10 October 2007

Reinstallation of a SBS2003 with Transition Packs

For a customer we transformed a Small Business Server 2003 server with Transition Packs to a Windows Server 2003 Standard. After a successful migration of 2 networks the server loses his role as a DC and his function in the new network. We wanted to use this server in a complete different role and network.

But there’s the question what to do with the OS of this server. The server contains a lot of garbage and leftovers of the original Small Business Server installation even after a cleanup. Continuing with this server in this configuration would cause a lot of problems in the future. The Eventviewer contained a lot of errors caused by the Small Business configuration. Reinstallation was the only good option.

There’s only one problem. What is the correct reinstallation path in this situation?
1. Installing Small Business Server 2003
2. Applying Transition Packs
3. Using the transformed Windows Server 2003.

In this situation we would get the same problems before we started. Garbage and leftovers from the SBS2003 installation. Google wouldn’t help in this situation (where is Google if you really need it ). Eventually I called the License Helpdesk of Microsoft. They couldn’t helped me and advised me to call the Technical Support desk of Microsoft. Rather strange because in my opinion this is just a license issue: "Can and may I use the product key from the Transition Packs with a retail Media Kit of Microsoft Windows Server 2003?".

The answer is YES. I called the Technical Support desk of Microsoft and they haven’t received this question earlier, but his answer was that this was purely a license issue. If I installed this configuration and I get an audit by Microsoft or other organisation this won’t be a problem if I got the original Small Business Server License and the Transition Packs license present.

The only problem is of this really works. Can I use the serial number as printed on the Transition Packs case when installing Windows Server 2003 standard. The answer is also YES. Today I started the reinstallation of the system. Used a Retail Windows Server 2003 CD and the product code (serial number) of the Transition Pack and this works flawless.

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