Today’s topic will be brief, but it is of interest lot of IT professionals out there that need to work with evaluation versions of Server 2008 for testing and self-learning.
As most of us know, when we download an evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 off of Microsoft’s site, we are given a 60 trial version that functions wholly intact. If you have received an evaluation DVD with an MS Press book, chances are you will be granted 120 days on the first activation. But this actually isn’t the end of the road for these. They can be, as Microsoft has coined it, rearmed.
The tool you need is the Soft Licence Manager, and it can be invoked by typing in slmgr.vbs in an elevated command prompt. Using this tool, you will actually be able to rearm the activation 3 times, bringing your total evaluation period to 240 days – quite a generous allowance really. Let’s look at some of the switches.
So, slmmgr.vbs /dli
This first switch will display all of the licence information.
This switch can be used to activate windows.
As the switch implies, this will rearm the OS allowing you another 60 days.
slmgr /ipk <product key>
This may in fact be one of the handies switches if you are switching between versions of server 2008. It can be used to replace the current product key with the new one inputted.
Is used to find out the expiration of the current licence information.
There are also a plethora of advanced commands available, and I suggest that you check these out by running the standard /? switch to view these. Also, as with most things, all of these switches will work with Windows 7.
Enjoy your extended evaluation period!