Migrating a Windows Server 2003 TS License Server

Migrating a Windows Server 2003 TS License Server

Rate This
  • Comments 79

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 8 and 6 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • in Step 3b, Paper work for the original TS licenses.  I'm new to the Org here and they dont know where the paperwork is.  I have a 30 and a 10 Pack installed. Can I send them a Scrteen shot of the License and have them transfer them?  The 10 are under SA, so I should be able to atleast move them...



  • You can try contacting your technical Account Manager (TAM). He c an help you recover the paper work. Screenshot is not going to help.



  • He bought CAL Pk all Lic, for MS W2008. But we have a Windows 2003 Terminal Licenses Server. Is it possible to install it??, or should we need to change it to MS W2003?

    thanks in advanced

  • You either need to change your license server to Windows Server 2008 or licenses to Windows Server 2003 depending upon the version of Terminal Server you have.



  • Thanks a lot, thats what i did, downgrade of licenses to w2003.


  • If I were to migrate from a 2003 Licensing Server box to a 2008R2 LS box as a temporary (`6months - 1 year) until we upgrade to a new server. Would migrating from a temporary 2008R2 LS box also require calling the Microsoft Clearinghouse? Would it a lesser of hassle? We have existing 2003 Terminal Server that can handle the upgrade to 2008R2 Remote Desktop Services but our present LS cannot. We would like all our servers to be 2008R2. I hate to do it this way but we have to. I would like to take the advantage of 2008R2 RDS. Thanks.

  • You will have to contact Clearinghouse in any case.

  • Just another question :-)

    Have her an W2k TS with (depreceated) LS. LS was migrated to W2k3, because of intergration in AD. But there now active Licences, only temporarly (don´t ask me why). Now i set up i new W2k8 TS as LS. Terminalserver will be the old W2k machine. How do i set up CAL to W2k8 for this old W2k machine? No idea... Have i to purchase needed CAL from a reseller or should i call Clearinghouse for assistance.



  • You can migrate your Win2k CALs to Win2k8 license server. Call the clearinghouse and you will get that done.

  • I'm migrating to Windows 2008 R2 RDP my 10 Windows 2003 TS. I have got one LS in 2003 and 2000 TS CAL with SA. Can I move all my CAL to a new LS in 2008 and maintain some 2003 TS after I'll finish migration?

  • @Eli: Yes, you can migrate your licenses to Windows Server 2008 license server. That license server can be used for giving access to Windows Server 2003 TS as well.



  • All my TS CALs were purchased under an SA so there is no original license pack. Moving licenses for TS Licenses has always been a pain especially from 2000 to 2003.

  • Hello Blog

    One of my customers has a select licensing agreement contaning 100 TSCals for 2003 TS. He told me, that only a Agreement number exists, but no further paperwork with TSCALS Licensing Numbers are there.

    1. Could that be right or should he have additional TSCALs?

    2. If no additional TSCALS exists: Has he only to tell the Select Agreement Number and the License Server ID of both Servers to the Clearing house and the License server migration will work?

    Thanks and regards

  • @Brunner: Yes, License Key Pack Agreement number and license server ID will be enough for migration.



  • Hi,

    just picking up from this thread, am i correct in saying that to upgrade my terminal services environment from win2k to win2k8r2 i would need to get win2k8r2 ts cals? appreciate that this thread is only for the migration of the license server....

    our support is up soon and it is essentially only for an app hosted here accessed remotely.

    wondered if it were possible to migrate the existing setup onto r2.

    any help and advice really appreciated,

    many thanks,


Page 4 of 6 (79 items) «23456