Thursday, September 07, 2006

Small Business Server 2003 - The Dreaded 5 CAL Reset Issue

A runaway process on SBS2003 decided to fill up all the disk space on C: in the early hours of the morning. The fallout from this was the System log was corrupt and the SBS license data was reset to the default 5 CALs.
The System log was easy to fix - reboot the server.
The SBS license data was an absolute pain. I'd never run the "Back up licenses" utility in the Licensing section of Server Management. Microsoft have KB article 888818 discussing this, which is either re-enter the licenses, restore the C:\WINDOWS folder or restore a backup of the licenses.
The first wasn't an option as I was offsite and the person with the key to the safe wasn't in. The second was just not viable - why Microsoft couldn't specify which file/folder needed restoring I don't know. The third would have been OK if ever I had run it.
After much stuffing about I found that the SBS2003 licenses are kept in the licstr.cpa file in the WINDOWS\system32 folder. Thankfully, Microsoft actually keep an automatic backup of this in autolicstr.cpa. The simple process was to stop the License Logging Service, rename licstr.cpa to licstr.cpa.old, then copy autolicstr.cpa to licstr.cpa. After this I started License Logging Service and used Server Management to confirm that the licenses had been restored.

233 comments:

1 – 200 of 233   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Thank you,thank you, thank you.
Works a treat.

Sux2bAsysAdmin said...

I just want to thanks you for posting this little blurb. I thought I was going mad. Everything I had found prior to your blog was all a bunch a [insert your favorite 4 letter word here]. One article had me disabling the License Logging service and that seemed to fix most of my problems, well at least for a couple of hours until it woul miraculaously restart itself and change it startup to Automatic. Anyway, I jsut want to say thank you posting this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks yoooooooooooooooooooou so much dude just help me reslove a problem which i was runing all aorund to fix tried getting help from the reseller no luck and even microsoft...i wasted 4 days and after reading this blog i fix in it 3 minutes. nic blog thanks again.have a nice day

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great info that is missing from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888818/en-us

Anonymous said...

Saved our day!! Thanks

Shunsa said...

Thank you! That silly KB article could have had this listed instead of the dribble they had about running ntbackup.

Thanks a million.

Anonymous said...

After spending hours looking for a solution, I am forever grateful for your quick and easy solution. Why this isn't posted anywhere on a Microsoft-sponsored website is a joke. Spent hours looking for an actual solution. Yours took no time.
Thanks and Happy New Year!

T Humphrey said...

Thanks KNIGHT! You have made my day.

Anonymous said...

this was the best advice, i have ever received on this issue, I spent all morning trying to figure out my problem, was almost in a panic mode... my outside support couldn't even figure this one out, worked on the servers for years...
i will definetely add you to my favorites...

Anonymous said...

THANKS!!!!! It's up to guys like you to save us from the pathetic help we get from M$. Would have been way too much for them to post a tech article on this.

natrat22 said...

the blog that keeps on giving - this just got me out of a heap of trouble, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Quality! I just did a Google to see how much licenses were, and I found this article. It's an exact match of what happened to my clients SBS 2003 server....disk space full. Thanks a lot chap. You've made a lot of people very happy I see :-)

Anonymous said...

Dude, you're a genius!!!

Jaap Kroes said...

Just like the others, I worked for almost 2 hours talking to Microsoft, and Dell technical support. The techie at Dell steered me here and viola.....problem fixed. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As usual shame on Microsoft and thank you Dell Tech Support for bringing me here.

Jim said...

Right on! This just happened to me this weekend - really appreciate the concise and ACCURATE nature of your fix. :)

Joel said...

I'll add another "Thank You!" to the pile! I'd had this issue before and been able to find the codes to re-assign them, however, todayy, another client had the same issuee, but could not find the license codes! I kept finding the same things (restore the whole Windows folder) that didn't help much. There's even a worse one at MS that just says "select the files or folders that you want to restore"! Even LESS helpful than restoring the whole Windows folder! Anyway, thanks again for both finding and posting this! Saved me what could have been a lot of hassle today!

Anonymous said...

Again you saved me as well. Obviously Microsoft don't want people to know how to restore lost licenses so that some smuck will buy a whole set of new ones!!

Go my 20 licenses back in less than 5 minutes!!

