• Converting an Evaluation/Trial SQL Server 2008/2012 Built with VL Media to Full Licensed Version

    I built a new 2008 R2 SQL Standard server using Microsoft Volume Licensed media.   The media comes with the product keys built in to the ISO/setup.  I built it on an evaluation/trial because I was still waiting on purchase approval for the core licenses and since Microsoft gives a generous trial period of 180 days I had plenty of time to buy my licenses before the trial would run out.

    A couple of months into the trial and I had my licenses ready to deploy.  I came across this tip on a message board:

    “Go to Microsoft SQL Server Configuration Tools, navigate to SQL
    Server installation Center and click the Maintinance link and choose
    Edition Upgrade”

    The problem with this is that if you do this from the server installation instead of from media, you will get an error and it will ask you for the product key.  Your upgrade will fail, leaving you to cancel the upgrade and therefore you will have a partial install.  It seems as if the evaluation license was even deactivated when this happened because I tried to go back and choose evaluation and it would not let me complete the setup.

    I thought I may have to do an uninstall/reinstall of SQL but then I decided to try and run the upgrade from the media I used to install it originally.  It gave me the same options as the Edition Upgrade that I originally used except this time it filled out the Product Key field for me.  Excellent.  Upgrade completed in a few minutes.

    You can also do this via command line.  Open cmd.exe and launch setup.exe with the following command line:

    Setup.exe /q /ACTION=editionupgrade /INSTANCENAME=<MSSQLSERVER or instancename> /PID=<PID key for new edition>” /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS