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Is it possible to deactivate Windows Server 2008 R2 or Server 2008 for that matter and take back the key so to speak?

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What are you actually trying to achieve? – ChrisF Dec 20 '10 at 13:21
If this is an OEM license, you're SOL. That license is tied to the hardware it resides on. – GregD Dec 20 '10 at 13:50

No, just attempt to activate the new server with the same key, and call Microsoft if directed to do so and explain the situation to them. They are usually pretty good at this.

This doesn't apply to OEM licenced software, of course, as that lives and dies with the machine it is attached to.

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-1 wrong. You can remove the key. – TomTom Dec 20 '10 at 13:28
tomtom, you can remove the key but i don't think with an oem you can based on the eula? – user8256 Dec 20 '10 at 13:29
TomTom, I know you can change the product key, and I know there are tools to remove it too, but I don't think that's actually the same as actually "deactivating" windows? If it is then perhaps you could link to info about it for me? After all, this site is about sharing knowledge, not scoring points off one another. – RobM Dec 20 '10 at 13:33
@TomTom: Based on the context of the OPs ambiguous question, Robert's answer isn't necessarily wrong. – GregD Dec 20 '10 at 13:48
Set the key to the original hardkoded KMS jkey and that deactivates the current registration and will causet he computer to look up a KMS again. – TomTom Dec 20 '10 at 16:27

do you mean an oem copy that you are trying to now reclaim the installation license for? r moir is right, if it is an oem it dies with the hardware typically the motherboard. if it is a volume agreement then you can probably just re-use in production environment, you should have a number of activations that are allowed with it.

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slmgr command line

upk option.

or resintall default key (which requires / asks for kms).

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The article that you linked to is for Vista. This article is much more useful as it has some specific info about Server 2008: – GregD Dec 20 '10 at 13:44
This article also has a bit more information:… – GregD Dec 20 '10 at 13:49
If you do what TomTom is suggesting, it's probably a good idea to have your server connected to the internet. – GregD Dec 20 '10 at 13:49

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