How to activate windows 2012 RC ?


  • Hello,

    I have installed Win 2012 RC for testing on VMware ESXi 5. How do I activate the OS without Internet connection ?

    Do I need to use specific key to activate the OS ?

    Or can I simply continue the evaluation version ?

    How many days evaluation period lasts?

    Thanks !

    Monday, July 09, 2012 4:40 PM


All replies

  • I believe the evaluation is 180 days.


    Monday, July 09, 2012 10:57 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting here.

    Windows Server 2012 RC should include a key for activation during installation and we can get the detail activate information by command “slmgr /dlv” after finishing the installation.


    Tiger Li

    Tiger Li

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:32 AM
  • I need a key to install Windows Server 2012 RC, but there is no one on Microsoft sites.

    Tiger Li, do you mean "2012 RC" should fill the key field automatically during installation??  It DOES NOT, at least in a VMware 8.0.4 and in a VirtualBox virtual machine.

    So, I'll have to install "2012 RC" on a physical HDD, for there is no working installation key I could type in a "2012 RC" installation as virtual machine??

    Otherwise, where can I get a key, so that I could evaluate the product in a virtual machine??

    Thanks in advance.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 5:12 AM
  • Microsoft provides for 180 days evaluation period - no need to activate.  I'm running multiple installations of 2012 without any issues.  Yes, there is a transparent graphic that says the product isn't activated yet, but evaluation works just fine without activation.


    Monday, July 30, 2012 3:06 PM
  • You can install the Evaluation Copy and then if you need to upgrade it to Full version you can follow this steps to change it from Eval to Full version

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:52 PM
  • The functionality is there in the product.. But did the same thing installed EVAL downloads of 2012 on a private lab network (no internet access) and we are having our servers shutdown like clock work every hour.  In a training lab this is difficult to manage.  Tried calling into MS for phone activation, but having difficulty since they say they need  a keycode which of course we never needed during installation of the eval.

    Any thoughts or work arounds are welcome.


    Monday, September 24, 2012 5:26 PM
  • Try activating with a generic key -

    'In a training lab' - I hope you mean evaluation lab.  If you are using them in a training lab, you are may not be abiding by licensing guidelines.  Training would be considered production use, not evaluation use, and you would need properly licensed copies.


    Monday, September 24, 2012 9:33 PM
  • For me it required activation after less than 26 days... From this time it reboots every hour.
    Thursday, October 25, 2012 3:20 PM
  • Did you rearm it or enter one of the generic keys?  I know that rearming it will cause the 30-day countdown to begin.  I think entering a generic key does the same because I have a couple of systems that are expired eval copies and I think it is because I entered a key on them.

    The one-hour runtime is what is expected for an expired license.


    Sunday, October 28, 2012 1:22 AM