TechSoftwareMicrosoft Throws Windows Home Server Vail Beta A Lifeline

Microsoft Throws Windows Home Server Vail Beta A Lifeline


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Today is the day that the current released build of the beta for Windows Home Server Code Name Vail will stop working. Fortunately there is a workaround……

WHS Vail new logo

Tim first posted about this problem back in December.

So, here is the information that Microsoft has just released in order to get around the problem:

The beta is built on an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008 R2, where the eval expiry is hard coded during beta development (and as such cannot be easily changed).  However working with our engineering team, there is now a workaround using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC.  This will extend the expiry to mid-March.

To extend the expiry, please follow the directions below

1. Install WS08 R2 SP1 RC on the server from

2. Logon on with your connect credentials

3. Click on Product keys (in the left hand side column)

4. Click on Request a new product key

5. Click on Get Key

6. In Windows Home Server, open a command prompt

7. Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” (where ABCDE.. is your new key as requested above)

8. Type “slmgr.vbs –ato

9. Reboot the server, and your beta timeframe has been extended.  You can check this by opening up a command prompt and typing winver

So if you are using Vail use the above to keep going until the next beta build is released in the coming weeks.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.


  1. Excellent,

    I was planning to wipe out the server this weekend, now maybe i can keep going till the next beta.

    Thanks very much for the info.

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