Most system administrators have needed at some time or other to upgrade the version of server operating system or application version to access new features. So we have gotten used to the various hoops that Microsoft wants us to jump through. I recently came across one that require a little bit more patience than usual.
When a client had used an evaluation version of Windows 2016 for a proof of concept project and contacted me to get it licensed and activated – no issues would normally have been that obvious and so taking the normal route to activate would seem sensible.
That is where it starts to go a little strange. Firstly the process of trying to enter a product key. The message “This edition cannot be upgraded” is displayed – what is going on? Thinking back on previous issues made me take the route of look at the non gui option – using DISM as a command line alternative.
Dism /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /AcceptEula /ProductKey:12345-67890-12345-67890-12345
Obviously you need to replace the dummy product key with the license key you have and edition that is required.
If you need to see what editions are supported – use the command
Dism /Online /Get-TargetEditions
So at this stage you think that you are home and dry ? Well perhaps !
What I found is that the process runs through installing the license pretty quickly – then has to “remove” the evaluation feature from the OS. The process gets up to 10% and then just sits there. At this point some people think that the process has failed and may be tempted to interrupt or reboot the server. DON’T DO THIS!!
Instead – go get a coffee or other favourite beverage – give the process some time – 15 to 20 minutes is not unusual and others have reported many hours before the process completes. Most claim that the process is successful – but some have had to reinstall to get past this.
I tend to suggest only use evaluation versions if you can afford to redo the work if necessary. Where possible use the non evaluation iso versions – but hopefully this might help you if you find yourself needing to license in these conditions