Thankyou

clifft said...

Thanks for the info...made getting it sorted very quick.
Just out of interest what was the runaway process?...mine was exmerge...created a 37GB file...and would have kept going if it could!!!
have yet to allow THAT to run again!

Cliff T

Chris Knight said...

@ clifft - from memory it was the Sophos Message Router. The nature of the problem is discussed at Tim's ITWriting blog

Anonymous said...

logs showed that the exchange online database management was running a defrag that went on for 4-5 hours. That clashed with a scheduled exmerge! Needless to say have since adjusted the management timings which were neglected when I took over the system admin! :-( rgds Clifft

James said...

You're a legend. An absolute legend. I will now name my first born child Chris. Probably...

Anonymous said...

U r Genius Mate

Anonymous said...

you saved my day !

Anonymous said...

Thank you! You're a hero.

a VERY grateful Andy said...

I'm now part of a group of people that will be forever gratefull to your post!!!!

I've just got my weekend back ;o)

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to say - had a full disk on SBS 2003. This solution worked. Thanks. (I now ensured that I have a license backup!). David

Anonymous said...

Another happy customer. Thanks for sharing :)

nm said...

Thank you. You made my day.

Simon McKenzie said...

Brilliant! I was panicking, looking through boxes of receipts in the hope that the previous system admin had kept some details about the suddenly missing backups. As everyone else mentioned, the Microsoft article is ridiculously inadequate!

Paul W Forbes said...

I'm constantly amazed at how stuff like this isn't up on microsoft's own knowledge base.

Saved me LOTS of headaches - thanks mate.

Per Benkowski said...

Thanks, we were talking to M$ about buying new licenses when I stumbled over this page. You have saved us a lot of money and frestration. Its amazing that the people at M$ cant give us a solution about a problem like this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you....

Anonymous said...

Thank you! What a life saver

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, saved me a lot of time. had the issue resolved quickly due to this article.

Anonymous said...

This saved my day. I fixed it while waiting for a call back from Microsoft Business Critical Support.

Anonymous said...

Big thanks from me, too!

Jon said...

I've just stumbled across this in desperation and it's fixed my problem.
Well done man, and thanks.

Next step: Back the bloody licenses up!

Anonymous said...

I love you man^^

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Excellent help article. You're a super-man.

Anonymous said...

One more thank you man... worked like a charm

Anonymous said...

Another thanks here. Saved me from calling a client and having to tell them to buy 45 new licenses!

Ulf Larsson said...

Thank you very much. This article really saved my day.

ft said...

Thanks man you are a life saver. When I restart the Licensing Service and saw that 5 change to a 30, I almost cried. Thanks again.

Does anyone know what Log Files are safe to get rid of on the C:? I only have 2GB's left out of the 25 on the drive and don't want this to happen again.

cc@fosterthomas.com if you have any ideas thanks again

Chris Knight said...

@ft - you can empty out C:\WINDOWS\Temp - it's generally full of old temp files. If you've installed any applications on the server, then look through and empty C:\Documents and Settings\(username)\Local Settings\Temp. Also make sure Internet Explorer is set to empty Temporary Internet Files on exit.
You can also look in C:\WINDOWS\System32\LogFiles and clean out the W3SVC* folders.
Finally, you can stop Automatic Updates and BITS and clear out the C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution folder as this gets quite large over time with updates that have been downloaded and installed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you veeeeeeeeery much!!!!!

ft said...

Chris, you have been a huge help thanks alot. The license issue rearose this morning, and I did your fix again. I had the C: holding steady at 2Gb's but it dipped below 1Gb and lost the Licenses again. Do you know of any thing else I can get rid of on the C:// It has 25GB's of space, I can't find what is taking up that much room. I am never in Internet Explorer on the server so I don't think it is files or logs from that. What else could it be? Thanks man

ft said...

Chris,

Thanks you have been a huge help. The license issue happened again this morning.

Anything else I can clean off the C:// it was holding at 2Gb's of free space, but its back down to less then 1 now. I did everythign you told me to clear and gained minimal space. Not sure what could be taken up 24GB's of space on this machine.


Thanks

Chris Knight said...

