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Windows Server 2012 R2 Evaluation – convert & activate to fully licensed

After installing and configuring Server 2012 R2 as evaluation mode, it is often a requirement to upgrade it to full retail version. In this post, I will show steps to activate Windows Server 2012 R2 Evaluation to full version. DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool) command line tool will be used to perform the upgrade of server from evaluation to full version.

# 1. First of all, you need to establish your exact currently installed version. From a elevated command prompt, run the following command:

DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition


wr2-1In amongst the blurb that appears on screen, it will tell you your current edition (in my case ServerDatacenterEval). Make a note of this – you will use in the next command with the last ‘Eval’ bit ommitted.

# 2. Determine the possible Target edition name with the command

DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions.


wr2-2# 3. With your license key to hand, now run following command:

DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula



wr2-3wr2-4The above unboldened / italicised entries will need to be your own specific variables (remember to drop the ‘Eval’ bit for the Set-Edition). I believe, you can also use this as an opportunity to upgrade to a higher edition, for example using the /Set-Edition switch to go from Standard up to Datacenter. The /AcceptEula switch allows the system to silently accept the Microsoft license agreement.

When you run this command, your system will need to restart 1 or 2 times. Thereafter (if it doesn’t happen automatically) you will be able to activate with your newly provided key from Control Panel -> System or using the slmgr tool, and you will now be running your licensed copy 🙂

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