I installed SQL Server 2008 R2 for the 180 day trial. We tested the system and it's working fine, and I wanted to convert it to full version.

The problem is, I have a volume key licence to SQL Server, and the Microsoft support says that there is no key for SQL Server Standard editions (SQL Server (2008 or 2008 R2 ) ), and says that If I use the disc, the product will install automatically without requiring my keys.

My question is, how to convert the trial to the full version - I don't want to go through the hassle of setting up everything.


  • I would like to thank user67714 as this worked for me in Server 2012. I even called Microsoft and they said you have to uninstall the trial version and download the correct version from the Volume License portal which has the embedded license. Thank you so much! – user208101 Feb 4 '14 at 18:51

What you want to do is treat it like an edition upgrade. Grab your VL copy of SQL Server, start the install, select the maintenance tab, and choose edition upgrade. See this blog posting on MSDN:


  • 3
    I figured another way out. I inserted the VL copy and started the installation process, and in the screen where I am supposed to enter the Key, the Key was auto-populated. So I copied that key and used it to validate my trial version. – user67714 Feb 7 '11 at 18:40

I know this is an old post but since it comes up on top in a Google search I thought I'd add my findings for SQL 2012 and Open Volume License which probably also applies to 2008

From the x64 directory of the SQL 2012 Standard Open Volume installation media there is a file named DefaultSetup.ini

That file contains the PID installation key required to do a version upgrade/downgrade.

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