@ft - if you're running WSUS on the server and it's using C: for the database and updates then you'll want to regularly run the Server Cleanup Wizard to remove unneeded updates. Another possible cause is if you're running SharePoint the Admin database is configured by default to use Full recovery mode which results in the logfile growing to ridiculously large sizes. You can change the recovery mode to Simple, perform a full backup of the database and shrink the database files to reduce the logfile size.
I'd also recommend running something like JDiskReport to get a breakdown of where your disk space is being consumed, thereby helping you work out where the problem is.

Anonymous said...

You are my new best friend. What would have taken possibly an hour instead took 3 minutes. Thanks much.

ft said...

Thanks Chris,

Stupid question but where is the Server Clean Up Agent in 2003? I do the disk clean up on C: like once or twice a week. Is what you are referring to a different Tool?

Chris Knight said...

@ft - the Server Cleanup Wizard under Options in the WSUS Console is what I'm referring to.
Again, use something like JDiskReport to find out what's taking up all the space on C: drive.

Anonymous said...

WOW..thank you! A few weeks back the space on our C: drive ran out due to a runaway indexing service, fixed it but didn't realize our added SBS licenses magically disappeared with that mess. Fixed now thanks to your post :)

Anonymous said...

you just saved the guy I work for 3,000 dollars in license fees TY

Branislav said...

You are kinggggggggg

SoFla Networking said...

Didnt know what had happened to new clients location. They claimed everything was working fine and they had legit cals. 2003 sbs server only showing 5...
wasted 2 days looking for an answer, ro away to turn that F-ing license service off. I still dont even know how I found this post, but I am so glad I did. Thanks for putting it out here, even if it was 2 years ago.

Dean said...

Excellent advice. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You made my day!!!!! GREAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT........

Anonymous said...

Legend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, helped me too.

Anonymous said...

Just saved one of my customers lives as well! Many Thanks.

Fortunately this was one of the first articles I came across, so within 10 mins of seeing server issue, moving the Pagefile to another volume, and reading this, it was fixed before they could find the CAL's!

Now to properly fix the space issue.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the excellent and easy fix.

SleekGeek said...

OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU

2 DAYS OF AGONY AND TELLING USERS TO WAIT... SUPERVISOR WAS TOO BUSY TO PUT ON THE LICESES SO I GOOGLED IT... LOVE YOU LOVE YOU MWAH MWAH

James said...

I'll add my thanks to those above. You're a bloody genius.

Matt said...

You've just saved my bacon. Microsoft are a joke for not making this more simple. Why on earth is there not an option on the Licensing control panel for 'revert to automatic license backup' or similar!

Thanks a million!

Parsons said...

And now Bookmarked! Thanks :o)

Anonymous said...

Great POST.... Thank you

Anonymous said...

You just have prevented me from pulling all my hairs out ! Thx

Anonymous said...

You have saved another lost soul!!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with all!!! Humbled and thankful...

Anonymous said...

Still Saving lives...Thanks for this heads up

Anonymous said...

Just want to say thanks for the solution.

Much love

Anonymous said...

Can't tell you how much this helped! Exact situation happened to one of our clients, and after dealing with MS for days (and they said there was no auto backup of the file) I stumbled upon your article which was great! Thank you again!

Raphaƫl said...

THANK YOU !

Anonymous said...

Echoing everyone else a big thank you for this info. Got the server back up and running in a couple of minutes after following your instructions.

Now just need to find out what casued the problem in the first place.

Once again many thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

A big THANK YOU from FRANCE...fortunately guys like you exist..You should work for MS to teach them REAL support...
bye

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much worked a treat. No more calls now from the client asking us to disable the Licence logging service so that more than a few users can login.

Brilliant, well done.

Mark Lipscomb said...

You are the Man! Thanks for sharing.

You saved me a lot of time and my clients a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Wow...you're my hero ))

I've been searching up and down to try to find a way to avoid restoring the entire Win folder, and this worked flawlessly. It should be submitted to MS!

Thx

Ivan Radisson said...

thank you kind sir

Anonymous said...

You are the hero of today! Thanks a million!

Softwarellc said...

Thanks for sharing really nice one .. keep sharing


windows small business server 2003

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Worked perfectly, thank you

Anonymous said...

One more heartfelt THANK YOU for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the assistance. That was such an easy fix. We ran out of space on the drive that stored the licenses and have been unable to put our hands on the originals.

Anonymous said...

