Skip navigation

Microsoft's 11th Hour Fix for Vail Beta Users

Microsoft apparently emailed this solution to Mary Jo Foley. I guess they haven't heard how much I've been advocating Windows Home Server to users ever since the original beta. And you wonder why I'm so jaded.

Today the WHS beta expires, and as such moves into Windows Server 2008 R2 Expiry mode (where the server will reboot hourly).  It is 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 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

A new beta will ship in 4-6 weeks, Microsoft says. They also didn't communicate that to me directly. Why would they?
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.