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We placed an order for physical media and CALs when the evaluation expired last week. SSMS said the evaluation had expired, and it would not connect to the database. The package with the CALs has not arrived yet and this morning the SQL Server instance seems to be refusing connections. Is that SQL Server 2012 standard procedure when the evaluation expires? We are getting this error message:

A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)

If this is indeed expiration behavior, is there any way to extend the evaluation temporarily, if only for a couple of days until the package arrives?

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marked as duplicate by TheCleaner, petrus, Tom O'Connor, Dave M, EEAA Apr 25 '13 at 0:12

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

CAL licenses are just proof-of-purchase on a paper. You don't install/activate them in any way. Do you have a proper product key for the SQL server? – pauska Apr 24 '13 at 13:14
The product activation key will be in the package that contains the physical media which is en-route. – Tim Apr 24 '13 at 13:45
@TheCleaner: this is not a duplicate of those questions which have to do with the legalities of licenses and deciding between user CALs and device CALs. My question relates to actual server behavior, and I'd like to know if there's a way to extend the evaluation period -- either via a menu option or by obtaining an extension key. – Tim Apr 24 '13 at 13:48
@Tim This is a duplicate of the licensing question in the sense that the answer is "This is a licensing/activation issue - Contact your vendor." (maybe they can give you your product key early over the phone?). Server Fault cannot reasonably answer this question as any advice we give you to get around the time limit amounts to circumvention of security or policy ("help me get more time out of an evaluation period"), which is an area we specifically decided not to tread in – voretaq7 Apr 24 '13 at 17:37

I voted to close as per the normal "help with licensing" but a few ideas come to mind:

You could install SQL Server 2012 Express Edition and attach the existing to that; as long as you don't require a feature in Enterprise and as long as the database size doesn't exceed 10 GB. That might get you through temporarily.

Another option might be (although I'm not certain it will work) to bring up a new instance of the eval and move the databases over to it.

CAVEAT: I'm not a SQL admin, just trying to offer suggestions. You'll need to evaluate if any of these are worth pursuing.

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THanks. I didn't think of this as a "licensing" question per se since it is not a virtual "piece of paper" issue but actual server behavior. If you can un-vote to close, that would be good since it isn't really about licensing but about whether it is possible to extend the eval period using some menu option or by obtaining an eval key. – Tim Apr 24 '13 at 13:44
I can't unvote it. But I understand what you were asking. There isn't a way to extend an eval though. Evals shouldn't be run in a production environment, blah blah. The best I can do is offer up alternatives until the media shows up. – TheCleaner Apr 24 '13 at 13:52

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