I will join the list of people to thank you for getting us out of a hole. 2 hours of panic and 2 minutes to fix. Many thanks.

File Replication said...

this was the best advice, i have ever received on this issue, I spent all morning trying to figure out my problem, was almost in a panic mode... my outside support couldn't even figure this one out, worked on the servers for years...
i will definetely add you to my favorites...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this info. It was a pretty ordinary start back to work in 2011 with no-one being able to log back into our server and this has saved the start to the new working year.

Anonymous said...

I will add my words of thanks to your post. We too had spent two days calling Microsoft and the original server vendor to recover the original CALs. That this little bit of information is not included in the Microsoft support article is astounding. They could save their customers so much time and frustration and I guess they simply choose not too. Thank God for you, sir.

Justin said...

Brilliant, this worked like a charm. You literally saved my career's life today sir, young as it may be.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

This just saved my behind big time. I am out of the office sick and was not able to locate my original CAL's or do a restore since I was logged in remotely.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant and simple fix. You are a top geezer.

Anonymous said...

Whoohou!! what a kingpin you are!!
thank you so much. You save us a lot $$

Gazelle said...

My situation was little different and your solution helped me to fix my problem. I lost my CALS in SBS 2003 after a memory upgrade. Although I had a CAL backup, 2 different ones actually non of them worked, i got an error stating "Due to significant changes in hardware configuration, the license store you have chosen to restore from is no longer valid" googled it and actually I followed a post, hit a money making website (some experts blah blah site), which didn't wanna join! Anyway, I'm sure others will read this following what I followed. here is what I had to do to restore CALS. I did renamed the file autobackup file to regular backup file as explained in original post and printed the installation codes appeared for few minutes, then I clicked "transfer licenses" I re-entered the installation codes, (make sure to hit printscreen or print them when it shows) then the screen will bring up and activation window, and bunch of activation numbers and phone number to call. I talked to someone very friendly, and he activated my CALS in matter of minutes. then immediately made a backup and life was good. thanks to original poster. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Your fix worked like a dream at our Boy Scout council. Thank you very, very much.

John said...

Thanks! Saved my butt.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the save.

Anonymous said...

Another save here too. THank you sir.

Anonymous said...

thank you dear lord

Josh said...

YOU are da man dog dog

Jon Butterworth said...

I think I love you! haha!! Well, close enough anyway! You have just saved my bacon, BIG TIME!!!

Thanks, I owe you a beer or three :)

Joseph said...

MS is just CRAZY! kb/888818???

Obviously you are getting well deserved praise.
LET ME ADD MINE!

T H A N K Y O U ! ! ! !
:]

dangergoogly said...

Hello , It's amazing solution. I have one query if you can help me. Can I replace the licstr.cpa file from another server. As I have OEM and some issue with my server, so I installed the licenses on another testserver and want to transfer on main server, Please help

dangergoogly said...

Hello,
Thanks for your solution. Have a small question. Can i replace the licstr.cpa file from another server. I have a issue with my main server so installed the licenses on testserver, can i replace just the file.

Chris Knight said...

@dangergoogly licstr.cpa is tied to the hardware configuration, so you can't directly use the file. You may be able to perform @gazelle's workaround to print out the license codes and/or transfer the licenses however.

dangergoogly said...

Thank you chris...

I guess the problem with my server is improper installation. Is it possible to continue setup , will be keep the existing settings like AD. COz any Cal key i use it shows invalid, where as the same OS accepts them on testserver.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thanks heaps man! Russ

Anonymous said...

Great job Knight!

AnotherOverworkedAdmin said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this wonderful nugget of information which is sadly lacking from the official Microsoft KBs and Docs. This problem occurred on my PDC/SBS box over the holiday weekend and led to several frantic calls and a stressed rush back to the office. Your simple explanation and solution worked like a charm and avoided a time-consuming reboot during crunch time.
Thanks again for documenting your suffering and solution, you've saved the rest of us countless time and stress.

Anonymous said...

Thanks heaps

Joran said...

I believe this worked for me. However, when I go to Admin Tools/Licensing it says page could not be displayed and still doesn't show any of my licenses... Any idea how i can get the last part fixed to actually view my CALS? Thank you sooooo soo much for the fix!!!

Joranamo

Chris Knight said...

