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windows server 2012 standard downgrade

    Question

  • I have been reading that windows server 2012 standard edition has downgrade rights, i currently have it but would prefer to install the essentials version, how can i do that?
    Thursday, November 01, 2012 8:12 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Windows Server licenses are pieces of paper that are assigned to specific pieces of hardware.  Don't confuse the license with the installation.

    Therefore, you need the media for Essentials.  Install from the Essentials media.  Keep it in your books for auditing purposes that you assigned the Standard Edition license to that server so that if you want to upgrade in the future, you can prove to your auditors that you are properly licensed.


    tim

    Thursday, November 01, 2012 9:01 PM
  • so if i managed to get the windows server 2012 essentials dvd, i could install it using the standard serial?
    Thursday, November 01, 2012 9:08 PM

  • I entered the standard serial in the windows server essentials trial dvd and it did not accept my standard serial, it just says that the product key entered does not match and of the windows images available for installation. enter a different product key
    Friday, November 02, 2012 12:08 AM
  • anyone have any ideas?
    Friday, November 02, 2012 1:41 PM
  • No, the Standard License activation key will not allow installation of Essentials - they are different versions.  Downgrade rights assume that you have the appropriate activation keys that permit you to downgrade.

    tim

    Friday, November 02, 2012 6:55 PM
  • I suppose that a installation via a trail sw DVD does not allow conversion to Licensed version
    Saturday, November 03, 2012 5:07 AM
  • I suppose that a installation via a trail sw DVD does not allow conversion to Licensed version
    what do you mean by trail sw?
    Saturday, November 03, 2012 2:45 PM
  • MS releases two types of ISO's for most products, one that is for evaluation/trial period of typically 60 to 180 days & another is for Volume License.

    • Edited by CosmicStorm Sunday, November 04, 2012 1:19 AM
    Sunday, November 04, 2012 1:19 AM
  • so you are saying i should try with a volume license dvd?
    Monday, November 05, 2012 2:29 PM
  • anyone?
    Thursday, November 08, 2012 4:57 PM
  • Hi,

    Regarding the downgrade rights of Windows Server 2012, I suggest we could refer to the following MS article.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/D/B/4DB352D1-C610-466A-9AAF-EEF4F4CFFF27/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_FAQ.pdf

    As the article mentioned, if we have Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition we will have the right to downgrade our bits to any prior version or lower edition. If we have Windows Server 2012 Standard edition, we will have the right to downgrade our bits to any prior version of Enterprise, Standard or Essentials editions.

    The ability to run downgrade bits does not change the licensing or support terms in which you can use the product; the purchased product (Windows Server 2012) rights apply. This means that the license will continue to cover two physical processors and the virtualization rights do not change.

    Here is a similar thread as reference, I suggest we could also refer to it.

    Windows 2012 License downgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 & Licensing on VMware

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserver8gen/thread/f2c60e7d-1f29-4251-929e-2c2c58c19eaa

    As Tim mentioned before, the Standard License activation key will not allow installation of Essentials since they are different versions.  Downgrade rights just assume that you have the appropriate activation keys that permit you to downgrade.

    Best Regards,

    Andy Qi

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.

    Friday, November 09, 2012 1:53 AM
  • When you buy Windows 2012 server via volume licnensing - up in your VLSC window you will get both the 2012 standard key as well as Essentials.  You get the right to install Essentials instead of standard (uh why not just buy essentials directly as you just overpaid by $400) OR (and this is the cooler/better way) you can install 2012 standard as a HyperV parent, then install that Essentials as a child for one of your two 1+2 virtualization rights, then install another server as a member server.

    While this downgrade right is given to you via OEM, good luck trying to find someone at the OEM disti to give you a key.  Media can be from anywhere, the key you'll need to go back to your OEM and request an Essentials key.

    There are two separate media - standard and essentials

    and two separate keys - one for standard - one for essentials

    Bottom line the easiest way to get these downgrade right keys is by buying volume licensing.

