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Converting the Evaluation version of Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 to the full version

If you have installed an introductory Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016 StandardEvaluation or DatacenterEvaluation to get acquainted with the capabilities of the Microsoft server platform (after registration, you can download Windows Server 2019 on-premises Free Trial or Windows Server 2016 Evaluation for free here), you have 180 days to test its capabilities. During this time, the full functionality of Windows Server 2016/2019 is available to you.

At any time, you can display the expiration date of the grace period of your Windows Server:

Slmgr /dli

slmgr /dli - windowsserver timebased_eval_channel

There is a way to extend the trial period of Windows Server Evaluation by 180 using the command: slmgr /rearm

Such an extension of the trial period can be done 5 times. Thus, the maximum period of use of Windows Server Free Trial can be extended to 3 years = 180 * 6 (however, under the terms of using Evaluation versions of Microsoft, you should not use the trial version for commercial purposes – only tests and familiarization with the functionality).

After the expiration of the trial period, the system begins to require activation and shut down after every hour of operation with the following text in the system event log:

Process C:\Windows\system32\wlms\wlms.exe (<name>) initiated the "Shut Down" action for the computer <name> on behalf of the NT AUTHORITY user\SYSTEM for the reason: Other (Planned)

Reason Code: 0x80000000

Shutdown Type: Shut Down

Comment: The license for this Windows installation has expired. The computer shuts down.


Log Name:   Application

Source:       WLMS

Event ID:     100

Description: The license period for this installation of Windows has expired. The operating system will shut down every hour.

At the same time, the Windows Licenses is expired notification is displayed on the desktop. If you managed to run productive tasks on the evaluation version of Windows Server Evaluation, and want to convert it into a full-fledged edition of Windows Server with data retention without completely reinstalling the operating system, this article should help you.

To what editions can I upgrade the Windows Server evaluation?

If you open a window with the product key input in the Evaluation edition of Windows Server and try to specify the KMS key or Retail/MAK key, a warning will appear “This edition cannot be upgraded”, i.e. this edition cannot be upgraded.

When trying to install the retail key using the slmgr utility (slmgr /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx), an error will appear:

Error:0xC004F069 On a computer running Microsoft Windows non-core edition

But not everything is so sad :).

With DISM, you need to make sure that you are using the evaluation version of Windows Server. Run the command prompt with administrator rights and run:

DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition

ServerStandartEval As you can see, the Current Edition line indicates that the current edition is ServerStandartEval.

Now, using DISM, we will display a list of Windows Server editions to which the current Eval version can be updated:

DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions

That is, the current edition of ServerStandardEval can be updated to the following editions of Windows Server 2016 / Windows Server 2019: ServerDatacenter or ServerStandard.

Limitations when upgrading the trial version of WindowsServer

Several limitations of the conversion method of the introductory edition of Windows Server, discussed below:

You can convert only the full GUI version of Windows Server. The technique does not work with Server Core or Nano Server versions;

You cannot upgrade the server edition with the Active Directory Domain Services Domain controller role. It will have to be downgraded to an ordinary server first;

It is not possible to switch from the older edition to the younger one. I.e. upgrading Windows Server Eval Datacenter to Windows Server Standard Full is not possible.

Windows Server 2016: Conversion of Evaluation version to full

To upgrade the trial version of Windows Server to a full-fledged one, you need to use a public KMS (GVLK) key for Windows Server 2016. The conversion is performed via the command line using the DISM utility. For example, to upgrade the Eval edition to the Retail version of Windows Server 2016 Standard, use the command:

dism /online /set-edition:ServerStandard /productkey:WC2BQ-8NRM3-FDDYY-2BFGV-KHKQY /accepteula

If you specify your own MAK/KMS key in the DISM command instead of the public GVLK key, an error will appear:

Error 1168

The specified product key could not be validated.

Check that the specified product key is valid and that it matches the target edition.

dism /online /set-edition Error 1168 The specified product key could not be validated

Some users complain that sometimes when executing the DISM /set-edition command, it freezes by 10%. In this case, we recommend finding and stopping the Software Protection Service and restricting OS access to the Internet (you can even disconnect the server from the local network).

Note. To upgrade Windows Server 2016 Eval to Datacenter edition, you need to use a different GVLK key. The complete upgrade command looks like this:

DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /ProductKey:CB7KF-BWN84-R7R2Y-793K2-8XDDG /AcceptEula

After applying the command (the message Command completed successfully appears), you need to restart the server and make sure that the full version of Standard is installed.


If a KMS server is deployed in your network, then to activate the operating system on it, you need to run the command:

slmgr /ipk WC2BQ-8NRM3-FDDYY-2BFGV-KHKQY (this is the key for Windows Server Standart, another key is used for Datacenter, it is specified above).

slmgr /ato

If there is no KMS server, you can specify your Windows Server MAK or Retail key and activate the OS as usual: via the Internet or by phone.

Windows Server 2019: converting the trial version into a full version

To convert Windows Server 2019 EVAL to a full version, you need to use GVLK (KMS) keys for Windows Server 2019. The rest of the procedure is similar.

Convert Windows Server 2019 Evaluation to Windows Server 2019 Standard:

dism /online /set-edition:ServerStandard /productkey: N69G4-B89J2-4G8F4-WWYCC-J464C /accepteula

Convert Windows Server 2019 Evaluation to Windows Server 2019 Datacenter:

dism /online /set-edition:ServerDatacenter /productkey:WMDGN-G9PQG-XVVXX-R3X43-63DFG /accepteula

For version 2022 they are as follows:

2022 Standard: VDYBN-27WPP-V4HQT-9VMD4-VMK7H

2022 Datacenter: WX4NM-KYWYW-QJJR4-XV3QB-6VM33

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