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Preserving OEM Preactivation When Reinstalling Windows Server 2003 R2

Updated: June 17, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 R2

Large server manufacturers, known as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), have the ability to preactivate the Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003 R2 software that they install on new server. As a result, end users are typically not required to activate the software during the set up process by typing in the product key found on the Certificate of Authenticity attached to the server (COA Key).

Due to the form factor and typical installations of server hardware, it is not always easy for the product key to be read during the set up process. To help minimize the potential impact on licensed users, this whitepaper provides steps that licensed end users can take to preserve OEM preactivation when reinstalling the operating system by using any of the three following scenarios: Sysprep, manual, or unattended.

The product keys in the following table should be substituted for XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX in the solutions that follow.

noteNote
OEM recovery media must be used as the source for the reinstallation.

 

Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition x86

PWBJC-22697-D4CVH-FCJWW-DTF9J

Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition x64

XCP6P-7WVXP-F8FQ4-JV6CD-6XV28

Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition x86

XHPV3-PTCWJ-7Y94F-Q6BVH-J849J

Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition x64

WQ3GW-Y8GQW-8VJYB-JYM43-D24C8

Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition x86

FXYF6-VTXGX-3JPX9-HJ9K4-6TKTW

Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition x64

KDX8X-FYW4T-C6D9J-BKM6M-M89TW

Windows Server 2003 R2 Web Edition x86

GM8KD-GB7JY-QGQYP-XRV74-RT728

  

For any of the following solutions, you can verify that the OEM preactivation has been preserved:

Click Start, click Run, type %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /A, and then click OK. If the procedure was successful, a message that indicates Windows has already been activated appears.

noteNote
Instead of implementing any of the following solutions, Volume License customers can use Volume License media to install the same operating system that was licensed from an OEM without acquiring a volume license for a server that is being re-imaged. For more information about this option, click Re-Imaging Rights on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=154939).

Using the “sysprep –reseal –mini” command

OEM preactivation can be preserved when Sysprep.exe is run to reseal the system by using the –reseal – mini switches. Follow these steps:

To preserve OEM preactivation by using Sysprep
  1. Ensure that the following three files are present in the C:\Sysprep folder: sysprep.exe, setupcl.exe, and factory.exe.

    These files can be found in the deploy.cab, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft® Download Center at the following locations:

  2. Create a file named sysprep.inf by using a text editor (such as Notepad) that contains the following information. Substitute the appropriate product key from the table above.

    [UserData]

    ProductKey =”XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX”

  3. Save the sysprep.inf file in c:\sysprep\ folder.

  4. Run c:\sysprep –reseal –mini.

For more information on the Sysprep process, see Sysprep Tools and Settings on the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=154952).

Manual install

OEM preactivation can be preserved when doing a manual installation by inserting the appropriate product key listed above when prompted for a product key by Windows setup.

noteNote
If you run sysprep –reseal –mini following an unattended install, you need to follow the steps outlined above.

Unattended install

OEM preactivation can be preserved if you use an unattended answer file (Unattend.txt or Winnt.sif) to automate installation by including the following information in the answer file (substitute the appropriate product key from the table above).

[UserData]

ProductKey =”XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX”

noteNote
If you run sysprep –reseal –mini following an unattended install, you need to follow the steps outlined above.

For more information on the Sysprep process, see Sysprep Tools and Settings on the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=154952).

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