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Downgrading Windows Server 2012 to Essentials 2012

    Question

  • Hi everybody!
    Long story made short: 

    What I have: WS Standard Key, WS Essential Trial Key & ISO

    What I want: WS Essentials Key through downgrading my WS Standard Key

    Where my problem is: HOW-TO?

    Checking the downgrade paths available it says here (http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/D/B/4DB352D1-C610-466A-9AAF-EEF4F4CFFF27/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_FAQ.pdf) that I would be allowed to downgrade to WSE having a WS Standard license (see Question 15).

    Of course I am aware that I can't install anything without the proper key but I was assuming that WSE might recoginze that the entered key is belonging to a "higher" version and therefore accepts it for install. Since it does not I ask myself where to exchange my WS Standard key against a WSE key.

    Thanks :)

    Original initial post:

    Hey there,

    via my MSDN subscription I got a license for "Windows Server 2012 (x64) - DVD (English)" which seems to be WS Standard.
    Checking the given downgrade options and paths I would be eligable to downgrade to Windows Server Essentials.

    Now I am really lost how to downgrade that? Entering the key of the standard version into the evaluation copy I have done fails.
    Do I need to obtain any new key for that? If yes: where? how?

    Cheers and merry xmas!
    berlin86


    • Moved by Mike KinsmanMicrosoft contingent staff Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:51 PM Downgrade To Essentials Question (From:MSDN Subscriptions Feedback)
    • Edited by berlin86 Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:54 PM made question more prominent
    Tuesday, December 25, 2012 10:36 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    WS2012Essentials, eval download and pkey is here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/jj659306.aspx


    Don
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    Tuesday, December 25, 2012 10:39 PM
  • Downgrading has a specific meaning for MSDN Licensees, and typically refers to renewing your entire subscription at a lower level.  I've proposed Don's reply as answer because I think you're talking about specifically Windows Server 2012 and not your MSDN Subscription.

    The other thing I'll add is that the WInodws Server 2012 download in MSDN is a multi-edition product (this is becoming more common with Windows, upside is that it saves you downloading mostly the same code multiple times).  If you click the 'details' link on the download you'll see a note that explains this.  The edition you end up installing depends on the product key you enter, as different keys unlock different Editions.  These editions should be marked on the Product Keys page, so they're broken out as 'standard' edition and 'enterprise' edition etc.

    Thanks,
    Mike


    MSDN and TechNet Subscriptions Support
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    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 4:15 PM
  • Hi there,

    yes exactly I do not want to downgrade my msdn subscription as such but the specific product Windows Server Standard.
    Do you have any hint who I can contact to find out how to downgrade the Windows Server 2012 Standard version I have to a Windows Server 2012 Essentials version? 
    I already have tried to activate the evaluation iso of the essentials (link mentioned by Don) with the Standard Key but that fails due to a restriction within the installer it says. The other way around (acitivating my standard iso with the standard key) works but doesn't make sense since I am looking for a way to downgrade not to run the standard version
    So rightnow I do not know what to do... :(

    Cheers,
    berlin86

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 5:37 PM
  • have you tried to use the evaluation ISO with the evaluation pkey? - the evaluation pkey is written on the webpage where the download for the ISO is located.


    Don
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    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 8:14 PM
  • Yes, and I am currently running WSE 2012 in evaluation mode but I am looking for a permanent downgrade using the WS Standard Key I have.
    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:13 PM
  • Woops, posted from the wrong account :)

    sounds like a conundrum berlin86!  You're saying that you want to move from from WS Standard to WS Essentials using the WS Standard key you have, but you can't install any product unless you have the key for it, so you want be moving to WS Essentials using the WS Essentials Key.

    Do you have access to Windows Server 2012 Essentials from MSDN?  Its available here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/securedownloads/#FileId=50729

    Thanks,
    Mike


    MSDN and TechNet Subscriptions Support
    Read the Subscriptions Blog!

