Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a machine that I'm migrating from physical hardware to a VMWare server. It is Windows 2003 and the license key fell off the machine and is gone. I know when I start up the virtualized version of that machine, it will ask me to Activate. I know this because it did that for other machine I migrated. For that machine I have the key because the sticker is still on it.

So how can I get the activation key from the OS? Or am I stuck having to call Microsoft or Dell to get an new key?

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 14 down vote accepted

You could try Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder.

share|improve this answer
    
This tool has never let me down. –  tomfanning May 1 '09 at 15:12
    
+1 - This tool is one of the "must have's" on my USB thumb-drive –  Rob May 1 '09 at 15:33

A quick Google finds this article that may help. I haven't tried it personally.

share|improve this answer

If your product key is from the COA attached to the server, it's likely to be an OEM product key and thus not generally transferable. In that case, it won't work for activating your virtual server.

I don't know the details of Windows Server 2003 licensing, however, for Windows Server 2008, I'm pretty sure that virtual guests are not considered the same machine as the host, for licensing purposes.

share|improve this answer
    
It worked just fine for one of the servers. As it turns out, the second server didn't ask for a key. It did ask to re-activate but it worked just fine the way it was. –  Jay R. May 1 '09 at 18:24

I just used CD Key Reader and it seemed to work ok.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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.