@Joran the Licensing service needs to be started and I think the Default Web Site needs to be running.

Joran said...

I did restart the licensing service, and the users have reported no more license issues. What is the default web site? How do i get it running again? Is this the internal company website or something else? I couldn't find anyway to set it...

Chris Knight said...

@Joran the Default Web Site in IIS Manager. It's responsible for providing the SBS Monitoring reports, the Remote Web Workplace, etc.

Anonymous said...

Saved my ass! Thank!

small business server support said...

At home I'm running SBS 2003 on an IBM server - Software was pre-installed by IBM.

If I upgrade to 2011 will all my accounts (6) and settings come across unchanged, or will I have to set it all up from scratch?

Chris Knight said...

There's no in-place upgrade option - you need to migrate to another server/VM.
If you follow the Microsoft migration process or perform a Swing migration, then your AD is kept intact - no need to start from scratch.
Note that you need 8GB RAM and a 64-bit capable system to install SBS 2011. Your current server might not meet these specs.

Anonymous said...

I must concur with the other 114 posters to say THANK YOU for the user-friendly, concise solution. Just worked for me as well.

Perhaps Microsoft you pay YOU.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly this didn't help my situation. I looked in licensing and saw no additional license installed, so I tested by installing 5 licenses from another server - which worked. Then I realized I wanted to restore all of the licenses that were previously installed. Neither the file in the sys32 directory or a file from the backup the night before fixed the problem, I had to find old CALs to replace the ones lost because of course the client doesn't have them anymore. I don't know if I would have tried this first (before installing another cal) if it would have fixed the problem - but thanks for sharing regardless!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your article. It really saved me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you.

This saved me plenty pain. I rebuilt a server, and now suddenly the restore licence option is broken (triggers a DEP error). Doesn't help having a backup if you can't restore....

djj said...

Thank you. I spent several hours frustrated by Dell and Microsoft. Your solution worked as described. Thanks again.

henry1234 said...

Thank you works like a charm...
Be blessed
You Really made a difference in so many lives by just posting this, and also in mine.
Thank you again

henry1234 said...

Thank you works like a charm...
Be blessed
You Really made a difference in so many lives by just posting this, and also in mine.
Thank you again

Anonymous said...

Total leg end ;)

thanks had me worried there until I found your page. Why does the microsoft site not tell you this instead of telling you to restore from a backup ??

Anonymous said...

You are an idol!!!!!!!

Really thanks, I was going crazy with this issue!

Anonymous said...

How to delete win2k8R2 licenses? that licstr.cpa file not exist in win2k8r2 man! cheers!

Chris Knight said...

SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 don't have any technical implementation for SBS license management, it's purely administrative.
What problem are you having?

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list of grateful server administrators who needed exactly what you posted!

Anonymous said...

You are the MAN!!! Had a SBS crash and the licensing issue had been a headache for weeks!

judgewest2000 said...

I know you posted this like 5 years ago or something, but ya know you're still helping people by sharing!
I became a victim of this over the weekend when due to some kind of minor DOS attack the log files on IIS went from around 9MB each to 400MB each. The remaining 6GB of space on the disk soon got swallowed up and I was in the sh*t come Friday night till Saturday morning, even then I only got it hobbling back into life.
I also destroyed most of my sleeping pattern last night (Sunday to Monday) trying to resolve this.
The clue came when people were having problems accessing regular stuff like files and printers.
It looked like an issue to do with IIS / Exchange as it manifested in HTTP 500 errors when trying to access Outlook remotely. Hardly any clues.
You're a saint among thieves and if I can ever do you a return favor you only need ask!
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thank you saved my butt and made me look good

Anonymous said...

I can only reitterate the comments of all those that have posted before me. A brilliant life saving post. It has probably secured an extension to a support contract where a client has had an IT agency looking at this for two weeks and they couldnt resolve it. It was explained to me yesterday and i found your article within minutes. It worked fantastically well and having spent five minutes remotely logged into the server today all is now well. Many thanks again..

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!!! Had a customer call today with this issue, googled it and found this blog. What a time saver.

gnfoster said...

THANK YOU!!

Well, I know at least THIS issue will never happen again.

Special thanks to Microsoft for the runaround yesterday. After the fifth transfer, I had a not-so-nice conversation with the last person.

