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Can I install Windows Server 2008 Enterprise R2 license key on Server 2008 Enterprise (not R2)?

Posted on 2016-11-16
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Last Modified: 2016-11-16
I have a server running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise. I need to purchase a license key for it. Can I purchase a license key for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise R2? Will that work without having to reinstall the OS? Right now its asking me to activate Windows. I really don't want to reinstall the OS because i've been running a trial version up to this point and have quite a bit on the server. Thoughts? And where is the best place to buy the OS key? Thank you!!
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Question by:brasiman
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Author Comment

by:brasiman
ID: 41889799
Here is a screenshot of my OS version. I hope this helps too.
WindowsServer2008Enterprise.bmp
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 41889812
You need to purchase such key from Microsoft. I am not sure if they continue to sell these keys, but Server 2008 (all versions) remains under support.

Call Microsoft Licensing Support and get them to assist you.

Make sure you have a complete backup in case you need to reinstall the server. I am not sure if you can go backwards from Enterprise once it is installed (you can normally go forward).
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Accepted Solution

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Scott Silva earned 250 total points
ID: 41889942
The keys are not interchangeable as they are different OS versions and R2 is not an "upgrade" to 2008.

2008 was based on the Vista kernel, and 2008 R2 is based on the Windows 7 kernel...
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Author Closing Comment

by:brasiman
ID: 41890041
Thank you! I called Microsoft. Good to know they aren't interchangeable! I can get 2016 and Microsoft supports two versions older than the newest.  So I can still get 2008. However, i need to reinstall the OS. So i will likely keep 2016.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Silva
ID: 41890088
If Microsoft only supports 2 versions older than 2016, then that would only be 2012 and 2008R2... It would leave 2008 out of the equation...

But if you can manage to buy via open license, I do believe they support downgrade rights.
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