travis' brain dump

Windows Edition Upgrade

by on Jun.09, 2014, under Tech Stuff

Have you ever gone through the process of deploying a one-off Windows server only to discover you’ve gone and deployed Standard Edition as opposed to Data Center?

Ok, so it’s maybe not that common in these days of scripted installs and images, but I figured I’d toss this out there just because sometimes it happens, especially when you’ve got someone who had a product deployed on a single box then decide later they’d like to cluster it. Whatever your reasons are, I’ve had this happen before and it’s always good to keep it handy somewhere, so feel free to bookmark this.

Upgrading a server edition is actually pretty trivial, provided you have a Retail Key, a MAK or are operating with a KMS server onsite (volume licensing). The key is a critical component of being able to upgrade to the target edition you’d like to. For the default KMS Client Setup Keys, please reference the following link from Microsoft which lists all the keys you could need in that deployment type:  KMS Client Setup Keys

Now, please take note of the following rules:

  • You can only upgrade editions, you *CANNOT* downgrade.
  • This works on Standard & Enterprise Edition of Windows, on either core or full deployments.
  • The target you upgrade cannot be a DC (domain controller). If you really need to update a DC, demote it, upgrade it, promote it.

What are my options for upgrade?
Well, that’s easy, run the following command on a box and it’ll show you your options:

‘dism /online /get-target-editions’

Your output should look something like this:

PS C:\Windows\system32> dism /online /get-targeteditions

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.2.9200.16384

Image Version: 6.2.9200.16384
Editions that can be upgraded to:

Target Edition : ServerDatacenter

The operation completed successfully.

(Windows 2008 would give you options like ServerDataCenter & ServerEnterprise)

Ok, so, you decide you want to upgrade to ServerDataCenter. Great.
To do so, you simply enter in the following:

‘dism /online /set-edition:ServerDataCenter /ProductKey: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula’

The system will prompt you to reboot and you’ll be on your way.


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