by Aage Andre

Upgrading Server 2008 R2 Standard to Enterprise using MAK-keys

Now and then you didn’t look far enough into the future when installing a host-server. “Nah, I won’t need anything more than standard edition on this box. Enterprise is overrated!”
And then comes the day you add 4 more cores and another 32GB of ram, only to discover you can’t use it for anything other than a heating device.

Before doing ANYTHING: Upgrading from Standard to Enterprise will lose remote access, domain join and so on. Be on site.

If you came here via google, you alreay know there are 3 commands you run:

  • DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition
    Check current running edition
  • DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions
    Check which editions you CAN upgrade to.
  • DISM /online /Set-Edition:<edition ID> /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
    The actual command for changing editions.

But… When using MAK, keys are used by multiple versions, so you’ll end up getting invalid key-messages when running the DISM-command to upgrade.
What you need to do is reset the KMS to the default install-keys.

1. Run DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition

2. Run DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions


Alright! We can upgrade to Enterprise and Datacenter!

If you’re running retail, you can go ahead and close this page and run DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerEnterprise /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

But, if you’re like me, running MAK:

1. Find your default KMS-key for the current edition HERE

2. Go into System and change the product key to the default KMS key.

3. You will get an error:


4. And then Windows feels the need to call home asap

5. Run the set-edition command  with the KMS-key for the version you want to upgrade to(you know, the one you get from HERE):
E.g: for Standard -> Enterprise:
DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerEnterprise /ProductKey:

6. Reboot.

7. Now we’re activated, and upgraded, but with the wrong key.
Change product key again to your own, using Control Panel->System

8. Reboot and enjoy your new CPU/RAM.

Easy, huh?

note: Upgrading is a one-way ladder. You can only go up, not down on the licensing-scale.