What REALLY happens when Server 2003 activation grace period expires?

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by Myrrh, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Myrrh

    Myrrh MDL Expert

    Nov 26, 2008
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    I'm in the midst of a SBS 2003 R2 "swing migration" in which we build a temporary server and a new server to replace the old one. Problem is, I installed Windows on both of these boxes some time ago and the project got delayed, they have now passed the Activation Grace Period. Both were installed with the same key from the same SBS media. Obviously the EULA states I can only use one of them when it's all done.

    I have no problem with activating the final box but I don't want to activate the temporary one, since it's getting scrapped instantly when the new one goes live.

    I've always used volume license (non) activation on Server 2003 in the past so I don't really know what happens to an unactivated box. But the SBS installs always want activation. Other than the nag popups and messages in the log, what else will happen or stop working if I delay much longer finishing this migration?
     
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  2. Myrrh

    Myrrh MDL Expert

    Nov 26, 2008
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    I think I found my answer...

    ok, so the "Final" server was shutdown for transport, and the grace period was already expired before it was powered on again. Had to activate Windows before being allowed to complete a login. That's ok.

    The temporary machine was already logged on before grace expired, so I'll just be real careful not to accidentally log off or reboot before I'm done with it.
     
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  3. myndwire

    myndwire MDL Junior Member

    Jul 17, 2009
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    yep. losing remote desktop access to a box that expires isn't fun. especially in a production environment. had this happen to me once, and it was because of the previous moron who did my job before me.
     
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  4. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    For a temp solution (till you come with something better) use antiwpa

    Works like a dream, boot into safe mode, apply, log back in & windoze does not check activation

    sebus
     
  5. HSChronic

    HSChronic MDL Expert

    Aug 25, 2007
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    antiwpa/wpakill doesn't work anymore from what I understand. Your best bet is to use an OEM changer and change the OS to OEM. As long as the server is not a white box then you should be fine.