Accidently installed the wrong edition of Windows Server 2019? Here’s how to change editions.

While working on a new SQL cluster environment, I realized one of my admins had installed the wrong edition of Windows Server 2019 on the Hyper-V hosts (Standard instead of DataCenter). We use DataCenter because of the guest licensing benefits. For some reason the typical method of elevating the license isn’t working with Windows Server 2019 Standard. If you try;

dism.exe /online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /AcceptEula /ProductKey:<VLC PRODUCT CODE>

You’ll quickly receive an error telling you the product key you provided doesn’t match the edition of windows you’re trying to upgrade to. I found the fix on the TechNet forums, you have to do the license change with the KMS Client setup key, then on reboot update with your key. So for me I used the following Client Setup key to change editions with Windows Server 2019 Standard version 1803;

dism.exe /online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /AcceptEula /ProductKey:2HXDN-KRXHB-GPYC7-YCKFJ-7FVDG

You can find the KMS client setup key for your version of windows at
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/kmsclientkeys. Once you’ve ran the above command, the machine will require a reboot. Once the machine is rebooted you can add your proper key by using this command;

slmgr -ipk <VLC KEY>

That’s it! With that you’ll be able to successfully upgrade editions from Windows Server 2019 Standard to DataCenter. Just make sure you’re properly licensed before doing so. 

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