Q: I installed System Center 2012 without a product key and it's running in evaluation mode--how do I switch to retail mode?

A: System Center 2012 is one product, which means a single product key is required to switch all of the components-- Configuration Manager (SCCM), Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager (DPM), Orchestrator, Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), Service Manager, and AppController--from evaluation to retail mode.

If you enter a product key during installation, then the installation is put in retail mode by default, but if you didn't enter a product key, you will be in evaluation mode.

Most of the SC 2012 components allow a product key to be entered within the management console. See Help - About dialog (VMM and Orchestrator), or rerun the setup routine to enter a product key (SCCM, AppController and DPM).

However, for Operations Manager, use Windows PowerShell:

  1. Open the Operations Manager Shell.
  2. Use the Set-SCOMLicense cmdlet, passing the product key in double quotes, for example:
    Set-SCOMLicense "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx"
  3. Reboot the machine.

After the reboot is complete, you can check your server is retail by using the command below:

PS C:\> Get-SCOMManagementGroup | ft skuforlicense, version, timeofexpiration -a

Here's an example of typical output you'll receive:

SkuForLicense  Version   TimeOfExpiration
-------------          -------      ----------------
Retail 7.0.8560.0 12/31/9999 11:59:59 PM

Service Manager requires an uninstall and reinstallation if you didn't enter a product key during the installation, as there is no switch from evaluation to RTM.


To see more answers about System Center, Windows 8, virtualization, and all things IT,  click over to our FAQs page.

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