Sunday, 31 August 2014

Activation fails after P2V

I haven't done many P2Vs in my life, but all of them were very simple and straightforward.

However, this time I got a surprise.

The P2V of physical server with Windows 2003 Standard went well, but when I powered on the newly virtualised server and tried to login I received an activation error. 

I tried to activate the OS over the Internet, but it failed. I called MS to get some help on this as I knew that the physical server had a valid product key, but I was told that the Installation ID was wrong and I had to contact the company that sold us the OS. Considering that it was 7pm on Saturday it definitely wasn't an option for me.

I didn't have the product key and thought if I had it I could just type it in again and probably it could resolve my problem with activation. So I powered on the old physical server, installed Belarc Advisor tool which allows to collect all possible information about your computer and looked for Windows Product Key. To my surprise I noticed that it was OEM key. 

I am not an expert on licensing, but as far as I could remember the OEM license cannot be transferred to another computer.

I quickly checked the Microsoft FAQ and confirmed my suggestion:

"Q.  My customer bought a new PC and wants to move the OEM software from the old PC to the new one. Can't users do whatever they want with their software?
A. No, the OEM software is licensed with the computer system on which it was originally installed and is tied to that original machine. OEM licenses are single-use licenses that cannot be installed on more than one computer system, even if the original machine is no longer in use. The Microsoft Software License Terms, which the end user must accept before using the software, state that the license may not be shared, transferred to, or used concurrently on different computers. System builders must provide end-user support for the Windows license on computers they build, but cannot support licenses on computers they didn’t build. This is a fundamental reason why an OEM System Builder License can't be transferred."
That meant I had to reconfigure the OS for VL key. Apparently you can't simply enter VLA product key and get all the problems fixed. You have to use VLA Windows 2003 Server CD to update the OS to VLA.

Here is the how you can do it:

  1. Mount Windows 2003 Server VLA ISO to your VM and reboot it
  2. Press Enter on Welcome Screen
  3. Accept the license agreement
  4. Select the Windows installation to be fixed and press R to repair.
  5. The windows installation will start and in 10-15 minutes you will need to provide the VLK Product Key
After that just follow the main routine of P2V: configure networking, check event log, make sure all services started, make sure that all applications work as expected, etc. 

I am back, again

Hi everyone,

I am getting back to my blog again, for the second time.
There have been huge changes in my life as me and my family have moved to Sydney and I also got a new job.

Now I work for a small IT company called Tango Technology in a position of a senior engineer and I can tell that was a serious switch from a corporative culture and rules I used to work for the whole my life.

I can definitely see the pros and cons of working for small and big companies now, but I am not still sure which option is the best for me.

This year I missed VMware Expert and to be honest I haven't been working much with vSphere and had to learn of lot of new things and technologies which are apparently a commonplace in small IT companies, but I surely will be pursuing in the forthcoming year.

Talk to you later.