Licensing and activating a trial version of Windows Server 2016 in a virtual machine

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For many administrators who downloaded a trial version of Windows Server 2016 (Evaluation edition) after 180 days there is a question about its licensing. Since this is a trial edition, it can not be licensed with a key, so first it needs to be converted to a regular publication:

Run command prompt under administrator (elevated Command Prompt) and enter the command:

C:>DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition


As a result, the current edition of Windows Server 2016, Standard Evaluation will be displayed. The same can be learned by the winver command:

To find out to which editions you can convert a trial version, you need to enter the following command:

C:>DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions

Here we see that Windows Server 2016 can be converted to Standard and Datacenter editions. To convert and activate our trial Windows, turning it into a full Standard edition, you need to enter the command below, specifying a license key:

C:>DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

After that you will need to restart the virtual machine:

Next, run the following command to find out the current edition:

C:>DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition

We see that this is now a full-featured edition of Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition. Winver command shows the same.

Well, to see the fact that Windows is activated, we’ll find information about the system:

All of the above will only work if your key management server (KMS) is configured and running in your infrastructure.

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