    Friday, November 09, 2012 4:54 PM
  • When you buy Windows 2012 server via volume licnensing - up in your VLSC window you will get both the 2012 standard key as well as Essentials.  You get the right to install Essentials instead of standard (uh why not just buy essentials directly as you just overpaid by $400) OR (and this is the cooler/better way) you can install 2012 standard as a HyperV parent, then install that Essentials as a child for one of your two 1+2 virtualization rights, then install another server as a member server.

    While this downgrade right is given to you via OEM, good luck trying to find someone at the OEM disti to give you a key.  Media can be from anywhere, the key you'll need to go back to your OEM and request an Essentials key.

    There are two separate media - standard and essentials

    and two separate keys - one for standard - one for essentials

    Bottom line the easiest way to get these downgrade right keys is by buying volume licensing.



    the software was provided to me from my school so thats why i dont have any other serials, if i install it as a child partition i would still need a essentials serial right?
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 1:46 PM
  • How did they get their software?  Go back to them and ask what licensing they get in through.  Bottom line you need an Essentials key code.
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 3:48 PM
  • Susan - I've seen several posts from you about buying Windows Server 2012 Standard and using your "downgrade rights" to install one virutal instance of 2012 Essentials and another for 2012 Standard. From what I have read and what MS sales told me when I called, you do NOT have the right to downgrade 2012 Standard to 2012 Essentials. Also, even if you could do this, the 2012 Essentials users that want to access the other 2012 Standard server will have to buy the CALs to cover their access. The included 25 users in Essentials DOES NOT include the rights to access other 2012 servers without appropriate CALs. I'd love for my interpretation to be wrong - so, can you show where your model is supported? Below is from the 2012 Standard License Standard Terms:

    DOWNGRADE.

    Instead of creating, storing, and using the software, for each permitted instance you may create, store, and use an earlier version of the following editions of the software:

    · Windows Server Standard

    · Windows Server Enterprise

    · Windows Web Server

    · Windows HPC Server Operating System

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:57 PM
  • MS sales is clueless.  This is absolutely possible.

    Right, that's what I keep saying, you still need cals in this model as you have no standard cals, but absofreakinglotely there are downgrade rights to install Essentials as a vm, get your RWA.  Yes , once you stand up a member server, that server kicks in the need for windows cals.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:28 PM
  • Look in the more current PUR, and then in the Windows 2012 licensing FAQ.  I'll dig it out.
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:33 PM
  • In fact Andy has it here:

    Regarding the downgrade rights of Windows Server 2012, I suggest we could refer to the following MS article.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/D/B/4DB352D1-C610-466A-9AAF-EEF4F4CFFF27/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_FAQ.pdf

    As the article mentioned, if we have Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition we will have the right to downgrade our bits to any prior version or lower edition. If we have Windows Server 2012 Standard edition, we will have the right to downgrade our bits to any prior version of Enterprise, Standard or Essentials editions.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:33 PM
  • Thanks! The bad part is that what is listed in that document (which isn't really legally binding) doesn't match the PUR:

    Downgrade Rights

    You may Run an Instance of 2008 R2 or any earlier version of Windows Server Enterprise in place of Standard in any of the OSEs

    And, if you go to microsoft.com/useterms, you'll get the PDF document - which is the actual License Terms:

    http://download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/Windows%20Server_2012%20Standard_English_7fbdf9fb-e6b3-41c0-a7af-07686715d51d.pdf

    That is what I pasted from above. So, again, I don't belive you are allowed to downgrade from Windows Server 2012 Standard to Server 2012 Essentials.

    DOWNGRADE.

    Instead of creating, storing, and using the software, for each permitted instance you may create, store, and use an earlier version of the following editions of the software:

    · Windows Server Standard

    · Windows Server Enterprise

    · Windows Web Server

    · Windows HPC Server Operating System

    Friday, November 30, 2012 3:09 PM
  • I was in a phone call with a PM from Microsoft and argued that this downgrade right was not obvious.  Thank you, you are proving my point.  My understanding is that at some point in time (December PUR maybe?) the EULA on the OS and the PUR will catch up with this and you'll have your confirmation.

    I'm sorry if you can't believe me now or rely only on that PDF document.  But that's what the intent is.  You have the right to downgrade to Essentials.  Until the eula and the PUR catch up, all I can do is tell you to email me at susan-at-msmvps.com and I'll confirm it as best as I can.

