So a work colleague installed the Server 2016 Evaluation version recently whilst we awaited our MSDN keys, problem was with the MSDN keys now available he couldn’t activate the Eval version as it reported that the Edition cannot be Upgraded.

Fortunately a quick DISM command will resolve this allowing you to activate –

  1. Open a CMD window
  2. Enter the following – DISM /Online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:your-product-key-here /AcceptEula
  3. Hit Enter and watch Windows do its thing, it will need to reboot in order to finish.

The TechNet article that runs through some of the Edition-Servicing commands is HERE

As a side note this does not work for the Core edition as my colleague also unfortunately found out.



  1. 02/11/2016 at 10:48 AM Tash

    this was a life saver, i just installed 5 servers last weekend whilst i awaited keys and then got the keys today and its not working, i freaked out at first and ran around banging my head against the wall but then googled it! thanks guy!

  2. 17/11/2016 at 8:26 PM Sam

    Thank you! Just fixed a new server I setup for a new client. Would have been bad juju if I couldn’t get the Eval version updated.

  3. 16/02/2017 at 1:57 PM Kapé

    For Windows Server 2016 Datacenter I had to execute:

    DISM /Online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /ProductKey:your-product-key-here /AcceptEula

  4. 01/03/2017 at 9:47 PM Nilz76

    Absolutely awesome fix. Thank you so much. :ThumbsUp:

  5. 03/03/2017 at 11:13 AM Bob

    This was a huge help. One thing to be aware of, since even the TechNet article doesn’t mention it, is that the image change process could take upwards of 10 minutes. It’s very disconcerting as you wonder if the system has hung.

  6. 31/03/2017 at 11:11 PM [email protected]

    So I am doing this process right now and it is just sitting at Removing package Microsoft-Windows-ServerStandardEvalEdition ; 10.0% Normal?

    • 12/07/2017 at 1:48 PM adampaulbrush

      I’m getting this too, did it finish eventually?

  7. 21/05/2017 at 1:07 PM Willas McGritt

    @Bob – thanks for commenting on the timeline. I was a little worried while it sat at 10% and no signs of life.

  8. 10/10/2017 at 9:24 AM steve88

    I am getting the stuck at 10% Removing package Microsoft-Windows-ServerStandardEvalEdition

  9. 29/01/2018 at 2:13 AM JamieP

    “As a side note this does not work for the Core edition as my colleague also unfortunately found out.”

    I had the issue using Core edition, wasn’t able to launch the update key via the GUI or activate using DSIM /Online /SetEdition option.

    DSIM /Online /Get-CurrentEdition returned that we were running ServerDataCentre.

    Using SLUI from cmd line also gave error that it couldn’t find KMS server ( we have a MAK key ).

    In the end the issue for us was Windows Firewall blocking it !! Soon as I disabled the local firewall and ran SLUI again it accepted the new key and activated.

  10. 10/04/2018 at 5:09 AM Susan NET

    Ugh. 1-2 *YEARS* later… and that same problem still exists.
    We would have NEVER have installed the evaluation version… if we knew something as
    simple as ‘insert product key” would have been such a massive headache.

    Will MS EVER fix that bug?

    We can’t possible re-install everything from scratch… just to do a simple product-key addition.

  11. 16/05/2018 at 6:04 PM Rich Krol

    Great article! If you develop with D365 using their OneBox VHD download, the Data Center version of 2016 will give you same grief. Use the suggestion, with :ServerDatacenter instead of :ServerStandard.

  12. 31/05/2018 at 6:45 AM Ray Cockshell

    Great article. And yes its still prevalent.
    We got DataCenter MAK key, but only KMS key for Standard Edition.
    Had installed two Standard edition servers while waiting.
    Badgered MS for Standard edition MAK keys but they did no work either – same error.
    This solved my problem
    Thank you.