Recently I wanted to install R2 on a Volume License copy of Windows Server 2003. When I tried our R2 key the system denied that the key was valid and would not install. Darn it, what key did they use to install? How can I tell? Q article 889713 gave me the clue (though this is not for R2, I will explain in a minute) http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889713/en-us
To find your current PID:
1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
2. On the General tab, the PID appears in the Registered to box.
Standard Edition 32 bit retail
Standard Edition 32 bit volume licensing
Standard Edition R2, 32 bit volume licensing
Standard Edition 32 bit OEM
Enterprise Edition 32 bit retail
Enterprise Edition 32 bit volume licensing
Enterprise Edition R2, 32 bit volume licensing
Enterprise Edition 32 bit OEM
Now that you know what you currently have, let’s change it to the correct VL Key. Q article 328874 explains how to do it for XP, but the same holds true for any version of 2003 – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328874
To change you’re current PID:
1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
3. In the left pane, locate and then click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents.
4. In the right pane, right-click OOBETimer, and then click Modify.
5. Change at least one digit of this value to deactivate Windows. This is key, modify the first one to AA, make sure you know what it was originally – you will need it in for step 12. Leave regedit open.
6. Click Start, and then click Run.
7. In the Open box, type the following command, and then click OK. %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a
8. Click Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows, and then click Next.
9. Click Change Product key.
10. Type the new product key (I would use the new R2 key) in the New key boxes, and then click Update. When you get to the previous window, close product activation.
11. Return to regedit. In the left pane, locate and then click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents. If not currently open.
12. Change the first digits back to what you noted in step 5.
13. Close regedit.
14. Click Start, and then click Run.
15. In the Open box, type the following command, and then click OK. %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a
16. This time it should say you are already activated, click OK.
You can now install R2 without having to type in a new key and it will work nicely.