Extending Windows 2012 R2 Trial Expiration (beyond 180 days)

Extending Windows 2012 R2 Trial Expiration (beyond 180 days)

Background

One thing I like about Microsoft is their software trial program where you can download a fully functioning trial copy of an enterprise software from the Microsoft Download Center and use it for a good 3 to 6 months. Some software vendors only let you try theirs for a month and some even put limitations on what you can do with their software during the trial period.

Allowing me to test a software prior to buying it makes my job easy as in past projects I’ve worked on a standard approach is to implement a proof of concept (PoC) prior to pilot testing and deployment.

Problem

Unless you work for an MSP/integrator which can Microsoft volume licensing, the only option to test Microsoft software is to download trial copies from their website.

There were times however that even the 180-day trial (in the case of Windows 2012 R2) isn’t enough that an extension would be nice :D. This post shows a quick way to extend or rearm a trial copy of Windows 2012 R2.

Solution

1. Open an elevated command prompt and run the command below

C:\Windows\System32\cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv

The /dlv switch will allow you to display the current trial status – how many more days left (expiration) and how many more times you can re-arm the Windows trial.

The result would show something similar to the below.

windows-trial-rearm1

If you forget to keep track of your Windows trial the effect is such that Windows will keep shutting down (every few hours in my experience). Obviously, good system administrator practice means making sure you keep track of warranties, expiries, etc and working on a plan before it happens. When the 180-day trial is over, the below will show when the same command above is run.

windows-trial-rearm2

2. To extend the trial run the command below and restart the server.

C:\Windows\System32\cscript slmgr.vbs /rearm

The /rearm switch will reset the timer to 180 days (or in other words another 6 months for you to continue testing Windows 2012 R2!)

windows-trial-rearm3

After the server is restarted, running the first command confirms the extension. Also, notice the rearm count has gone down by 1.

windows-trial-rearm4

Happy days!

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