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Workaround To Extend Expiring “Vail” Home Server Beta

On Jan’10, the latest Windows Home Server “Vail” public preview was slated to expire — But Microsoft has issued a last-minute expiry workaround. Heres’what the officials said:

“Today WHS beta expires, and as such moves into Windows Server 2008 R2 Expiry mode (where the server will reboot hourly). It’s important to note that – No data is lost during an expiry, and users will still be able to access the server if needed to.

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

To extend the expiry, please follow the directions below:

  1. Install WS08 R2 SP1 RC on the server
  2. Logon on with your connect credentials
  3. Click Product keys (in the left hand side column)
  4. Click Request a new product key
  5. Click Get Key
  6. In WHS, 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


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