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License key for the 2 extra VM’s in server 2016 standard. RRS feed

  • Question


  • I just finished installing and setting up server 2016 (standard). I am new to this stuff, but everything went REALLY smooth - very  impressed.

    I also setup Hyper-V, and installed 2016 into a vm. When I attempted to activate the VM/Hyper-V instance, the license key for the main install did/does not work.

    It is my understanding that we get/have two additional VM license activations when using server 2016 standard?

    Am I to use a different key for these additional two vm’s? I did seem some “info” about automatic vm license activations, but that only applies to the versions “above” standard 2016 server edition.

    Any help as to what I am supposed to use for those additional 2 keys (if I am correct) is appreciated.

    Regards,
    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 6:06 PM

All replies

  • I also setup Hyper-V, and installed 2016 into a vm. When I attempted to activate the VM/Hyper-V instance, the license key for the main install did/does not work.

    What happened or what errors did you get? Do the guests have internet access?

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 7:48 PM
  • There no limits to the number of VM's you install - never was to my knowledge. You can create and install 200 VM's if you want. So there no restrictions on creating VM's. You can install Linux into 15 VM's and windows into another 30 if you want. ZERO restrictions exists in this regards.

    The issue is that "everywhere" we see that for a server 2016 license, you get two "included" server VM 2016 licenses that you can install into 2 of the gazillion VM's that you are allowed. In effect you get one "main" server 2016 license, and then are allowed to activate 2 more 2016 licenses in VM's running on that ONE box (not on any other box).

    My problem is when I enter the main server 2016 license key into to the VM instance of 2016, it is rejected. We supposed to get two additional activations as long as they are into VM's running on the same box.

    Of course the REAL question here is how does activation know this is a VM being activated - and that would VERY much explain why additional activations are being rejected. Note that for server enterprise edition, this activation of additional server 2016's is not only unlimited, but ALSO automatic. So you can activate and install as many additional instances of server 2016 as you please. So if you want 10 more free editions of server 2016, you just spool up some VM's on that machine, install 2016 and they activate automatic for you!.

    However for standard server 2016 edition, you ONLY get two additional free activations of server 2016 running as VM's on that machine, and they ARE NOT automatic activated like they are in the enterprise edition.

    Since the activation of these allowed 2 free additional editions of server 2016 is not automatic, then it begs the question what do I type in for the server key – and it WILL “know” that key been used and already activated – hence the failure when I try to activate the two allowed additional editions for server 2016 in this case.

    Regards,
    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:19 PM
  • Yes guests did have internet.

    I can't remember the exact message. It was a cut + paste of the key used to install the main server. it simply stated activation failed (can't remember exact message). However, since the key was "just" used to install the server (host), then it not a surprise that additional activates via hyper-v VM's with the same key fail.

    I grabbed another key I had (MSDN one - but this has to be fixed/changed). So yes, did have internet connection.  I am not that surprised that a key used and activated for the "main" server setup does not work when trying to activate the 2016 server I just installed to the VM.

    You can see my extended comments in the other response, but it is little surprise that the server key is rejected during activation since it was just used a few hours before during setup of the "main/host" server. I am "reasonable" sure I reading correctly that server 2016 "standard" does allow two additional activations ONLY as VM's on that same box. It just how to do this? (or what keys to be used?).

    As noted, the auto activation for server 2016 "enterprise" does suggest a "universial" key that EVERYONE is to use. And the universal key for standard 2016 is this key:

    Windows Server 2016 Standard

    C3RCX-M6NRP-6CXC9-TW2F2-4RHYD

    The above key is "public" and published. (so no worry if anyone reading this sees the above). I NEVER had a chance to try the above key as the machine was shipped out to the customer today (and only saw/found out above the above "vm" key today).  I have server 2016 running as hyper-v on my laptop, but as a guest. (and I can't run hyper-v on hyper-v to test the additional VM activations).

    If I am to use the above key for activations, then no problem (and I will mark this as an answer). I am un-able to confirm the above since I don't have the box to play with/test anymore. My on-site box is server 2012 - and you don't get those two free VM licenses with that setup.

    Regards,

    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)

    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:36 PM
  • If a retail license I'd call them here.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/existing-customer/activation-centers.aspx

    If MSDN licenses then I'd call or chat with them here.

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb266240.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

     

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:42 PM
  • Did you try to install license key from CMD

    slmgr /ipk <AVMA_key>  

    • Proposed as answer by Silvio Gelli Saturday, February 11, 2017 8:03 PM
    Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:42 PM
  • But it is supported in terms of licensing (unless you been in some cave without internet!)

    So everywhere and every place, we see that server 2016 allows 2 additional VM's included for that price. In fact, I believe it was the same was for server 2012. Regardless, we see EVERYWHERE that it noted that for one server 2016 standard license, you get one main instance, and 2 free server 2016's running in VM's on that same box. This is wide spread and common knowledge.

    The question not the above well known issue - but how one activates those additional free instances of 2016 server allowed as VM's

    I suspect that using the command line method as Nedim below points out. And that of using a of entering the AVMMA product key as opposed to NOT using os key that I outlined above may well be the answer.

    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 10:09 PM
  • Did you try to install license key from CMD

    slmgr /ipk <AVMA_key>  

    Yes, I believe that your response is correct. And ALSO that one is to use a AVMA key, and NOT the provided server OS key. The hardware been shipped - but next time around, I try a AVMA key from both  the GUI during install, and from the command line.

    Thank you and all others here for the suggesting.

