Can we can use activate license key of window server 2003 in other platform.

Jyothish V V
Occasional Visitor

 I have few windows production servers which are still in windows server 2003 version. Currently  we are planning a total revamp to windows server 2016 existing windows environment.


My question is if I reinstall the OS 2003 into 2016 on the same physical hardware, should I able to use the registered license key for 2003 into latest 2016 for activation.



2 Replies

No, this is not possible.

I'm also not sure if hardware that was suitable for Win 2003 is suitable for 2016+ :)

Quadrotech - Management, Reporting and Migration for Office 365 and Exchange


No, a Server 2003 key can only active a Server 2003 install. The minimum hardware requirements are

  • 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
  • Compatible with x64 instruction set
  • Supports NX and DEP
  • Supports CMPXCHG16b, LAHF/SAHF, and PrefetchW
  • Supports Second Level Address Translation (EPT or NPT)


I'd also check here and with server manufacturer about support for Server 2016





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