 2012 R2 Datacenter x64).  For the activation, I used a volume license MAK for (Windows Srv 2012R2 DataCenter MAK C).

When I tried to activate the Guest VM, I used the same MAK as I did for the production server.  I realize that the MAK was meant for Datacenter edition, but I didn't know what other key to use.
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Accepted Solution

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weinberk earned 400 total points
ID: 40617990
Windows Server 2012 allows for automatic Guest activation using GENERIC keys.

On the guest, do this:
slmgr /ipk DBGBW-NPF86-BJVTX-K3WKJ-MTB6V      <-- use this exact key - see note below**

That will activate the guest as standard edition, making use of the unlimited number of guests that you can have on a datacenter host.

**This is a key that microsoft makes available exactly for this use.  
See: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn303421.aspx

Hope this helps.
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 50 total points
ID: 40617995
Since standard is a legitimate downgrade option granted under VL licensing terms, keys should be available to you via VLSC. If not, you should contact the VL licensing department (contact info is also in the VLSC) and request them. Requests such as this, when downgrade keys are errantly not included, are usually quickly fulfilled. My experience has been within 24 hours typically.
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Assisted Solution

by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 50 total points
ID: 40618163
Here is an excellent blog post that outlines how VM Auto Activation works. Links to Microsoft resources are to be found there too.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lou6150
ID: 40619654
Weinberk's one command line solved this problem immediately.  Thanks!

Thanks for the other excellent info as well.
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