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Workaround for expiring Vail August Preview

    General discussion

  • Hi Everyone,

    Thought I'd pass this along. It appears that there is a workaround for extending the expiration until mid-March. Hope this can be helpful to any who need it!

     

    To extend the expiry, please follow the directions below

    1.    Install WS08 R2 SP1 RC on the server by clicking here
    2.    Logon on https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer with your connect credentials
    3.    Click on Product keys (in the left hand side column)
    4.    Click on Request a new product key
    5.    Click on Get Key
    6.    In Windows Home Server, open a command prompt
    7.    Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” (where ABCDE.. is your new key as requested above)
    8.    Type “slmgr.vbs –ato”
    9.    Reboot the server, and your beta timeframe has been extended.  You can check this by opening up a command prompt and typing winver

    -Tom


    http://www.tomontech.com
    Monday, January 10, 2011 10:04 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Everyone,

    Thought I'd pass this along. It appears that there is a workaround for extending the expiration until mid-March. Hope this can be helpful to any who need it!

     

    To extend the expiry, please follow the directions below

    1.    Install WS08 R2 SP1 RC on the server by clicking here
    2.    Logon on https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer  with your connect credentials
    3.    Click on Product keys (in the left hand side column)
    4.    Click on Request a new product key
    5.    Click on Get Key
    6.    In Windows Home Server, open a command prompt
    7.    Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” (where ABCDE.. is your new key as requested above)
    8.    Type “slmgr.vbs –ato”
    9.    Reboot the server, and your beta timeframe has been extended.  You can check this by opening up a command prompt and typing winver

    -Tom


    http://www.tomontech.com
    Nice trick as this swaps out the expiration date for the SP1 expiration date.  Cant we get this posted on the main connect site?
    Monday, January 10, 2011 10:34 PM
  • On Sunday, I wiped my Vail test machine and am working out a WHS v1 install protocol.  A bit late IMO.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:19 AM
  • Step 8.   "Type “slmgr.vbs –ato”" has a syntax error, but doesn't appear to be required anyway, as my expiration date has been extended.
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:26 AM
  • I wiped my Vail test machine on Saturday.  I'm testing just using a Windows 7 install with the storage drives setup in Disk Management as spanned.  I've got about month to convince myself this setup can't duplicate the functionally of WHS v1 or VAIL.  So far, I think it can serve the purpose.
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:29 AM
  • Thank you very much for solving this issue. Really appreciate this..
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:42 AM
  • Sweet, glad I didn't wipe my box.  Expires 3/15/2011 5:59 PM
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:21 AM
  • On Tue, 11 Jan 2011 02:26:29 +0000, Darren E Watt wrote:

    Step 8.?? "Type ?slmgr.vbs ?ato?" has a syntax error, but doesn't appear to be required anyway, as my expiration date has been extended.

    A couple of things that may have caused your syntax error:

    1. You don't need the quotes.
    2. If you copied and pasted that line from a web page the "-" likely got
    changed to a different type of dash when it was posted to the web page.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    People who deal with bits should expect to get bitten.  -- Jon Bentley

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 6:56 AM
  • Nice trick as this swaps out the expiration date for the SP1 expiration date.  Cant we get this posted on the main connect site?

    It's not a trick, the extension of the beta period using the method described was made possible by Microsoft. IMO a very nice gesture, credits to MS!
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 8:44 AM
    Moderator
  • On Tue, 11 Jan 2011 08:44:11 +0000, brubber [MVP] wrote:

    It's not a trick, the extension of the beta period using the method described was made possible by Microsoft <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-enables-workaround-for-expiring-vail-home-server-beta/8408>. IMO a very nice gesture, credits to MS!

