Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Has anyone ever heard of a 64-bit OS identifying itself as a 32-bit OS?

We have a Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 development server. We've been trying to activate it with a product key from MSDN, but it keeps telling us the the key is invalid. I've opened a ticket with MSDN for this.

Then something odd happened --

I tried to install a 64-bit version of SQL Server 2005. After it extracted, we got this message:

This version of hotfix.exe is not compatible with the version of Windows you're running. Check your computer's system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program...

Now, we're pretty sure this is a 64-bit OS. Computer > Properties says:

System Type: 64-bit Operating System

Also, we have both a "Program Files" and a "Program Files (x64)" directory.

I don't know how the product key activator or the SQL install program attempts to divine the type of OS, but could it be...wrong?

share|improve this question

Windows Server 2008 R2 is only available as a 64-bit OS.

share|improve this answer
Which makes my problem all the more odd... – Deane Apr 9 '10 at 14:34

Your issue is probably athat the hotfix is failing to install on the unactivated OS because the key you have doesn't work.

If your key doesn't activate the OS, then the key (probably) doesn't match the OS. Unless the OS was installed from MSDN media shipped to you or downloaded from the MSDN site, it may not really be a MSDN distribution.

Similarly, if you got the install key from the MSDN site, you need to be super careful that you are getting a key to the MSDN release you actually have -- Microsoft seems to delight in having a large number of images with subtly different names.

For example when I was doing a MSDN Win2K3 install, it took me three tries to find the right distribution to get a key for.

share|improve this answer

I usually have my keys handed to me by my overlords, so I am not sure how MSDN works. You trying to use a Windows 2008 key? I recently asked some co-workers if I could re-use it for R2, and several replied immediately the keys are different (and we use MAK keys).

share|improve this answer

Are you sure that SQL Server 2005 is compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2 ? It's not show in the compatibility grid (nothing after Windows Server 2008)

share|improve this answer
It is supported:… – Holocryptic Jul 27 '10 at 23:25
As long as it's got SP3 on it. – GregD Jul 28 '10 at 0:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.