Windows Home Server “Vail” Expires – Workaround To Extend

Microsoft’s new Windows Home Server edition beta 1, codenamed “Vail”, is set to expire very soon. But, with the release of Beta 2 still not on the schedule, Microsoft has released a workaround to extend the expiration date. Here is how they tell you to do it:

“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.