    So regardless of how MJ worded her article and the quote from the Microsoft
    spokesperson, this is not something that Microsoft magically enabled
    recently. It is simply a coincidence that there is currently a beta for SP1
    of Server 2008 R2 currently available and that installing the beta,
    updating the product key and running the rearm extends the timeout period
    for Vail. The engineering team did not do anything to create this
    work-around, they simply published the steps required to do get it to work.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    System going down at 5 pm to install scheduler bug.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:04 AM
  • On Tue, 11 Jan 2011 08:44:11 +0000, brubber [MVP] wrote:

    It's not a trick, the extension of the beta period using the method described was made possible by Microsoft <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-enables-workaround-for-expiring-vail-home-server-beta/8408>. IMO a very nice gesture, credits to MS!

    So regardless of how MJ worded her article and the quote from the Microsoft
    spokesperson, this is not something that Microsoft magically enabled
    recently. It is simply a coincidence that there is currently a beta for SP1
    of Server 2008 R2 currently available and that installing the beta,
    updating the product key and running the rearm extends the timeout period
    for Vail. The engineering team did not do anything to create this
    work-around, they simply published the steps required to do get it to work.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    System going down at 5 pm to install scheduler bug.


    Even if you're right it's (From MS perspective) still a nice gesture to publish this method and supply the necessary product keys. IMO they are actually doing the right thing now for once, so let's praise them. Also if they wouldn't make new product keys available the whole "trick" wouldn't work AFAIK.
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:53 AM
    Moderator
  • Even if you're right it's (From MS perspective) still a nice gesture to publish this method and supply the necessary product keys. IMO they are actually doing the right thing now for once, so let's praise them. Also if they wouldn't make new product keys available the whole "trick" wouldn't work AFAIK.
    Yes, better late than never. But it would have been a whole lot nicer if this had been done several weeks ago.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:52 AM
  • On Tue, 11 Jan 2011 09:53:51 +0000, brubber [MVP] wrote:

    Also if they wouldn't make new product keys available the whole "trick" wouldn't work?AFAIK

    Not so and I just tested this with the single product key I've had since
    the refresh was released.

    Test 1:

    Built a new Vail VM.
    Installed SP1
    Still shows 1/10 as the expiry
    Used my original product key and activated
    Still shows 1/10 as the expiry
    Ran slmgr -rearm and rebooted
    Now shows 3/15 as the expiry

    Test 2
    Built a new Vail VM
    Activated with original product key
    Shows 1/10 as expiry
    Installed SP1
    Still shows 1/10 as expiry
    No longer activated
    Activated again
    Still shows 1/10 as expiry
    Ran slmgr -rearm and rebooted
    Now shows 3/15 as expiry


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    Structured Programming supports the law of the excluded muddle.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:27 PM
  • Yes, better late than never. But it would have been a whole lot nicer if this had been done several weeks ago.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP

    Yeah, too late for me too, I already flattened the server.  Always knew expiration was coming, just hoped there'd be released version, then hoped there'd be a new beta, now hoping to find an alternative.  Looking at SBS or a Linux solution with RAID.
    Vail Server HW: Asus socket 775 mobo, E6500 dual core processor. 4 1.5 TB Seagate Barracuda 5400 RPM drives, 1 IDE DVD drive, 2GB RAM, latest build of Vail
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:27 PM
  • On Tue, 11 Jan 2011 09:53:51 +0000, brubber [MVP] wrote:

    Also if they wouldn't make new product keys available the whole "trick" wouldn't work?AFAIK

    Not so and I just tested this with the single product key I've had since
    the refresh was released.

    Test 1:

    Built a new Vail VM.
    Installed SP1
    Still shows 1/10 as the expiry
    Used my original product key and activated
    Still shows 1/10 as the expiry
    Ran slmgr -rearm and rebooted
    Now shows 3/15 as the expiry

    Test 2
    Built a new Vail VM
    Activated with original product key
    Shows 1/10 as expiry
    Installed SP1
    Still shows 1/10 as expiry
    No longer activated
    Activated again
    Still shows 1/10 as expiry
    Ran slmgr -rearm and rebooted
    Now shows 3/15 as expiry


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    Structured Programming supports the law of the excluded muddle.


    Thanks Paul,

    Useful piece of information and also proves me wrong.