I had to apologize... I know it wasn't her fault, but good grief, such a simple fix and no one there had a clue?!

Thanks again, I will post a link to this article on my blog if that's ok.

Anonymous said...

thankyou very much!! molly

Michael said...

This just saved me a ton of trouble. Thank you. Fast and simple, straight to the point.

Dynamiq said...

Thank you...times 70! This worked! I love the web for knowledge!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. Was in the s**t with this one. Mine vanished midnight Dec 31st 2011. Very odd. Lots of disk space?. Might have been ccleaner. Again many thanks !!!

Anonymous said...

AAAAAAAWWWWWEEEESSSSSSOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEEEE! And I'm not one to type in all caps. Thanks soooo much!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!! I got a call this morning and all the licenses, not just CALS but EVERYTHING was gone. This made my life much easier,

THANK YOU!

Robin said...

Ditto to all, I've been re-installing the licences for years but had a customer today with this problem who didn't have the licence cards...

Thanks again

Robin

Anonymous said...

Thank you, nothing more to add. How MS can wipe out licenses is beyond me, your fix is a Godsend. Thank you again

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU. I researched for hours how to solve this issue and not even MSFT themselves had a reasonable solution.

This solution worked in 2 minutes or less. Refreshed the licensing screen and voila, my licenses magically appeared again.

Thanks again!

Dave said...

Another thanks to add to the pile. Worked perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Another thanks.
This post is a perfect example of how good the net can be.

Dvae23 said...

Thank you so much! Problem solved in 2min - not counting the previous and futile attempts to find backups or documents of the CALs...

Anonymous said...

BEAUTY!!!!

SystemsAnalyst@Large said...

Chris, Here it is April 4, 2012 and your 2007 post is still generating "Thank You" from around the world, Texas here. I wonder if any of your other blogs have lived so long. Thank you, saved my tail too.

Andre said...

I am wondering whats the minimal amount of space when thi error occurs, have not seen any info on this, anyone care to comment on this ?

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for that!

Anonymous said...

Add me to the countless other people saying "Thank you!!!" for this blog article. It is greatly appreciated!

Klemen Verhnjak said...

A true life saver in my case.

Thanks a lot, Klemen

Klemen Verhnjak said...

I can say only: "Life save", in my case, for sure.

Really thanks,
Klemen

Anonymous said...

Exactly what was needed! Worked a treat and was all fixed in minutes! Thanks for your excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Hi I just converter my sbs 2003 sp2 server to esxi 5.0 . Everything are working perfectly except the licenses. On the physical machine we had 25 user licenses (5 + 20 add-ons) and unfortunately the 20 extra licenses were not transferred correctly. We tried to restore or add new licenses (on the virtual machine) through the server management without success. It’s giving me an error and open window for debugging.

I tried your way but is still not working

Do you have any idea how to add or restore licenses without the server management tool ?

Peter

Chris Knight said...

@Peter further up the comment list @gazelle had a method that allowed them to access the licenses for transfer. Unfortunately licstr.cpa is tied to the hardware configuration, which is why it has broken post-migration.
An alternative if you cannot find your original 20-User license key is to use the key provided in the SBS 2011 Licensing FAQ as a temporary measure.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris and thanks for your quick reply, I have just solved the problem. The problem was caused during conversion of the physical machine to virtual. Unfortunately all the executables of the server management license tool inside the virtual machine were corrupted so I just copied the ones from the physical server and replace the faulty ones.

Now the license tools are working properly and I can add backup transfer licenses without any problem.

Thanks again

ZoLion said...

Thank You! It works!

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list....started having numerous complaints about OWA access. Did all the IIS restarts and server reboots for temporary fixes before finding this article. Everything working great once more.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! We've been dealing with this issue for over a week, and knew we had more licenses than what SBS was telling us. It was great to find an easy solution.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Knight! The gift that keeps giving...or in this case the post.

Same deal; C drive ran out of space. We had all, but 1 of our 5 CAL licenses keys. Microsoft was going to charge to help 'recover' the license.

Using this method we recoved the file from backups first (the autosave version was dated after the problem came up), then followed the steps and had all licenses back.

It would be nice if MS would udpate their KB to have this as your first option. They put a lot of tech through the grinder with their methods.

Much appreciated.

ross said...

