How to change your Volume License (VL) key with Windows Server 2003 or R2

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

69712-000

Standard Edition 32 bit volume licensing

69712-640

Standard Edition R2, 32 bit volume licensing

69712-650

Standard Edition 32 bit  OEM

69712-OEM

Enterprise Edition 32 bit retail

69713-000

Enterprise Edition 32 bit volume licensing

69713-640

Enterprise Edition R2, 32 bit volume licensing

69713-650

Enterprise Edition 32 bit OEM

69713-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.

31 thoughts on “How to change your Volume License (VL) key with Windows Server 2003 or R2

  1. Forget that script and regedit stuff for retail and OEM. Simply search system32 for wpa.* rename both files, then run the %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a
    Bam, you’re done.
    I just did it 20 minutes ago.

  2. For OEM and Retail, just search for wpa.* and rename these files.
    Then run %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a to change your product key and yes it works,
    I just did it 30 minutes ago to change my msdn-provided key to a customer purchased (retail) key. No, the software I wrote was not in production until this key was changed 🙂

  3. Sorry I installed WINDOWS 2003 Ent. R2 on server two node cluster.
    When i Installed i used a cd ( I don’t rembere if MSD or other cd – retail or OEM), because i HAVE Volume Licence Key on paper but not original CD with this license Key.
    I make this installation and only now I have original CD for these license Key. Now i want to activate product, but prod ID was not accepted e the change product key was not accepted.So i don’t want reinstalling cluster, Active directory, DHCP, DNS, WINS ecc.Can i change produc key or activate the actual product key, without problem at start up??
    thanks
    Andrea

  4. Dear Sir/madam,
    I tried the same way that you told above but i’m having some problem, the window server 2003 is not excepting the new product key. so please help me so that i’ll be able to solve my problem as soon as possible.

    my e-mail id is:

    khanshahzadahmad@yahoo.com
    Name: Shahzad Ahmad Khan

  5. Is it possibile to change the product key of a W2K3 STD R2 from Volume License Key to a OEM Key? I tried to modify my PID but msoobe.exe reply me that my new is incorrect 😐

  6. Sorry I installed WINDOWS 2003 STD. R2 on server terminal server.

    When i Installed i used a cd ( I don’t rembere if MSD or other cd – retail or OEM), because i HAVE Volume Licence Key on paper but not original CD with this license Key.

    I make this installation and only now I have original CD for these license Key. Now i want to activate product, but prod ID was not accepted e the change product key was not accepted.So i don’t want reinstalling terminal service , terminal server,, DHCP, DNS, WINS ecc.Can i change produc key or activate the actual product key, without problem at start up??
    so please help me so that i’ll be able to solve my problem as soon as possible.

    my e-mail id is:umesh2008other@indiatimes.com

    thanks

    Umesh

  7. Hai,I followed above steps to change my product key but it is saying at the beginning only it is already activated,is there any alternate way to activate my windows server 2003

  8. I have changed the wpa. file and when I run the command line it recreates that wpa again and it keeps saying that windows is already actived I also have sp2 installed already. please I need help on this issue you can get at me at pbterminator@msn.com thank you in advance.

  9. It was very interesting for me to read this blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

  10. I tried the above steps but after step #7 it’s always says – your windows product already activated. Any advice ?

  11. I am trying to following these settings but when I run msoobe.exe it just says windows is already activated?

    Any Ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *