This edition cannot be upgraded – How to activate Windows Server 2016 Evaluation

I happen to have more than a couple of dozens Windows Server VMs in my HomeDC, starting with Server 2003 and ending with (the gorgeous) Server 2016.

I tested 2016 along with various products (including XenDesktop, Horizon View, VEEAM) since I first got my hands on the Tech Preview 1 and as per today, I have close enough to 15 VMs running with the 2016 Evaluation version. I didn’t really wanted to reinstall EVERYTHING just because Windows doesn’t want to switch “automatically” from Evaluation to the new Product Version for which I had a license, so I started digging into DISM.


So, what’s to be done?

Open an elevated Command Prompt (Win+X, then A) and type:

DISM /Online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:Your-VLK-Product-Key-For-WindowsStandard /AcceptEULA

NOTICE: If you have a Datacenter edition, you might need to set the edition to “ServerDatacenter” as it was the case for me.


At the end (yeah, it takes a while…), the process might request a reboot, so reboot your server and then check the Activation status.


PS: Not sure if this works for the Core edition. Didn’t had the time to test, but I guess it’s not working. Sad smile


Victor an End User Computing Consultant. You find him most of the time on Twitter (@01004753) but also on LinkedIn evangelizing new technologies and processes that can change in good, the world we live in. Victor has expertise in Server & Client Virtualization, Client Management, GPU Virtualization, HyperConvergence and Enterprise Security

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Posted in Activation, error, fixes, HowTo, Uncategorized, Windows, Windows Server
6 comments on “This edition cannot be upgraded – How to activate Windows Server 2016 Evaluation
  1. kutbuddinnarpurawala says:

    excellent blog and super helpful just a small mistake you did is there is spelling mistake of “ServerDatacenter” please change it.
    Currently its “ServerDatancenter” so it gives error message at the end

  2. How long does this take? Been an hour so far.

    • Victor says:

      For me it took about 10-15minutes but my VMs were on SSD storage and idle host CPU.
      It seems to take 1hr but I’d say you have nothing to lose if you wait 🙂

  3. Rishi Yadav says:

    it working, thanks victor.

  4. Michael Pietrzak says:

    Worked great!! Thank you very much.

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