Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How many days are left in my Windows Server 2008 R2 trial?

 

The Quick Answer:

Run the following command at a command prompt:

slmgr.vbs –dli

You may have to wait for 20 or 30 seconds, but eventually a dialog box will pop up that displays the following information:

slmgr.vbs.output 

The Long Story:

I’m frobbing around with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010, and in the development of my test lab a question occurred to me:

“How many days are left in my Windows Server 2008 R2 trial?”

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and some of it contains methods that were common in older versions of Windows.

One common method that is still espoused today is to check the creation or modification dates of various system folders. This isn’t accurate. I have creation and modification dates of system folders going back almost a year before I actually installed the operating system.

Another method that I just learned about is to check the registry key at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\
InstallDate
which shows the date of installation in UNIX epoch time. Converting the decimal notation into UNIX epoch time is as simple as going to www.EpochTime.com and performing the conversion.

epochTime1

EpochTime2

You could then take the current date’s epoch time, subtract it from the installation date’s time and see how close to the trial limit you are (180 days).

However, that is inaccurate since you can wait up to 10 days to activate Windows. The trial period starts from the date of activation not the date of installation. I’m unsure if there is a registry key that shows the date of activation.

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