The following list describes the five channels:
Software that is obtained as a retail product typically includes a CD that comes in a shrink-wrapped box. This form of media is purchased from a retail store or other software retailer. It includes a copy of the software that includes all the features the product is supposed to have.
Evaluation software typically is only available as a download. Evaluation software contains a mechanism that counts down to an expiration date after you install the software. After the evaluation copy expires, the operating system restarts every hour with a warning. Or, the operating system does not let you log on. The symptom depends on the expiration timer that was triggered. There are two expiration triggers, and both timers can be triggered at the same time. Evaluation copies of server software have a time limit of 180 days.
Volume licensing programs
Volume licensing programs at Microsoft include the Select Licensing program, the Enterprise Agreement Licensing program, the Open License program, and the Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) program. Volume licenses are not available for operating systems. Volume licenses are only available for software upgrades.
An OEM is a vendor that supplies computer hardware. An OEM can provide versions of Windows Server 2003 that are customized to its customers. Software that is obtained through an OEM is typically preinstalled on the computer, but it may also be provided on a CD that accompanies the hardware.
Software that is obtained as a checked build contains debug binaries. Debug binaries are different from production binaries because they contain additional information that helps you troubleshoot a server installation. Checked-build software is delivered through development channels like the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).
Determining the channel
To determine the channel that your software was obtained through, use the winver
command. Or, view the volume label.
Use the winver command
You can type the winver
command at the command prompt to determine the channel that your copy of Windows Server 2003 was obtained through. The information that this command provides describes the version of Windows Server 2003 that is running. If the copy of Windows is an evaluation copy, the winver
command provides detailed information about the evaluation period.
View the volume label
You can use volume labels to determine the channel that your copy of Windows Server 2003 was obtained through. To view a volume label, follow these steps:
- Insert the CD into the CD drive.
Note Close the Windows Server 2003 Setup program if it starts.
- Right-click Start, and then click Explore.
- Right-click the drive that contains the Windows Server 2003 CD, and then click Properties.
- The volume label is displayed on the General tab.
The following table lists Windows Server 2003 media volume labels.
|R2 Datacenter x86 ||BX2DVOL_EN|
|Datacenter IA-64 ||AX2DiVOL_EN|
|R2 Datacenter x64 || BX2DxVOL_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 32-bit retail||NRMEFPP_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 32-bit volume licensing||NRMEVOL_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 32-bit OEM||NRMEOEM_EN|
|Enterprise Edition 32-bit evaluation||NRMEEVL_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 32-bit checked build||NRMECHK_EN|
|Datacenter Edition 32-bit retail||NRMDFPP_EN|
| Datacenter Edition 32-bit OEM||NRMDOEM_EN|
| Standard Edition 32-bit retail||NRMSFPP_EN|
| Standard Edition 32-bit volume licensing||NRMSVOL_EN|
| Standard Edition 32-bit OEM||NRMSOEM_EN|
| Standard Edition 32-bit evaluation||NRMSEVL_EN|
| Web Edition 32-bit retail||NRMWFPP_EN|
| Web Edition 32-bit volume licensing||NRMWVOL_EN|
| Web Edition 32-bit OEM||NRMWOEM_EN|
| Web Edition 32-bit evaluation||NRMWEVL_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 64-bit retail||NRMEIFPP_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 64-bit volume licensing||NRMEIVOL_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 64-bit OEM||NRMEIOEM_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 64-bit evaluation||NRMEIEVL_EN|
| Enterprise Edition 64-bit checked Build||NRMEICHK_EN|
| Datacenter Edition 64-bit retail||NRMDIFPP_EN|
| Datacenter Edition 64-bit OEM||NRMDIOEM_EN|
The Help files that come with software from an OEM may be different than the Help files that come with software that you obtain through another channel. Help files can direct you to Microsoft or to the OEM for support. The Help files from the OEM are customized by the OEM according to the OPK Users Guide
before the OEM provides the software to its customers.
Windows Product Activation
Windows Product Activation (WPA) is implemented in all 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 products. WPA does not apply to 64-bit versions. WPA requires every computer that is running Windows Server 2003 to activate the product. If you are using software and Product Keys that were obtained through a volume licensing program, you can bypass WPA.