On 2016/10/12 (yesterday), as Microsoft's TechNet article "Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012" suggested that it's relatively straight-forward to convert from evaluation to production, I downloaded the ISO for the evaluation version of Windows Server 2016 Standard from the Technet Evaluation Center, installed it, connected it to our Active Directory domain, and promoted it to be the second domain controller.

On 2016/10/13 (today), Windows Server 2016 was released (I knew I should have waited).

I logged into our Volume Licensing Service Center, obtained our SPLA product key and tried to activate which failed.

As advised by https://msfreaks.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/convert-windows-server-2016-evaluation-to-licensed/, I executed command dism /online /set-edition:ServerStandard /productkey:WC2BQ-8NRM3-FDDYY-2BFGV-KHKQY /accepteula to convert from Windows Server 2016 Standard Evaluation to Windows Server 2016 Standard which completed successfully.

I executed command dism /online /set-edition:ServerStandard /productkey:<our SPLA product key> /accepteula which failed and outputted the following:

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool Version: 10.0.14393.0

Image Version: 10.0.14393.0

Error: 50

This Windows image cannot upgrade to the edition of Windows that was specified. The upgrade cannot proceed. Run the /Get-TargetEditions option to see what edition of Windows you can upgrade to.

The DISM log file can be found at C:\Windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log

I executed command slmgr /ipk <our SPLA product key> which completed successfully.

Windows Activation is now reporting the following:

Windows

Edition Windows Server 2016 Standard

Activation Windows is not activated Product ID 00377-70126-37251-AA898

Product Key XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-Y4HYC

We can’t activate Windows on this device because you don't have a valid digital licence or product key. Go to the Store to buy genuine Windows. Error code: 0xC004F012

enter image description here

  • 1
    Obviously it worked for you (as per answer) but it shouldn't of done for a couple of reasons. The first guide you linked to, you also shouldn't be able to do this on a domain controller at all. The second guide is KMS and depends on a KMS being configured and setup correctly. – Drifter104 Oct 13 '16 at 16:07
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Can you help me with my software licensing issue? – Greg Askew Oct 13 '16 at 16:42

The 2012 way of converting works just fine to check the current version from an elevated command prompt type

slmgr.vbs /dlv  

or

DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition

available versions:

DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions
example:
Target Edition : ServerStandard
Target Edition : ServerDatacenter

to change the version:

DISM /online /Set-Edition:<edition ID> /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

example:

DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj574204(v=ws.11).aspx

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Uh..

I selected "Troubleshoot" just to see what would happen and Windows has activated..

Windows

Edition Windows Server 2016 Standard

Activation Windows is activated

Product ID 00377-70126-37251-AA898

Product Key XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-Y4HYC

enter image description here

protected by Community Feb 8 at 3:59

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