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Client has two colocated servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard edition. However, they are using the "Website Spark" service, which includes a free license for Web edition (but not Standard). So, the incorrect edition was selected during the initial installation.

Is there a straight forward way to remotely downgrade the edition from Standard to Web?

Reinstall would be a big pain: these servers are older, do not include a built in DVD drive, cannot boot from USB, cannot boot from a SATA DVD drive (IDE only), and so when Windows Server 2008 was first installed we had to piggy back an IDE DVD drive powered by a secondary server. So that means it would be a long colo drive + fun-filled evening.

Tips?

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No, you'd have to reinstall the OS completely (this is the case for all edition downgrades). If the server has iLO, ILOM, or some sort of management you might be able to do something remotely.

Tips: Invest in servers with IPMI, or add-in cards with remote console capabilities.

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  • +1. Definitely good to mention ILO. Not having ILO is somehow really... neglecting ;) – TomTom Sep 21 '10 at 1:33
  • Thanks for the iLO tip. I don't think these older refurb servers have that luxury. I'll keep an eye out for that next time :) – Matt Beckman Sep 21 '10 at 17:37

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