Upgrade Windows Server 2019 Evaluation to Full Version Standard to Datacenter

Recently I came across a problem of Windows Server 2019 Standard edition Evaluation version has been setup on production environment. Requirement is to convert this server into server 2019 Datacenter edition. Steps taken are as follows,

1. Make sure you have the correct license key in hand

2. On the source server run the command

Dism /online /Get-CurrentEdition

Above command will show you the current version as well as supported version for activation

To activate via PS run the below command,

DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

If everything goes smoothly, you’ll be requested to restart the server.

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Few areas for you to be aware of,

  • Upgrades from pre-release versions (previews) of Windows Server 2019 are not supported. Perform a clean installation to Windows Server 2019.
  • Upgrades that switch from a Server Core installation to a Server with a Desktop installation (or vice versa) are not supported.
  • Upgrades from a previous Windows Server installation to an evaluation copy of Windows Server are not supported. Evaluation versions should be installed as a clean installation.
  • You can convert the evaluation version of Windows Server 2019 Standard to either Windows Server 2019 Standard (retail) or Datacenter (retail). Similarly, you can convert the evaluation version of Windows Server 2019 Datacenter to the retail version.

Official guide and recommendation from Microsoft can be found in here