Hi, Old thread but it worked perfectly for me with SBS2003. Lucky as this was for a client which was not setup by us and had no licence details.

Excellent and thanks!!!

JO said...

Def helped today Thank you!

crm software said...

Wonderful and thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

This service has always caused more problems than it is worth. Microsoft even disables it on some installs. Suspend the SBCore service (with process explorer), this service is what keeps restarting the Licensing Service. Then disable it. Then kill it from process explorer. Now stop and disable the licensing service. It shouldn't restart. Keep your CALs in your safe in case you need them to prove you have licensing. Done.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, you just saved me a lot of time trying to recoved the cals!

Anonymous said...

Aw man you are EPIC!!! followed your steps and bosh, licenses appreared. Day saved, time for tea and medals.

Jenn Shipp said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It only created a 2hr partial outage for us! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Knight. I agree with all the others before me... you saved me a ton of time dealing with this issue! My client called in a panic and I resorted to my friend google and your link was in the top 10. It amazes me that an issue as long standing as this has still not made it to a MS KB article. Keep up the great work! We all appreciate you!

Anonymous said...

THX a lot, saved me a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

Dude if I could I would buy you a pitcher of beer.

I'm the IT Manager for a doctors office with 50 computers and 6 doctors.

Got to work today and nobody could see their desktops. Rebooted the server and only 5 licenses.

I was just about to call Microsoft and beg for help when I googled server 2003 5 licenses and came here. YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER!

Anonymous said...

I went through all the messages and I didn't see anything about why this happens. What triggers SBS2003 to revert to 5 licenses?
Please advise. Thanks

Chris Knight said...

@anonymous typically it's the drive running out of space, but there are other scenarios where the licenses get eaten.

Anonymous said...

Chris, thank you for your reply. If I may ask, what "other scenarios where the licenses get eaten" come from.
Thank you

Chris Knight said...

@anonymous the one scenario I can think off the top of my head is significant hardware change (e.g. major virtual machine configuration change, or universal restore to different server hardware). There's sure to be more - the nature of proprietary code with opaque technical details means it's difficult to document all likely scenarios.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much you have saved me today!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! This worked like a champ!

Anonymous said...

I owe you big time for this one.
Where should I mail the check? ; )

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a relief. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

B E S T


P O S T


E V E R.


Saved my behind. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, great solution!!!

Wes Button said...

Absolute Legend. You rock dude!

Anonymous said...

You just saved my bacon!

Anonymous said...

OMG, been on this problem with 120 users not able o login thru OWA for 1 week... Copy/paste restard service and back in business.
THANK YOU !!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so so much. What a true piece of fab info. :) You just saved the day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! 5 years down the track and this info saved me a major headache. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Just in case somebody searches on these key words.
No license was available for user domain\user using product FilePrint . Use Licensing from the Administrative Tools folder to ensure that you have sufficient licenses.

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE THE BEST !!!!
solved my problem in a few seconds
no words to describe - you are a true professional !!!
thank you
thank you
thank you

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mate you deserve a beer!!!

fixed my issue in about 5.4 Seconds!

thanks again for your awesome post.

Mazhug said...

Thank you for this post, you just saved me from a totally disastrous Monday morning headache! Fixed in minutes with your post, thankfully was the 1st thing I found on a google!

Anonymous said...

Saved my bacon!!!

Anonymous said...

Funny. here it is 2013 and this still an issue. thanks microsoft. This works perfect! I did have a backup and it would work but this did. This was disk space issue for me as well due to attach caused w3svc logs to spiral out of control.

Anonymous said...

still important a couple of years ago - thanks!

Anonymous said...

still valuable - even 6 years after posting ;-)

realmc83 said...

Brilliant, thanks so much. Saved me a bunch of time

Anonymous said...

Again, helped me out this morning. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

And again, after 6 years, this is happening again...
in my case the problem was a P2V.

And, of course, this is the ultimate solution!!

Life saver!

Thanks

Anonymous said...

The Gift that Keeps Giving!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.

JB said...

Again - April 2nd 2013 - STILL AN ISSUE!!!

My server has been running since '06 without ever hitting this snag.

Windows update perhaps???
(let's throw some old DLL's in for fun, force the 2012 upgrade)

Thanks for the post!!!

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