When an environment evolves (growth, mergers, different needs) you have might very well have resource needs above and beyond the limits of the original Windows edition that was installed. Scaling out might not the right (or possible) solution you so scale up is alternative option. Today with Windows Server 2008 R2 this is very easy. However, again and again I see people resorting labor intensive and often tedious solutions. Some go the whole 9 yards and do a complete clean install and migration. Others get creative and do a custom install with the windows media to achieve an in place upgrade. But all this isn’t needed at all. Using DISM (Windows Edition-Servicing Command-Line Options) you can achieve anything you need and every role, feature, app on your server will remain in good working condition. Recently I had to upgrade some standard edition Hyper-V guest servers to the enterprise edition to make use of more than 32 GB of RAM. Another reason might be to move from Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition to Data Center Edition for hyper-v host to make use of that specific licensing model for virtual machines.
Please note the following:
- You can only do upgrades. You CANNOT downgrade
- The server you upgrade cannot be a domain controller (demote, upgrade, promote)
- This works on Standard, Enterprise edition, both full & core installations.
- You cannot switch form core to full or vice versa. It’s edition upgrade only, not for switching type of install.
This is how to find the possible target editions for your server:
C:\Windows\system32>DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool Version: 6.1.7600.16385 Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385 Editions that can be upgraded to: Target Edition : ServerDataCenter Target Edition : ServerEnterprise The operation completed successfully.
So I went to Enterprise Edition by executing this process takes some time but is painless but for one reboot.
C:\Windows\system32>Dism /online /Set-Edition:ServerEnterprise /ProductKey:489J6-VHDMP-X63PK-3K798-CPX3Y Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool Version: 6.1.7600.16385 Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385 Starting to update components... Starting to install product key... Finished installing product key. Removing package Microsoft-Windows-ServerStandardEdition~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.7601.17514 [==========================100.0%==========================] Finished updating components. Starting to apply edition-specific settings... Restart Windows to complete this operation. Do you want to restart the computer now (Y/N)?
You either use a MAK key (if you don’t have a KMS server) or the default key for your volume license media. When you have KMS in place (and the matching server group KMS key A, B, or C) the activation will be done automatically and transparent for you. Standard trouble shooting applies if you run into an issue there.
These are the public keys for use with a KMS server:
- Windows 7 Professional – FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4
- Windows 7 Professional N – MRPKT-YTG23-K7D7T-X2JMM-QY7MG
- Windows 7 Enterprise – 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
- Windows 7 Enterprise N – YDRBP-3D83W-TY26F-D46B2-XCKRJ
- Windows 7 Enterprise E – C29WB-22CC8-VJ326-GHFJW-H9DH4
- Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC Edition – FKJQ8-TMCVP-FRMR7-4WR42-3JCD7
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter – 74YFP-3QFB3-KQT8W-PMXWJ-7M648
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise – 489J6-VHDMP-X63PK-3K798-CPX3Y
- Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems – GT63C-RJFQ3-4GMB6-BRFB9-CB83V
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard – YC6KT-GKW9T-YTKYR-T4X34-R7VHC
- Windows Web Server 2008 R2 – 6TPJF-RBVHG-WBW2R-86QPH-6RTM4
Don’t worry this is public information (KMS Client Setup Keys), these will only activate if you have a KMS server and the to key make that KMS server work.
Either way there is no need for reinstall & migration or upgrade installation in for a simple upgrade scenario So do your self a favor and always check if you can use DSIM to achieve your goals!