We have a server running Windows Server 2003 which was OEM pre-installed.

We also have volume licence media for Server 2003 R2, is there any way to install the R2 components from disc 2 on this server without a re-install? I tried previously but the product key is rejected. The product key is definitely correct.

I'd like to avoid a full backup/re-install/restore if possible.

Licensing is a non-issue in this instance.


There are a couple of ways to this. By far the easiest way is just to insert disk 2 of Server 2003 R2 and install it. This will only work if you use the R2 product key, and your 2003 install and R2 disk are the same SKU, so both retail, both OEM, both volume licence etc, which I suspect is what is causing you the issue here.

There are two further options if you do not have the same SKU:

  • Run Server 2003 R2 disk 1 and select the upgrade option. This will not work if you have OEM media for R2
  • Run a repair install of server 2003 R2

See this Microsoft article for full details.

| improve this answer | |
  • wow, I guess my Google-fu needs some work! Thanks, looks like this is the ticket. – ThatGraemeGuy Oct 8 '09 at 13:45
  • Ran setup from the VL media and opted to do an upgrade install (upgrade option 2 on the linked KB article). Ran the R2 install after reboot. Worked like a charm. Thanks again. – ThatGraemeGuy Oct 8 '09 at 15:38

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