How to Extend the Vail Expiry Date:

As we informed you last week, today is the day when the Windows Home Server Vail beta expires, and moves into Windows Server 2008 R2 Expiry mode where the server reboots hourly.  No data will be lost during an expiry, and users will still be able to access the server if needed to.

Since the beta is built on an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008 R2  the eval expiry is hard coded during beta development and so cannot be easily changed.  However the Windows Home Server engineering team have up with a workaround today using a copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC which will extend the expiry to mid-March.

To extend the expiry:

  1. Install WS08 R2 SP1 RC on the server from
  2. Logon on with your connect credentials
  3. Click on Product keys (in the left hand side column)
  4. Click on Request a new product key
  5. Click on Get Key
  6. In Windows Home Server, open a command prompt
  7. Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” (where ABCDE.. is your new key as requested above)
  8. Type “slmgr.vbs –ato”
  9. Reboot the server, and your beta timeframe has been extended.  You can check this by opening up a command prompt and typing winver

Same rules should apply for Aurora as well.  Thank you Microsoft for providing this way to extend these betas until the next beta refresh is out.


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