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:19 PM
  • Exactly that's my question! 
    What I have: WS Standard Key, WS Essential Trial Key & ISO
    What I want: WS Essentials Key through downgrading my WS Standard Key
    Where my problem is: HOW-TO?

    Checking the downgrade paths available it says here (http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/D/B/4DB352D1-C610-466A-9AAF-EEF4F4CFFF27/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_FAQ.pdf) that I would be allowed to downgrade to WSE having a WS Standard license (see Question 15).

    Of course I am aware that I can't install anything without the proper key but I was assuming that WSE might recoginze that the entered key is belonging to a "higher" version and therefore accepts it for install. Since it does not I ask myself where to exchange my WS Standard key against a WSE key.

    And no, I do only have access to Datacenter and Standard currently at MSDN.

    Thanks :)

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:30 PM
  • ahh hah!  ok I'm glad we're on the same page now :)

    Bad news though, I have no idea about how to downgrade from one version of windows to another.  I was about to tell you 'not possible' until I looked at your link that says 'yep, possible!' but unhelpfully excludes the crucial 'how to' information. 

    That's not very bad news for you though because I dont know much about Windows Server, so what I'm going to do is move this post over to the Windows Server Essentials forum: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserveressentials/threads.

    To help highlight your question, what I think you should do is edit your initial post to include a link to that PDF and a reference to question 15. Although if they have time they'll read the entire thread, it'll help them help you if you cut to the chase up top.

    Thanks and good luck with this!

    Mike




    MSDN and TechNet Subscriptions Support
    Read the Subscriptions Blog!

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:51 PM
  • Thanks, mike!
    Indeed, its crazy as you google this you find tons of answers and some from official resellers just say "use your key it will work for all versions below yours" so let's see :)


    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:56 PM
  • sorry, now I understand your goal a little better!

    this article may help: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/partnersysbuildlicensing/thread/5c66ae69-f4ad-4f61-ac7b-4af1382d019e

    You may need to contact MS Activation Center: http://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/existing-customers/activation-centers.aspx

    In some cases, you can convert an evaluation installation (freely downloadable) to a full license:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj574204.aspx

    But note: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2021579


    Don
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    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 11:29 PM
  • I can't access the first link you've posted ("You are not authorized to perform this action.") but I might call the activation center since I got pretty lost so far...

    The evaluation install of WSE is eligable for upgrade to a full version anytime, at least that is stated during install, just requires a valid key

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 11:32 PM
  • just another thing you might be able to try, the WSE is in a different product category to WS (within MSDN):
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/securedownloads/#ProductFamilyId=488

    I am offered both the Retail ISO for WSE and also a Retail pkey for it (but this could be due to my MSDN subs is a VL Ultimate)


    Don
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    • Edited by DonPick Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:19 AM insert pic
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:16 AM
  • I just get the WSE shown as non-included in my subscription as I visit this section. However, its a mess to downgrade.

    Following that post here  where someone has exactly the same question it seems to get completley f***ed up by the fact that you have downgrade rights, YES (so do I) but you can only acquire the appropiate keys via the volume licensing website where I (as a webspark member with msdn subscription) do not have any access to so it seems to be my bad luck for this.

    Srsly, I am about to stop developing on WS even before I started, its just too complicated to gain sufficient rights as the evaluation period of 180 days is just too short for my plans as I am not full-time dedicated to that project, and the fact that the streaming service is disabled in the standard edition makes the essentials version really needed for me. 
    However, thanks for your support Don, really appreciate it. Too bad there is no true solution by Microsoft besides some promises that are kept nowhere :(

    Thursday, December 27, 2012 3:18 PM
  • If you are using the R2 version of Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter, the Essentials role is actually available to add. You do not need to "downgrade" the server OS to Essentials. As far as I know, this is only available on Windows Server 2012 R2.

    Add Essentials role to Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 3:59 PM
  • You think he still has a question? <grin>  I used to know a Todd on the WHS Team....

    Grey


    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 7:29 PM
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