I have here an old Dell Server with original serial key on the case. The server is damaged, so i bought a new one and wanted to use the licence from the old one. CDs are not included with the old server so i tried original Windows 2003 Server Standard RS 2 CDs, but the key won't work.

The sticker on the case says

"Windwos Server Std. 203 1-4CPU 5 Clt. DELL"

How can i find out which CDs will work with this key?


OEM stickers (license #s) generally go with the hardware they're affixed to. Technically you can't use one OEM license on a piece of physical hardware on another piece of physical hardware.

And usually, that OEM license number is only usable when you attempt to install Windows Server 2003 from a Dell disk.

I'm not a Microsoft Licensing Scheme(tm) expert.

  • There is no "generally" about it. OEM stickers go with the hardware they are affixed to. The only way to move OEM licenses is if you have purchased SA, in which case you would use regular Volume license media to install (and you would reveive a VL key ) – Jim B Sep 6 '10 at 0:46
  • There are no Microsoft Licensing Scheme experts. I just checked. – jscott Nov 30 '10 at 19:46
  • If the hardware has failed then you can replace it and transfer over the licence but you need to call Microsoft to authorise that and activate. You will still need OEM disks for an OEM key. – JamesRyan Nov 2 '12 at 10:38

For OEM media, you need to contact the OEM (Dell).

  • and with the oem media i can install it on another hardware (non dell) ??? – wurlog Sep 5 '10 at 17:35
  • wurlog - no, Dell OEM media is very unlikely to allow an install onto non-Dell systems. This is part of the point of OEM licences; they are tied to the system they came from. – Rob Moir Sep 5 '10 at 18:35
  • There was the class-action that resulted in discount/rebate "coupons" being issued, you might try to go that route - if you can convince them that the original equipment is no longer using the license... – user48838 Sep 5 '10 at 22:53

Dell stores the keys in a "SLIC" file. To changes this you would have to modify the BIOS on the replacement machines to use the same SLIC or a newer SLIC that would cover the activation key on your replacement system. Sometimes you can find one in a forum and install it. However if you screw it up, its cooked.

  • 1
    -1 This is definitely not something you should do to your server in a professional environment. And it still doesnt make your license legitimate. – Grant Sep 20 '15 at 3:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.