    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 10:12 PM
  • it is a retail license. I doubt activation folks know the answer. What happens is most call up, and they tell the customer the license key been activated and used - they are told to then purchase another.  I don't blame those folks on the other end. There is a "lack" of this knowledge in the general server community.

    As always FEW people know server licensing and I respect this simple fact of a WIDE spread knowledge gap here. I mean, it is difficult for people to keep "up to speed" on these issues. And not only is licensing confusing, but usually as exciting as watching paint dry!

    The simple matter is that VM's activations are included in server 2016 for "free" or better said part of the package purchase. This has been the case since server 2012, and before that I don't know. The issue is HOW to activate those free editions without having to chew up license keys.

    A bit surprised of the lack of "widespread" knowledge of the free instances of server 2016 included with a single standard license - but regardless, the issue is what key one is supposed to use for such activations.

    It is CLEARY NOT the single key purchased for the server license. You phone up the license folks and ask why the key is not working they going to tell you its already been used - and as homer Simpson would say:

    Duh!!!

    It as noted "most" likely one is to use a AVMA (automatic license key) and EVEN use that key in the case where you not using automatic license activation (but then that begs the question how does it limit one to 2 activations?).

    Anyway, I will have to "jump" into this next time a server is being setup - and it is not that often (4-5 per year). I was hoping the simple and widespread knowledge of the additional free licenses and how to activate them for the standard edition of server 2016 had been absorbed by the community - it likely that server 2016 still quite new.

    I willing to bet that over time this knowledge and question will become widespread knowledge - it just a bit early in the learning curve and server 2016 still quite new to the community - and it a VERY boring issue! I don't consider "licensing" a issue for the support community! (yuk!!!).

    Appreciate the comments and efforts here - thank you kindly.

    I'll get to the bottom of this one way or another!

    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)

    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 10:33 PM
  • The issue is HOW to activate those free editions without having to chew up license keys.

    Use the key that came with your software. If it does not work the error code or message may be helpful or call the activation center for further help.

     

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 10:40 PM
  • Albert,

    Not sure if you ever got a straight answer to the activation issue.  I recently had a similar problem activating a Dell server OEM license when using the supplied OEM disc to install the VM in Hyper-V.  And you use the same key you use when installing the Hyper-V Host.  Auto activation failed, the activation screen had an error code listed and would not let me change the key, so I had to do it manually.  This link was helpful in resolving the issue.  http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN292120/installation-of-the-proof-of-purchase-from-the-acpi-table-failed-error-code--0xc004f057?lang=EN

    steps:

    1. open a cmd prompt and enter the following.

    • slmgr /upk  (product key was uninstalled)
    • slmgr /cpky (key was cleared from the registry)
    • slmgr /rearm (command was successful and a reboot is needed)
    • REBOOT

    2. After the reboot you open a cmd prompt again and enter

    • slmgr /ipk <product key here>.  (key installed successfully)  Found the key on the back of the server.
    • slmgr /ato  

    you should get a message that says activation successful, but I did not.  another "key activation" windowed opened and I entered my key there and the VM activated successfully.

    No wasted licenses.

    • Proposed as answer by Websterious Friday, February 23, 2018 6:15 PM
    Thursday, May 4, 2017 7:25 PM
  •  And ALSO that one is to use a AVMA key

    AVMA would only be applicable if the host was datacenter SKU

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, May 4, 2017 7:33 PM
  • Thank you! This is _excactly_ the answer I needed.  On a Dell PE server with Windows 2016 OEM, I created two VMs using the windows server 2016 .VHD that comes from Dell.  Windows would not activate on these VMs either automatically or manually using the lic key that came with the server.  I followed your steps and was able activate using the physical server's lic key.
    • Proposed as answer by deivid79 Thursday, October 4, 2018 8:45 PM
    Friday, February 23, 2018 6:30 PM
  • Awesome, this worked. Activation should be simpler.
    Thursday, March 15, 2018 3:23 PM
  • Many Thanks.

    Putch's solution also worked for my Dell OEM Version of Windows Server 2016.

    Kind Regards, Stephen

    Wednesday, June 6, 2018 8:50 AM
  • I am running into the same problem. I tried the above posted by Putch, but unfortunately it says my product key was blocked. I have the retail license key and disc in hand and can personally vouche that it was never used on any other machine and no hardware changes to the current one. I called MS Activation support and they told me it only covers one activation and will not cover the Hyper-V guests!? They said there is nothing they can do but to contact the original seller. Contacted the seller and they said there is nothing they can do so now I am stuck with a a small pricey server that is useless. Any other suggestions?

    Just FYI, when I originally installed the Hyper V guests, they did activate no problem and was fine for weeks, then all of a sudden just the guest showed that they needed activation. Host is still fine and only running Hyper-V and File services for the storage pool.
    Tuesday, October 30, 2018 5:33 PM
  • Hello. I have the same question, and here is practical answer.

    Windows 2019 Standard OEM product key (from label) was used to activate physical server and same key was used to activate two VM (Server 2019) running on this server. I just entered product key in GUI (no any cmd voodoo).

    Tuesday, February 5, 2019 7:57 AM
  • Hello. I have the same question, and here is practical answer.

    Windows 2019 Standard OEM product key (from label) was used to activate physical server and same key was used to activate two VM (Server 2019) running on this server. I just entered product key in GUI (no any cmd voodoo).

    This did not work for me on 2016 standard.  Very frustrating.  I get activation error c004c008 "license key has already been used"...  key has only been used once, on the host.
    Friday, November 22, 2019 5:49 AM