Product Key for SQL Server 2008 R2


  • Hi All,

    I'm attempting to install SQL Server 2008 R2 from the disk I received as part of my latest MSDN shipment (Disc 5003), and am being prompted for a product key.  However when I attempt to acquire a product key from subscriber downloads, I'm told that SQL Server 2008 R2 is pre-pidded.  So I am effectively unable to install except in evaluation mode.  Any ideas as to why?

    Thanks for any input,


    Thursday, August 05, 2010 1:12 AM


All replies

  • Hello,

    Try downloading from MSDN the media of the SQL Server edition associated with the product key you acquired.


    Alberto Morillo

    Thursday, August 05, 2010 1:33 AM
  • Thanks for the advice, and actually I'd thought that might be worth a try, but unfortunately it involves burning the iso image onto a dvd before I can install, which will be complicated in this particular case.  Sounds like it's probably what I'll have to do, but shouldn't the MSDN dvd work the same way as the download?
    • Proposed as answer by MS_OLC Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:39 PM
    Thursday, August 05, 2010 1:56 AM
  • Hello,

    I am not sure. Maybe that DVD is intended only for evaluation.

    Hope this helps.


    Alberto Morillo

    Thursday, August 05, 2010 2:53 AM
  • Hi Steve

    The PID should be on the media ... refer to this :

    We have seen that the prompt goes of unexpectedly - e.g. during AddNode in a cluster. Just uncomment the line and paste the PID in by hand should do the trick.


    Best regards, Henning

    Thursday, August 05, 2010 7:20 PM
  • Many thanks for the link, Henning, but unfortunately the DefaultSetup.ini refered to in that post doesn't exist in either the x86 or x64 folder of the dvd.  Perhaps that's the problem?
    Friday, August 06, 2010 6:24 AM
  • Hi,

    DefaultSetup.ini may be hided. Unhide all files in DVD and check it.

    Ramesh S
    Friday, August 06, 2010 9:34 AM
  • Thanks Ramesh, but I already thought of that.  No DefaultSetup.ini file (or any other .ini file) in the x86 or x64 folders, hidden or otherwise.
    Friday, August 06, 2010 4:25 PM
  • Ok

    Do u have Pid? if so create defaultsetup.ini on x86 x64 and i64 setufolders and paste below commantds.

    ;SQLSERVER2008 Configuration File
    PID="your pid value"

    Ramesh S
    Friday, August 06, 2010 6:24 PM
  • No, I don't have a pid, that's the whole problem.  If I did I could just enter it when prompted.  The media, provided as part of my VS Ultimate MSDN subscription is _supposed_ to be pre-pidded.
    Friday, August 06, 2010 6:46 PM
  • something is not correct with media then.. try downloading again.
    Balmukund Lakhani | Please mark solved if I've answered your question
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    Friday, August 06, 2010 8:21 PM
  • The media was not downloaded; it came on dvd as part of my most recent MSDN subscription shipment.  I did just download sql server 2008 r2 from subscriber downloads and burn it onto a dvd and the downloaded / burned media _does_ have the DefaultSetup.ini in the x86 and x64 folders.  I will try installing from it and see if it works better than the MSDN provided dvd.
    Friday, August 06, 2010 9:43 PM
  • Steve, did the downloaded / burned media work? I have the same problem as you. I started a download but had to cancel it when it estimated to take 11(!) hours
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 7:40 PM
  • Yes, actually, the downloaded / burned media did in fact work.  It was pre-pidded as it was supposed to be and I was not prompted for the pid during installation (pid was already there and grayed out).
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 8:04 PM
  • Thanks for reporting back Steve - much appreciated.

    In the end I had to do the download over several sessions, but it was all very straightforward with the File Transfer Manager. It is also nice that in Windows 7 you only have to right-click the ISO file to start buring to disk. Less painful than I had anticipated.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 12:58 PM
  • I have the same problem here. In the latest MSDN shipment I got 2 disks labelled "SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Standard editions" (one English, one localized). That's probably the correct info.

    The HTML page on the disk, instead, says "SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Standard, Workgroup, Enterprise, and Developer", which is probably incorrect and misleading. There is no developer option in the setup. Which is ridiculous, anyway, as the MSDN media is intended for developers. So I'll probably have to download the software too.

    Davide Elessar Envinyatar Dúnadan
    Monday, August 16, 2010 9:06 AM
  • Can someone clarify this please.

