Windows Server 2022 with WSEE activation


It is now 2 years since I used the great WSEE to bring the experience to my server and yesterday it was time to extend my evaluation license for the 4th time. After reboot I was surprised that it had only been extended by 10 days. I found a comment on the web that it will only extend by 180 days 3 times and then it would be 10 days so I resigned myself to having to purchase a license.

Today I thought I’d better set myself a reminder for 10 days time, so checked again exactly how long I had but now it was showing 180 days! It was not even 180 days from when I re-armed or rebooted, it was 180 days since the server work up (I use Lights Out so the server sleeps overnight). This is good news but it leaves me a bit confused and unsure what will happen in about 6 months.

So rather than wait I thought I’d check my options now so I am ready. Although I am quite prepare to pay for software, the cost of a standard license for my home use for 2 users does seem steep and so of course I will consider the alternatives. Hence I would appreciate answers to these questions:

  1. On the installing WSEE page there is the section “HINT: You can use Windows Server 2019 / 2022 / 2025 for free by… …using abbodi’s KMS_VL_ALL script that sets up a local KMS server emulator on the server. That seems to be too good to be true. Is this a loophole?
  2. Our server is pretty much just for serving files and backing up clients. I understand that from the technical point of view, CALs are not required for this?
  3. On the assumption that I purchase a standard license, do I have to consider anything in regards to WSEE when using the key to activate? I assume I just need to convert evaluation to retail and then use the key and then it will continue as it is without the need to rearm anymore?
  • Dippy
    4. I just noticed that Windows Server 2022 Essentials now exists. Would this license have any detrimental impact on my server?
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Best Answer

1. We’ve used the KMS_VL_ALL script for many years without any issues whatsoever. Abbodi updates it on a regular basis and it has always worked great for us (with no “loopholes” that I am aware of). Obviously, you’re completely on your own there, so “proceed at your own risk”.

2. You can read my views on CALs over here: don’t fret about silly CALs

3. You are correct… You simply convert the eval copy over to a retail copy with your purchased product key and everything will work as expected from there.

4. The Windows Server 2022 Essentials SKU is available to OEM’s only AFAIK. However, even if you could get ahold of one, it is simply just a Windows Server 2022 Standard license with some specific hardware restrictions on it (such as the number of processors, etc.). I don’t recall all of the details off the top of my head, but I’m sure that you’d be just fine with that license if you could get your hands on one. Using one would be no different than using a Windows Server 2022 Standard license for all intents and purposes.

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Thanks Mike.

For #1 what I meant by “loophole” is the fact that with this I can keep using the server OS without paying for it, whereas I had expected to have to buy a license some day. It appears to me that it needs the volume keys that MSFT have published publicly to make it work so I wonder why they did that. I looked into the KMS script but it’s a bit beyond my competence. I’ll have to look again and see if I can understand it enough.

For #4 I already saw that there are reputable companies here selling HPE or Dell OEM licenses at a reasonable price. I did read that they are only activation licenses and do not change the OS apart from the restrictions, however I feel much better getting the confirmation from you :- )

Now I have a strategy – I’ll try to learn about the script so I feel competent to try it when my evaluation time finally runs out. If it goes wrong then I have the fallback position of buying an essentials license.

Thanks again!

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