Operating Systems-All About

Streamline OS Trial -Evaluation Period On  Test Lab Systems- Windows OS – Windows Family Suite- Workstation and Server.   

Image result for windows 2016Image result for windows 2012 r2Image result for windows 10

Windows8.1

 

Microsoft evaluation releases of their products are incredibly valuable and useful tools as they allow you to have an unlimited number of test, demo and development environments to work with at no cost. The only gotcha is the evaluation releases are time based.

Below Steps Will Show How it Works

Once activated the Windows Server 2012 R2 evaluation (or trial) lasts for  30 days(Windows 7 & 8) Windows Server 2008 and 2012) -180 days , after which you must either enter a valid license key or the server will shut itself down after one hour of use.

windows20121

With most every Microsoft product which requires activation, there is a grace period of several days in which the product can be used (unrestricted) before activation is required. In the case of Windows Server 2012 R2 evaluation, this grace period is 10 days which can be reset (or re-armed) 3 times before activation is required. When fully utilized, gives an extra 60 -180 days of usage time.

To put your mind at ease, this practice is completely legal and actually promoted by Microsoft.
*Please make sure follow all MS Product User License Agreement for non testing/demo systems
. We are simply approaching this with an automated “set it and forget” it process.

Rearming the Grace Period

Our first task, “Reset Activation Timer” takes advantage of all 5 of each of the 10 day grace periods. Each instance of this task is a one time, date specific call. The first call should be set to 10 days from the first system boot with each subsequent call set 10 days after the previous one.

 

image

The actual command is a call to the “slmgr.vbs” script with the -rearm parameter followed by a system reboot.

window20012233

The result is the task will reset the number of days left for activation…

Note: The screenshot below shows 16, but in practice the countdown would reach 0.

In this posting is probably most valuable content for those leveraging evaluate systems for testing, development and exams prep purpose. I will show how streamline extending Windows server trail to 365 days.

Most of you might be aware of the fact 180 days without activation. This is actually possible using the slmgr -rearm command which will extend the grace period to 180 days x 3 if you schedule or run command before the expired timeline.

 

I will show you a small trick using which it is possible to use Windows OS without activation for approximately an year! Here is a way to do that.

Step-1: Go to “Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories“.

Right click on the “Command Prompt” and select “Command Line (Admin) or Run as Administrator“. If you are not the administrator, then you are prompted to enter the password, or else you can proceed to step-2.

Step-2: Now type the following command and hit Enter:

slmgr -rearm
windows2012slgm

Step-3: You will be prompted to restart the computer. Once restarted, the trial period will once again be reset to 30 days. You can use the above command for up to 3 times by which you can extend the trial period to 180 days without activation.

Step-4: Now comes the actual trick by which you can extend the trial period for another 240 days. To do this, open the Registry Editor (type regedit in “Run” and hit Enter) and navigate to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform

Step-5: In the right-side pane, change value of SkipRearm to 1.

rearm

Step-6: Now, you should be able to use the slmgr -rearm command for another 8 times so that you can skip the activation process for another 240 days. So you will get 120 + 240 = 360 days of free Windows OS trial usage.

120 days using “slmgr -rearm” command before registry edit

+

240 days using “slmgr -rearm” command after registry edit

=      360 Days

windows20121

You Can Create A Schedule Task Locally To Activating the Server

Once we have used up all the reset/rearm commands, we have to actually activate the server. This is done in the “Activate Server” task.

This task should be set 15 days from the last call to the “Reset Activation Timer” task.

windows201223sgsg

The actual command again calls the “slmgr.vbs” script but with the -ato parameter (which performs the activation) followed by a reboot.

image

The end result is the 180 day time limited server activation.

Importing the Scheduled Tasks

While you can create the appropriate scheduled tasks manually, for your convenience we have included the tasks in importable XML format (see the links section at the bottom).

To import these, simply open Task Scheduler, right click on the Task Scheduler Library item and select Import Task.

windows201223

task1

Enter “administrator” and click Check Names followed by OK.

You should see the Administrator account respective to your machine as the effective account.

When you apply the settings of the task, you will be prompted for the Administrator password.

Repeat these steps for each of the XML task files.

Configuring the Scheduled Tasks

Setting the Dates

The most notable change you will need to make is to update the respective dates of the scheduled tasks. To make this easy, we have included a tool as part of our download package which will calculate the exact dates for each task. Simply run ActivationDates_RunMe.bat from the extracted zip file and you will see output like the sample below.

As an example Update the dates of the respective scheduled task accordingly to maximize the usage time.

image

Expiration Warning Emails

After 240 days, the server activation will expire. While you can view the time remaining by logging into the server, after 8 months it can be easy to forget to do this. So to automate the process of reminding you of the impending expiration, we have included a scheduled task which will automatically warn you via a daily email as the expiration approaches.

image

In order for this to work, however, you must have Blat (a command line email tool) configured on your system.

The configuration is simple, just download Blat and extract it to your C:\Windows directory (or another location set in your PATH variable) and from the command line, set the send properties:

BLAT -install <email server> <sender email address>

For example, to configure Blat to send email through the server “smtp.myemail.com” using the email “notify@myemail.com“, the command would look like this:

BLAT -install smtp.myemail.com notify@myemail.com

Once Blat is configured, under the Actions tab the task, edit the action.

image

Under the Add arguments line, scroll to the end and update the value following the -to parameter to the email address the warnings should be sent to. Additionally, if you want to edit the message body and/or subject of the resulting email, you can do that here as well.

image

Once you apply your settings, you can test the email task by viewing the main Scheduled Task Library, right-clicking on the email warning task and selecting Run.

image

If everything is working, you should receive an email at the address you specified earlier.

image

Again, by default, this action will run daily starting 10 days before the server expires.

Summary

With most every Microsoft product which requires activation, there is a grace period of several days in which the product can be used (unrestricted) before activation is required. In the case of Windows Server 2012 R2/Windows 7 and 8.1 evaluation by extending the evaluation up to 1 year.

I. Set Local Machine Registry Setting – SkipRearm to 1.

Most of you might be aware of the fac 180 days without activation. This is actually possible using the slmgr -rearm command which will extend the grace period to 180 days x 3 if you schedule or run command before the expired timeline.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform

Step-5: In the right-side pane, change value of SkipRearm to 1.

Step-6: Now, you should be able to use the slmgr -rearm command for another 8 times so that you can skip the activation process for another 240 days. So you will get 120 + 240 = 360 days of free Windows OS trial usage.

rearm

II.Rearming the Grace Period

“Reset Activation Timer”

Run the Following Command

slmgr -rearm
windows2012slgm
 

Coming Soon!!! This page is dedicate to Installation, Configuration, Setup, Secure and Implementation- Operating Systems, Components, Features, and Patching.

win2k12install

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linux All – Coming Soon!!!
suse Ubuntulogo redhat

linuxO

 

redhatinstallos


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *