Windows server 2019 evaluation edition.

Copper Contributor

I downloaded the windows server 2019 evaluation version but did not get an activation key.  Cannot install because it ask for activation key.  This is a new install.


Please help.




8 Replies

@Doris2020 I am sorry you are having difficulties. We have downloaded the Windows Server 2019 Evaluation version from the Evaluation Center and are unable to reproduce your issue. The image does not prompt for a key. Could you provide any further details of your exact steps?

When I try to install Windows server 2019 evaluation, it asks for a product key and will not let me bypass that step.

@Doris2020 Did you select the ISO to download from As I said in my first reply, we cannot reproduce the issue using the image posted there. It does not prompt for a key. Can you provide any more details about your experience?

@Mary Hoffman 

I have had the same issue.  I've copied the .ISO to a USB using Intelligent provisioning.  After reboot the OS gets to the 'Collecting information' phase and then a message pops up that prevents installation.  The message reads: 'Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software Licence Terms.  Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart the installation.'  I am using the correct download page.  The device is an HP Microserver Gen8 with a 240 GB Kinston SSD and 4 GB RAM (default).  I've tried re-downloading and copying the .ISO to a bootable DVD.  Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

@Doris2020There are two scenerios:


1. if you have downloaded evaluation version from Microsoft Volume License Service Center, then you can buy license from any authorize partner under Microsoft Open license program, and you get the key for activation which you can use for this evaluation version to activate.


2. If you downloaded this evaluation version from, Then the above solution will not work and you can actually buy OEM license from any authorize partner and contact Microsoft activation support to activate the same.


True Windows Server 2019 Evaluation media is only available on the Evaluation Center and it does not prompt for a key. You cannot download an Evaluation copy from the Volume Licensing Center (VLSC). Only the Volume license versions are available there which is a different ISO. The Volume version media will prompt you for a key. 


If you download an evaluation version from the Evaluation Center, you can convert it to a production version by purchasing a retail key. From there, you can convert it to a volume license. However, you cannot convert an evaluation version to a volume version directly.


When downloading from the Evaluation Center, you can see the filename as shown in the screenshot below. Hope this helps.



@Mary Hoffman 


I am also trying to install the evaluation windows server 2019, but hit error. please refer image. can someone help me. Thanks.


It's my understanding that this can occur if you are running with limited memory. It happens most often when creating virtual machines with only 1/2 gig memory.