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I am currently trialling an install of Windows Server 2008R2 + SQL Server 2008 R2 using license keys from my company's TechNet subscription.

If the trial is successful, I'd like to bring the server into production as is (there's a lot of config needed for it that I don't want to repeat) so my question really is is it possible to change the Windows and SQL server licenses from TechNet ones to "proper" volume licenses and legally use the server in production? Or do I have to reinstall everything with volume licences?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There is no technical difference between a Technet and fully licensed copy of Windows, so it's just a matter of changing your key to a key that falls under the correctly licensed use; to do this, open an elevated command prompt and run:

slmgr /ipk [new key]

You will then have to re-activate your server.

Remember that with a correctly license VL servers, you can either use your MAK (a pest), or install a Key Management Server (KMS, less of a pest in the long run).

When installing a KMS for VL, you should set all your client keys to 74YFP-3QFB3-KQT8W-PMXWJ-7M648 (for DC edition), and then install your real VL key into the key manager.

That special key tells windows to search for a KMS and activate against that.

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Thanks Mark - is there a similar process for changing the SQL server license too? – David Heggie Oct 8 '12 at 7:25
@DavidHeggie - See:… - just between you and me though, it doesn't really matter which key is installed just as long as you can prove your entitlement and that you have done the right thing. – Mark Henderson Oct 8 '12 at 7:28

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