    I have finally received the MSDN shipment containing the SQL Server 2008 R2 DVD, and now it seems I have to download the same software (4GB) if I want to install anything other than Express or an evaluation edition !! Surely this can't be correct.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:00 AM
  • Same for me.  Clock up your download usage!
    Thursday, August 19, 2010 1:10 PM
  • What a mess !!

    My CTP version of SQL Server 2008 R2 just ran out of date. It is apparently impossible to use its SQL Management Studio.

    I have the MSDN August 2010 SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Standard Editions DVD part numbers  X17-01270 and X17-01272 (both numbers are printed on the DVD) but, as others are reporting, you cannot use this DVD to install SQL. The installer requests a product key, but the MSDN key listing shows that no key is required for this product.

    I will try down loading SQL as others have suggested, but cannot understand why MSDN would ship a DVD that is unusable.


    Thank you for your assiatance.


    Robert Robinson



    Wednesday, September 08, 2010 3:01 AM
  • I downloaded SQL Server 2008 RS standard from MSDN last night.

    About half way through the install, it terminated with an error message that the evaluation period had expired.

    For some unknown reason, it treated the release version as a re-install of the CTP. It is definitely not the CTP version and in the initial install steps it filled in a product key automatically. The check box was set to use the key.

    I am downloading R2 again for a second try.

    A call to MSDN confirmed that there is a problem with the August re;ease DVD, but no solution was suggested other than trying the downloaed product.



    Wednesday, September 08, 2010 3:45 PM
  • My apologies for the multiple typographical errors which resulted from the hurried typing of my previous message.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010 5:20 PM
  • Hello,

    Robbie you cannot upgrade using SQL Server media from CTP to a licensed edition, since it is not supported.

    Please install SQL Server 2008 R2 as a named instance, and perform a side-by-side migration. Transfer databases, logins, jobs, etc.

    Hope this helps.   

    Alberto Morillo

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010 5:26 PM
  • Hi Alberto,


    Thank you very much for the information.

    We would obviously have preferred to do an "upgrade", but understand that this is frequently not possible.

    The CTP had been uninstalled and we were attempting to do a new installation of SQL 2008 R2. It could not be done because of the product key problems with the August 2010 DVD.


    A download of standard failed as above. We have subsequently downloaded enterprise and developer versons to see if either will install properly.


    Microsoft informs me that a new SQL DVD will be available shortly.


    Best regards,




    Wednesday, September 08, 2010 8:26 PM
  • The SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer Edition that was downloaded from MSDN installed without errors and functions properly.

    As mentioned, the Standard edition failed half way through the installation. I don't know if we had a bad download or if there is a problem with the Standard destribution.

    Enterprise is still being downloaded at this time and is untested as yet.

    All installations have been a "clean install". All of the previous SQL components were uninstalled. Any remaining SQL directories and registry entries were then removed manually.


    • Proposed as answer by Robbiex Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:20 PM
    Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:19 PM
  • Although the installation asks for a product key it does not require one.  Simply choose the option requesting the product key and the installation will continue without any issues.



    • Proposed as answer by Frak Bakowski Friday, April 22, 2011 5:29 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Frak Bakowski Friday, April 22, 2011 5:30 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Frak Bakowski Friday, April 22, 2011 5:30 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Frak Bakowski Friday, April 22, 2011 5:33 PM
    • Proposed as answer by mharen Friday, June 24, 2011 2:47 PM
    Tuesday, February 01, 2011 8:03 PM
  • Thank you! This works!  My SQL 2008 R2 eval had expired.  All I had was a Volume License (Open Business) and it "showed product ID not needed".  I downloaded full SQL 2008 R2 from Open Business website (as recommended by this post, thanks!), extracted to hard drive using Extract Now freeware.  Then opened the x64 (or x86) folder and opened the DefaultSetup.ini file.  The Product ID (PID) was there!  I opend the SQL Install Center on my SQL server, clicked on Maintenance, then Upgrade Edition, put in the PID and it was upgraded to SQL Standard in a few minutes.  Everything works!  I am so thankful to find this thread!  Thank you!
    Thursday, October 06, 2011 7:01 PM
  • Hi all

    Not sure if this actually clarifies anything - but it might help a few people.

    The Product key (PID) that has to be entered or confirmed if the media is "pre-pidded" on a SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 setup is not the same as the individual keys used to register and activate for example your copy of Windows.

    The PID for each edition of SQL Server are the same worldwide and has nothing to do with licensing at all.Licensing is still something you must do as agreed with MS in your shop.

    I think the PIDs are no big secret - you could try to google one of the PIDs that you do know - and you will most likely get the PIDs from all other Editions back.

    Thursday, October 06, 2011 8:16 PM