We’re upgrading a Windows Terminal Server from 2000 to 2003 this weekend. We’re stopping there before upgrading to Windows 2008 Terminal Server due to application compatibility issues.
Last month, I ordered the last of the Client Access Licenses through our CDW Open License Rep. Today, I attempted to install them. The license server is running on one of our Windows 2003 domain controllers. If you are operating in an Active Directory environment, the Terminal Server License Server must be on one of your domain controllers.
Microsoft has a horrid method for installing and applying purchased licenses to their Windows Terminal Servers. Here’s a quick rundown of the required step with EACH license purchase:
- Launch the Terminal Services License Manager
- Choose to install a new license from the menu
- Open Internet Explorer and browse to https://activate.microsoft.com
- Copy/Paste the Terminal Server Licensing Server unique ID into the text boxes on the website This consists of 7 sets of 5 character blocks. They can not be all copied and pasted at once.
- On the web form, you’re asked to fill out identity information
- Next, on the web form, you need to TELL IT what kind of licenses these are and what version of server these licenses are.
- You, then tell it the quantity of licenses. Odd that it can’t find this out by the license number!
- After a couple more screens, you are presented with another 35 character number separated into 7 sets that you have to paste one-by-one back into the wizard at the Terminal Server License Server.
- Finally, you hit Next and either get a “Success” or a “Failed” message.
I got a “Failed” message with an error message 0x13A7. After looking it up, I ran into a knowledge base article that states that Windows 2008 Terminal Server CAL’s can not be installed into a Windows 2003 License Server. But I only wanted to use Windows 2003 Terminal Servers, not 2008! What a mess!
CDW was not much help. Their “licensing expert” swore to me that this will work despite my insisting that it’s not working. After waiting too long for a solution from CDW, I decided to play around on my own.
I went back through the process bulleted above for the 5th time today and, this time, told it that the licenses were for a Windows 2003 Terminal Server instead of a Windows 2008 Terminal Server. This shouldn’t be allowed because the EULA specifically states Windows 2008 server for the activation code. It was a long shot but I decided to give it a try.
It worked! I finished the process and the License Server accepted the resulting 35 character code. I repeated the process for the other 20 CAL’s that were purchased with the same success.
It’s sad to see Microsoft use such a difficult to manage licensing process for their Terminal Server licenses. It’s so … 1990′s!