    Friday, November 30, 2012 3:22 PM
  • Using Windows Server 2012 Essentials with more than 25 users - The Windows Server Essentials and Small Business Server Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs:
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/12/12/using-windows-server-2012-essentials-with-more-than-25-users.aspx

    "Because this right was added during a late stage of the product release cycle, we were not able to update the EULA that is incorporated as part of the Windows Server 2012 products; however, this downgrade right is available to all customers in all available channels (except for SPLA), including volume licensing (VL), OEM, and retail (FPP). Keep in mind that the ability to run downgrade bits does not change the licensing or support terms in which you can use the product you purchased. So if you purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard, you will need Windows Server 2012 CALs even if you choose to downgrade an instance to run Windows Server 2012 Essentials."

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 10:09 PM
  • I would appreciate a confirmation, but if I buy the OEM license of Windows 2012 Standard, can I do the following installation : 

    • Windows 2012 Standard + Hyper-V role
    • Windows 2012 Standard child 
    • Windows 2012 Essential child 

    What is not clear to me is my downgrade rights with an OEM license. If this is not possible, can I at least install the Standard version as a Host & Child VM ? 



    Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:15 PM
  • While it's possible, honestly your downgrade experience will be much much easier buying VL.  Also buying OEM ties the license to that hardware.  If you are going virtualization, you want to have flexibility of moving for DR purposes.

    Go VL.

    In the parent, you can only install the HyperV role. You can't add anything/plan to install anything else in that parent.

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 5:26 PM
  • Thanks Susan for your quick reply.

    I unfortunately don't have access to VL, so I think my best shot (correct me if I'm wrong) is to buy two licences : one for 2012 Standard and one for 2012 Essentials. Good point with the licence tied to the hardware... but then again, I don't really have a choice.

    Another clarification is needed : by "can't add anything in parent" , you are talking about roles... I can install a backup application per example ? 

    Thank you


    Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:29 PM
  • You just buy your Windows server licenses via volume licensing.  I use softwareone.com to buy my server OSs under VL.

    You can run backup software up there - anything managementy is okay, but no other role  - like no faxing, no dc roles just file sharing (that will install automatically) and hyperV.

    No other tasks other than running HyperV will be done up on the parent.

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:32 PM
  • Susan what I don't think you have cleared up is the actual process. You can't call Dell and say I need a second key for Essentials so I can run it as a VM. So what is the process?

    1. You a purchase new Dell server with Server 2012,
    2. download media for Essentials from Technet to install as a Guest VM.
    3. Install Essentials using the key found in \sources\product.ini.
    4. Activate Essentials using the key provided by Dell for Server 2012 and calling MS Activation Center.
    5. Although Essentials requires no CALS you are bound by the license requirements of the Host which is Server 2012 so let’s say you have 10 users then you need 10 User/Device CALS,

    Yes? No? Why is this so poorly documented? Why is it that we are still waiting for updated documentation saying it's legal? Why MS, just Why ;)

    Monday, February 18, 2013 9:21 PM
  • Did you read the blog post above?  As that's where it's documented.

    1. Yes

    2. yes

    3. Use the trial key

    4. no you need to follow the transmog process http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/general/lets-learn-a-new-word-for-windows-server-2012-essentials-transmog/

    5. yes you need now server 2012 cals

    This is why I say do VL instead.  You'll get keys for both 2012 and Essentials.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 9:26 PM
  • Did you read the blog post above?  As that's where it's documented.

    1. Yes

    2. yes

    3. Use the trial key

    4. no you need to follow the transmog process http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/general/lets-learn-a-new-word-for-windows-server-2012-essentials-transmog/

    5. yes you need now server 2012 cals

    This is why I say do VL instead.  You'll get keys for both 2012 and Essentials.


