Migrating a Windows Server 2003 TS License Server

Migrating a Windows Server 2003 TS License Server

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This article is designed to help those who want to migrate their Windows Server 2003 TS License Server from one machine to another. We recommend that you read through the instructions once before beginning the migration.

License Server migration is an added feature in Windows Server 2008 R2. In Windows Server 2008 R2, when you right-click on the server name you will see the ‘Manage RDS CALs’ option. After selecting this, you will see the ‘Manage RDS CALs Wizard’ to guide you through the migration process. But to migrate Windows Server 2008 license server, you need to follow the same steps as mentioned in the post.

The migration of your license server requires three stages. First, you must activate the new license server. Next, you need to deactivate the old server. Lastly, you need to move all the licenses from the old server to the new server. To do this, you will need to contact Microsoft Clearinghouse over the telephone. You should to be prepared with the paperwork for the original TS licenses, as this data needs to be provided to clearinghouse personnel. If the original paperwork is lost, then you need to contact your Microsoft TAM (Technical Account Manager) to obtain copies.

To migrate your license server:

Step 1: Activate the new license server:


  1. Setup a machine running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 as a license server. [UPDATE: Corrected from Win2003 to Win2008/Win2008R2]
  2. Open the TS License Manager tool (licmgr.exe)
  3. Activate the server by right-clicking on the server name under the ‘All servers’ node in the left pane and selecting ‘Activate Server’. The Activate Server Wizard will open.
  4. Click Next. Select ‘Telephone’ as your connection method and click Next.
  5. On the ‘Country or Region Selection’ page, select your appropriate country and region.
  6. The next page will provide you with the License Server ID and the Microsoft Clearinghouse telephone number to call. Write them on a piece of paper but don’t make the call yet. You may want to keep the wizard open.

Step 2: De-activate the old license server:

  1. Open the TS License Manager tool on your old license server.
  2. Change the connection method to telephone by right-clicking the server name under the ‘All servers’ node in the left pane, selecting ‘Properties,’ and setting the connection method to ‘Telephone’.
  3. Again right-click the server name under the ‘All servers’ node in the left pane, select ‘Advanced’ and then select ‘Deactivate Server.’ The License Server Deactivation Wizard will open. Click ‘Next’.
  4. On the ‘License Server Deactivation’ page, you will be provided with the same clearinghouse phone number and the License Server ID of your old server. Make a note of this License Server ID as you need to provide this to Microsoft Clearinghouse.
  5. Call Microsoft Clearinghouse at the number you have noted and give them the product ID of the new license server which you want to activate and of the old license server which you want to deactivate. Once you have given them this information, Microsoft Clearinghouse will provide you with the confirmation code. Enter this code into the License Server Deactivation Wizard when prompted.

Step 3: Move each of the license key packs one by one, from the older LS to the new one:

  1. On the same call with the clearinghouse, inform them that you also want to migrate the licenses.
  2. Open the License Install Wizard on the new license server.
  3. Provide the following information to the clearinghouse which they will use to generate the new License Key Pack ID:
    1. The license server ID of the old license server
    2. Paper work for the original TS licenses
  4. Enter the new license key pack ID in the Install License Wizard and complete the License Installation on the new license server.
  5. Repeat the same process for migration of all license key packs.
Leave a Comment
  • Please add 1 and 2 and type the answer here:
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  • This means if I have TS CALs 2003, I needn't buy new TS CALs for Windows Server 2008?

  • I m inpressed.


  • @Bill Young:

    Win 2008 TSs need Win2008 TS CALs.  If you only have Win2003 TSs, you only need Win2003 TS CALs.

  • @Bill Young:


    If you have TS CALs for Windows Server 2003, you need to buy new CALs for Windows Server 2008.

    This post just describes the steps you need to follow if you want to migrate the 2003 License server from one machine to another.

  • nice blog Silvia. Quite informative


  • Can we migrate 11 cals from one Terminal Licensing server (source) to another Terminal Licensing server(target) if we had imported a pack of 30 cals on the Source Terminal Licensing server earlier?

  • @Mohan M:

    The migration behaviour depends upon the OS Version of License Server(LS). If you have win2k3 or Win2k8 LS then it is not possible.

    If I understand your question correctly, you are asking for the following:

    - You have installed 30 CALs (From one License Key Pack) on source LS.

    - Now, you want to migrate 11 CALs out of those 30 CALs on to a target LS.

    Partial Migration is not allowed using the “Manage RDS CALs Wizard”.

    In Windows Server 2008 R2 you can do a partial migration manually (using WMI interface) if the following conditions are true:

    - Both source LS and target LS are of Windows Server 2008 R2 version.

    - Volume agreement (non-retail) is used for installation and migration.

  • Can you migrate to a 2008 Server for the licensing of your Server 2003 Terminal servers?

  • Yes, you can follow the same steps mentioned in the Blog.

  • These are essentially a couple of questions about risk:

    I'm concerned about users getting a TS Licensing error during the migration process.  Is this a valid concern?  I.E During the period of time when neither server is licensed, what will happen to users who connect?

    Under license server discovery, we have the old server name specified.  I see that if the prefered server is not located, the server will attempt automatic discovery.  Will this find the new server?  I plan to run the .reg file on all servers to remove the old and add the new but concerned about the time it takes to push that .reg out to all servers.

  • (1) If the user does not have a CAL & it connects during the period of migration, connection will be denied.

    (2) If auto discovery is enabled (by default), it should find the new server, else not.

  • I have a windows 2000 DC and is an AD.

    I have install Terminal Licensing Server on my AD.

    I had added with 10 Terminal Server Cal 2003 (open license purchase) onto my Windows 2000 AD.

    We had migrated the old W2k AD to W2k8 AD.

    I already install the TS License server in W2k8.

    After running the setup wizard, and activated the TS, the screen prompt me to enter Licese code? what is that?

    I need to ask how to transfer my TS CAL from w2k to w2k8 TS License server?

  • You need to call the Clearinghouse and follow the steps mentioned in the blog.

  • If I have 2003 TS and I migrate to 2008 TS, will I need to install a Windows 2008 LS and buy all new TS 2008 licenses?



  • Yes,

    To access Win2k8 TS, you need to have Win2k8 TS CAL . As you cannot install Win2k8 CAL on Win2k3 LS so you need to have a Win2k8 or Win2k8 R2 LS for the same.



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