    Henk

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:39 PM
    Moderator
  • On Tue, 11 Jan 2011 15:39:52 +0000, brubber [MVP] wrote:

    also proves me wrong.

    Wasn't my goal just had my curiosity piqued.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    Long computations that yield zero are probably all for naught.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:45 PM
  • Yes, better late than never. But it would have been a whole lot nicer if this had been done several weeks ago.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Yeah, too late for me too, I already flattened the server. Always knew expiration was coming, just hoped there'd be released version, then hoped there'd be a new beta, now hoping to find an alternative. Looking at SBS or a Linux solution with RAID.
    Oh, I'm just lurking here; I have not actually installed Vail (and glad I didn't, as it turns out). But I love my WHS V1.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 4:14 PM
  • "Tom Ziegmann [MVP]" wrote in message
    news:9d459f48-2e9e-4279-ade1-6d4d5e907e4c@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
     
    [To extend the expiry, please follow the directions below
     
    1.    Install WS08 R2 SP1 RC on the server by clicking here
    connect credentials
    3.    Click on Product keys (in the left hand side column)
    4.    Click on Request a new product key
    5.    Click on Get Key
    6.    In Windows Home Server, open a command prompt
    7.    Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” (where ABCDE.. is
    your new key as requested above)
    8.    Type “slmgr.vbs –ato”
    9.    Reboot the server, and your beta timeframe has been extended.  You can
    check this by opening up a command prompt and typing winver]
     
    Hi Tom. I'm back up and running. Since I'd been having trouble with WHS
    Vail, I decided to do a reinstall of the refresh. I used the original
    Refresh product key to install. I did request a new key, but SP1 never asked
    for it, so . . .
     
    I did not use Instruction numbers 6 through 9, given both here and from Mary
    Jane Foley. Don't ask me why, I just didn't.
     
    Once SP1 was installed, I checked winver, which told me it 'would expire' on
    1/10. :) Oh, yeah, when I started the download of SP1, it was put in a
    folder named Windows Home Server V2 Beta - Code Name Vail. Inside that
    folder I found the WS 08 file as instructed. Funny . . . When the
    installation was started, I swear I was told it was installing SP1 for Vail!
    I wish I had been able to get a screen capture, cause this sounds like it
    was planned . . . and I believe it most likely was planned (possibly for
    MVPs and big business associates higher up the food chain than we are.
     
    -- Nancy Ward
    Windows 8 Beta Ferret
     
    Most of us, especially the MVPs and the Technical Testers, know how to
    extend a beta using the rearm solution. So, I simply opened a command prompt
    and typed in slmgr -rearm, hoping for the best. Voila! After a shutdown and
    reboot, Winver told me I'm good to go until March 15!
     
    Nancy Ward
    Windows 8 Beta Ferret
     
     

    Nancy Ward
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:15 PM
  • Win2k8 r2 sp1 picks up the name of the product as it installs.

    Stick it on a SBS box and it says SBS sp1.  Stick it on vail and it will say vail.  A little freaky if you aren't expecting it, but it wasn't planned.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:21 PM
  • I became impatient waiting for the service pack to install - I actually thought it had seized up it because the progress bar moved very slowly - so I tried the "slmgr -rearm" command provided by Nancy. Once SP finished installing winver shows that the new expiry is not yesterday but in fact is the 15/3/11 at 23:59.


    I believe the rearm command was what did the job. I did not need to change the product key.

    I'd suggest before anyone do anything as complicated as installing the service pack, try the rearm command and see if it really is as simple to extend the trial as just one command prompt.


    Nice work Nancy!

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 11:20 PM
  • [Win2k8 r2 sp1 picks up the name of the product as it installs. Stick it on
    a SBS box and it says SBS sp1.  Stick it on vail and it will say vail.  A
    little freaky if you aren't expecting it, but it wasn't planned.]
     
    Thanks, Susan. Since I'll never have enough computers for more than WHS, I
    had no reason to figure that one out. And, yeah, it was rather freaky, to
    say the least.
     
