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Changing Win2003 license key after installation

I hope this forum is not the entirely wrong place to ask
this question, but Google turned up nothing and it seems
to me that a lot of Microsoft-savvy guys/gals are hanging
round here.

Ths situation is this. We set up a machine for a customer with Windows 2003 Server and loads of other software. Of course we bought a fresh license for the machine.
Somehow the guy who setup the machine messed up the license keys and used one of our licenses included in Microsofts Action Pack.

So the question is: Is it possible to change the license information of a Windows 2003 Server *AFTER* the install?
Or do we have to setup the whole machine from scratch?

Thanks for any hints!


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Use SysPrep tool. You can find it on Windows 2003 Server CD, folder Support/Tools in file

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Yes it's possible, I've seen the admin at my old job do it in front of my eyes. His standard installation pack included a WinXP Pro distro, a keygen and a key changing tool. (All of Northeast Europe uses the same XP Pro distro, so if you don't change the key you get update problems.)

Flasher T
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

This is how to change the key in XP - it says at the bottom that it applies to Windows Server 2003 too.

Duncan Smart
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Not sure if this works in 2003, but this works in XP:

Some guy in a forum said it worked on 2003, but who knows.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Thank you for the hints.

I found that MS Knowledgebase article too... I guess I should have read it till the bitter end :-)
I will try that tomorrow and if it doesn't work, consider the other proposed options.

If anyone is interested, I can report whether it worked or not.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

please let me know if it is possible to change the license key, have the same problem on windows 2000 server


Norbert Hofmann
Friday, August 6, 2004

I had the same problem as mentioned above (Action Pack licence which needs to be changed to a regular licence). The XP trick of changing the WPAevents entry does not work on Windows 2003. The msoobe.exe will still tell you the version is activated. Subsequently I tried the sysprep version, which works fine.  (Be careful though sysprep makes a number of changes, like resetting the SID etc.)

The problem in my specific case was that the Action Pack distribution does not accept regular licence keys but only keys delivered with action pack. 

Thomas KEller
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

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