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Create and Track Your Own License Keys with PowerShell

By  Apr 15, 2010

Topics: SQL Server, Data

SQL Server used to have  cool little tool that would let you track your licenses. Microsoft didn’t use it to limit your system or anything, it was just a place on the server where you could put that this system used this license key. I miss those days – we don’t track that any more, and I want to make sure I’m up to date on my licensing, so I made my own.

Now, there are a LOT of ways you could do this. You could add an extended property in SQL Server, add a table to a tracking database, use a text file, track it somewhere else, whatever. This is just the route I chose; if you want to use some other method, feel free. Just sharing here.

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

And this is REALLY important. I include a disclaimer at the end of my scripts, but in this case you’re modifying your registry, and that could be EXTREMELY dangerous – only do this on a test server – and I’m just showing you how I did mine. It isn’t an endorsement or anything like that, and this is a “Buck Woody” thing, NOT a Microsoft thing. See this link first, and then you can read on.

OK, here’s my script:

# Track your own licenses

# Write a New Key to be the License Location



# Write the variables - one sets the type, the other sets the number, and the last one holds the key

New-ItemProperty HKCU:\SOFTWARE\Buck -name "SQLServerLicenseType" -value "Processor"

# Notice the Dword value here - this one is a number so it needs that. Keep this on one line!

New-ItemProperty HKCU:\SOFTWARE\Buck -name "SQLServerLicenseNumber" -propertytype DWord -value 4

New-ItemProperty HKCU:\SOFTWARE\Buck -name "SQLServerLicenseKey" -value "ABCD1234"


# Read them all

$LicenseKey = Get-Item HKCU:\Software\Buck

$Licenses = Get-ItemProperty $LicenseKey.PSPath

foreach ($License in $LicenseKey.Property) { $License + "=" + $Licenses.$License }


Script Disclaimer, for people who need to be told this sort of thing:

Never trust any script, including those that you find here, until you understand exactly what it does and how it will act on your systems. Always check the script on a test system or Virtual Machine, not a production system. Yes, there are always multiple ways to do things, and this script may not work in every situation, for everything. It’s just a script, people. All scripts on this site are performed by a professional stunt driver on a closed course. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited. Offer good for a limited time only. Keep out of reach of small children. Do not operate heavy machinery while using this script. If you experience blurry vision, indigestion or diarrhea during the operation of this script, see a physician immediately.

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