    Nancy Ward
    Windows 8 Beta Ferret
     
     

    Nancy Ward
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:42 AM
  • [I'd suggest before anyone do anything as complicated as installing the
    service pack, try the rearm command and see if it really is as simple to
    extend the trial as just one command prompt.]
     
    Naturally, since I already knew about the rearm command, that was the first
    thing I tried. No dice . . . when I checked winver after having used
    slmgr -rearm, I was still set to expire on 1/10/2010. SP1 does have to be
    installed for slmgr -rearm to work. You just don't have to do anything more
    than rearm SP1. :)
     
    [Nice work Nancy!]
     
    Thanks. Glad it worked and hopefully it'll save some folks a little time.
     
    Nancy Ward
    Windows 8 Beta Ferret
     
     

    Nancy Ward
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:49 AM
  • Monday the 10th

    I requested a new Vail product key.

    Used the Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” command

    Activated it with the /ato command

    Told me that the experation date was 2011-01-11 00:59

    ...

    2 days later (today)

    Machine is in BSOD state (reboot)

    I read in the thread above and used the "slmgr -rearm" command

    Rebooted and it told me that I must activate the Vail WHS

    Did so with the “slmgr.vbs /ato"

    Checked the expiration date with “slmgr.vbs /xpr"

     

    AND it told me THE MACHINE IS PERMANENTLY ACTIVATED

     

    Edit .. i dont know if the BSOD once per hour is still there.

     

     

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 9:55 AM
  • On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 09:55:58 +0000, Astorr wrote:

    AND it told me THE MACHINE IS PERMANENTLY ACTIVATED

    There's a big difference between being activated and having the OS expire.
    To check the latter, run winver.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    Every program in development at MIT expands until it can read mail.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:07 AM
  • On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 09:55:58 +0000, Astorr wrote:

    AND it told me THE MACHINE IS PERMANENTLY ACTIVATED

    There's a big difference between being activated and having the OS expire.
    To check the latter, run winver.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Want custom ringtones on your Windows Phone 7 device?
    Every program in development at MIT expands until it can read mail.

    ;) atleast I was happy a little while
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:28 AM
  • Same here! Followed the steps even placed three new activation keys and Still shows 1/10 as expiry. Not only that! but now getting a "BLUE Screen: with the expiry message.............NiCE work Microsoft!!! Guess I'll go LINUX ...tired of this BS!!!
    Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:06 PM
  • On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:06:49 +0000, Randy Lee wrote:

    Same here! Followed the steps even placed three new activation keys?and Still shows 1/10 as expiry. Not only that! but now getting a "BLUE Screen: with the expiry message.............NiCE work Microsoft!!! Guess I'll go LINUX ...tired of this BS!!!

    Have you run slmgr.vbs /rearm and rebooted after activating?


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    ROM: A RAM after a delicate operation.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 4:09 PM
  • Yes..Receive message "activation Sucessful" I reboot as discribed and

    run "winver" still 1/10 date than BOD after 30 minutes.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 4:30 PM
  • Ok, I'm doing something wrong. I'm 75, still work and have 6 computers here and at work that I use and I'm good at it ,however, I almost gave up computers before I started because of the need to type these miserable strings of commands. It looks like there are spaces before some of the dashes, is that correct? Are there any "enter" actions before I reboot? There are 4 download keys at the website, do I download all of them? I know I'm doing something wrong but I've not figured it out yet.

    Thanks

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 11:04 PM
  • Old Timer, there are spaces.  You want patch KB976932 X64. 865MB in size, does take a while to install. I did hit enter after entering each command line.  I had a couple of pop-ups on the desktop telling me my key was inputted correctly when I was done.

     

    After reboot winver told me my copy is now good until 3/15.

     

    I followed instructions above and it worked like a charm.  Wife was happy to get here media server back for the kids.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 7:19 PM
  • Thanks, it worked fine and with no errors or problems.
    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 8:44 PM