    4. ? We are not transitioning to Server 2012, we are using the 1+2 downgrade rights to deploy Essentials as a VM or did I miss something in this thread?
    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 3:18 AM
  • Read the blog post - http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/12/12/using-windows-server-2012-essentials-with-more-than-25-users.aspx

    The second scenario is new for Windows Server 2012 Essentials, but has been available in the Windows Server family for some time. The downgrade (sometimes referred to as “down edition”) rights for Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter have been expanded to include the Essentials edition. This means that when you purchase, or receive as a Software Assurance (SA) grant, a Windows Server 2012 Standard license, you can choose to run Essentials as one of your two virtual instances—without having to purchase Essentials separately. Remember that Standard now allows virtual use rights for up to two instances. This provides you with the small business server experience in the first virtual instance and leaves the second instance available to run additional workloads, such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, Remote Desktop Services, SharePoint, and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

    .... more on the blog ....and then it says...

    You buy server hardware and Windows Server 2012 Standard with CALs for your business that has more than 25 users. You have decided that you want to run one of your instances as Windows Server 2012 Essentials, so you download the ISO image and the product key from the VLSC or the TechNet Eval Center. You install Windows Server 2012 Standard and the Hyper-V role on the physical (host) server, create a virtual machine, and install Essentials as a virtual instance. In order to remove the 25 user account limit, you perform the in-place license transition by using your Standard product key. You can also create a second virtual machine to support additional workloads.

    You have to use the "inplace" process if you have no key specifically for Essentials.  Buy VL you'll get Essentials keys.  Buy OEM and you won't have have to jump through this funky process.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 4:12 AM
  • Hi, I have been reading this thread and other MS info to try and determine how exactly to resolve our Windows Server 2012 configuration plan. Here is where we are at currently:

    1. We have a brand new Dell PowerEdge server that we installed Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition on and activated the license for it. This hosts several Windows applications and acts as an IIS8 web server.

    2. I created a VM that I also installed Windows Server 2012 Standard edition on which is intended to be used only to host SQL Server 2012.

    3. Down the road, we probably will want to install Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition so we can use Active Directory with Exchange 2012 installed on it. This will replace our older Windows Server 2003 SBS server that currently hosts our Exchange and Domain servers.

    Before we go too much further in our configurations, I wanted to look into downgrading the Win 2012 Server Standard edition running on the Host server to the Essentials edition so we can take advantage of the 25-user licenses included. We are a small company with about a twenty user accounts.

    I am confused about the two Virtual Server licenses that come with the Standard edition so please help me understand the correct way to set our servers up:

    1. Does the Standard license allow you to setup an OS on the host server and then two (2) VMs, so you have three (3) servers running or if you create a second VM does that cause the Host installation to stop working so you only have 2 VM's? Knowing how this works will help me understand what to do as far as the Essentials version.
    2. Do I need to downgrade the Standard edition running on the Host virtualization server to Essentials or simply create another VM and install Essentials on it? We have licenses for one (1) Standard edition and one (1) Essentials edition.

    I would greatly appreciate any response to help me understand our options and what the configuration should look like.

    Many Thanks!

    Frank

    Monday, March 11, 2013 4:06 PM
  • Server 2012 comes with two virtualization rights.  So yes, 2012 server is host and then you have the right to use the same sku/same key codes to install two children/guests in the hyperV.   

    The host should only have the hyperV role installed and nothing else.  Adding any other role will not only complicate your HyperV but also violate the eula.

    For the 'downgrade' (I'd call it an upgrade) to Essentials instead of one of the server 2012 children you can install Essentials instead.

    You don't do anything to the parent, you merely install another child to do the essentials deployment.

    Monday, March 11, 2013 4:52 PM
  • Thank you for helping me understand the process! Just one clarification more please. If you only have the Host running "Standard" and if you created two VM's, each with a copy of Standard that used the same activation key, can you do the "downgrade" to Essentials without requiring an Essentials specific key? Or would you have to burn a license key for an Essential version regardless?

    Thanks again!

    Monday, March 11, 2013 7:03 PM
  • Hi,

    I have just posted a blog post on this following some communicaitons with Microsoft OEM Partner Center and Microsoft Activations.

    http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/features/downgrading-windows-server-2012-oem/


    Regards, Boon Tee - PowerBiz Solutions, Australia - http://blog.powerbiz.net.au

    Tuesday, April 02, 2013 5:20 AM