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This is a rather embarrassingly newbie question, I think. Our regular IT guy is MIA for a while and I'm next in line, but I have no network experience.

I want to replace a computer that is about to die (hard drive failing) with a new computer using a fresh install of Windows XP (it's what my work uses and they aren't ready to upgrade yet). The computer connects to a terminal server which is running Windows Server 2008 R2.

My question: is it just as simple as pulling the old computer out and putting the new one in, giving it the same name and workgroup? Or, will I have to do some work on the actual server to get it to recognize the new computer using the old client license? I think I read somewhere about having to call Microsoft in order to do that, but I wasn't sure if that applied to this situation. Step by step instructions would be MOST appreciated.

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This depends on how your network is setup. Which, short of logging into your network, we'll never be able to ascertain for certain.

I would take the path of least resistance.

Setup the new computer BEFORE you remove the old one. Using Remote Desktop attempt to connect to the Windows 2008 R2 box. If everything is successful, you're set! If not, you still have the old box still running.

If it fails to work, your network may have some access policies in place determining access by hostname or something else.

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Yup it's already been built and ready to plug in. :) – Tamerax May 23 '12 at 2:59

Assuming the "best and normal configuration" then your Remote Desktop server allows any client to connect for a while before it hands out a permanent RDS license. This is assuming you're licensing RDS "per device" and not "per user". Look for the Remote Desktop Licensing app on the server and you'll find what licenses are installed.

If it's per device, and you truly have no licenses free, then yes you'll eventually need to call Microsoft's "Clearinghouse". Not a big deal, you'll just be telling them you replaced a computer and they'll help you free up unused licenses. Here's some contact info:

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fantastic thanks! – Tamerax May 23 '12 at 14:53

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