Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 evaluation version

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Article ID: 2021579 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

This article discusses the Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and Windows 7 evaluation versions that are available for download from the following Microsoft TechNet website:

Windows Server 2008 R2: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd459137.aspx

Windows 7: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/cc442495

Windows Server 2008 R2 versions that are available for download:

  • Standard
  • Enterprise
  • Datacenter
  • Web

Windows 7 versions that are available for download:

  • Enterprise

Windows Server 2008 R2 platforms and languages that are available:

  • x64 edition: Chinese (simplified), English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish
  • Itanium edition: English, German, French, and Japanese

Windows 7 platforms and languages that are available:

  • X64 edition:  English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish
  • X86 edition:  English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish

Features of the evaluation version:

  • Grace Period (to activate): 10 days
  • Evaluation period for Windows Server 2008 R2: 180 days
  • Evaluation period for Windows 7 Enterprise:  90 days
  • Product key: None required during setup
  • Activation methods: Internet only (telephone activation is not available)
  • Rearms: 5

More Information

Question: How can I tell whether I'm running the evaluation version?

Answer: This depends on whether you have already activated Windows.

If you are still in the 10-day grace period, use one of the following methods:

  • At an elevated command prompt, run the following command: 

slmgr.vbs /dlv

Note This command displays the following information:

Description: Windows Operating System - Windows Server(R), TIMEBASED_EVAL channel

or

Description:  Windows Operating system - Windows(R) 7, TIMEBASED_EVAL channel

  • Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

    Note This displays the following information:

X days to activate

If you have already activated Windows, use one of the following methods:

  • Click Start, click Run, and then type winver.

Note If you are running the evaluation version, the About Windows dialog box displays "Evaluation version."

  • Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

Note If you are running the evaluation version, the system properties windows displays the following:

Your Windows license is valid for XXX days 

Note The existence of the Windows License Monitoring Service as one of the services on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7 machines means that this is Evaluation Media. The Windows Licensing Monitoring Service (WLMS) exists only on the evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2 or evaluation version of Windows 7.

Question: Do the Microsoft Software License Terms indicate that this is an evaluation version?
Answer: Yes, the Microsoft Software License Terms do indicate that this is time-sensitive software. 

Question: Can you convert the evaluation version to a full version?
Answer: Although this conversion is not blocked, we do not support an upgrade from an evaluation version to a full version or changing the product key to a full version key. Since there is no support for any type of upgrade you must do a install to new directory using non-evaluation media. If you change the product key to Full Version, the visual evaluation references in Winver and as displayed in Slmgr /DLV output are removed, but the WLMS service remains on the system and the media retains its evaluation status.

Question: What happens if I do not activate the product within the 10-day grace period?
Answer
: If you do not activate the product before the grace period expires, you experience the following:

  • Windows changes the desktop wallpaper to a solid black background.
  • A watermark appears in the lower-right corner of the desktop together with the following warnings: 

    Windows license is expired
    This copy of Windows is not genuine

  • When you log on to Windows, you are prompted to choose one of the following options: 

    Activate now
    Ask me later

Question: Can I reset the 10-day grace period if I cannot successfully activate?
Answer: The following command resets the grace period:

slmgr.vbs /rearm 

QuestionWhat happens when the 180-day evaluation period expires?
Answer: When the evaluation period expires, you experience the following:

  • Windows changes the desktop wallpaper to a solid black background.
  • A watermark appears in the lower-right corner of the desktop together with the following warnings:

Windows license is expired
This copy of Windows is not genuine

  • When you log on to Windows, you are prompted with the following options:

    Activate now
    Ask me later

  • The system shuts down every hour.
  • The following event ID is logged in the Application log:

Log Name:   Application
Source:       WLMS
Event ID:     100
Description: The license period for this installation of Windows has expired. The operating system will shut down every hour.  

Question: What happens after I activate the product?
Answer: After you activate the product, a watermark is displayed on the desktop together with the following message: "Windows license valid for XXX days." On the last day of the evaluation period, the text counts down hourly before the computer automatically restarts.

Question: Do I have to use an evaluation version to evaluate Windows?
Answer: Depending on your support agreements with Microsoft, you may be able to use a regular volume license version of Windows instead of an evaluation version to evaluate the product. Do this would negate any issues that would otherwise apply when you convert to a full production version of Windows. 

Question: Can you boot to safe mode or other advanced boot options?
Answer: No. Safe mode does not run the SPPSVC service which the evaluation version requires to be running.

Properties

Article ID: 2021579 - Last Review: June 21, 2014 - Revision: 16.0
Applies to
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
Keywords: 
KB2021579

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