Remove 2016 Essentials from Domain but maintain Hyper-V VM

I had this question after viewing Windows server 2012 r2 essential shut itself down.

After a recent emergency disaster recovery I have a 2016 Server Essentials running a Hyper-V VM that contains a Windows Server 2003 installation(Due to 3rd party software restrictions). The VM is a domain member.

Due to my lack of research (!!!) we now have the issue where the 2016 Host shutsdown due to the licensing policy.

My question is:
Can I remove the 2016 Host from the Domain and make part of workgroup but maintain the operation of the VM.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Nope. Essentials must be a domain controller. No workgroups. And it really shouldn't have the Hoyer-v role either. If you need essentials and 2083, they should both be VMs. Running hyper-v on any DC is just bad news.
iainmacleodAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your quick response Cliff.
I currently have a DC on this domain therefore do not need the 2016 Essentials Server to be a DC, the critical Server here is the 2003 VM.
Do you have any suggestions on how I can solve this?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Buy server standard licenses and convert your Essentials install to standard. You can't do what you want with Essentials.

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iainmacleodAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your advice
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Windows Server 2012

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