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Understanding Windows Product Activation

One of the first things that you will want to do after installing the server software is activate the product. To combat software piracy, Microsoft has developed a product activation strategy for its network operating systems, client operating systems, and applications such as Microsoft Office. You can activate your Windows Server 2003 software either over the Internet or by telephone. When you install Windows Server 2003, you might want to have the server hooked up to an Internet connection, even though the server might not be connected to the Internet when you actually put it into service on the network or in your Active Directory domain.

  1. To activate Windows Server 2003, select the Activation word balloon (it appears as soon as you log on to the server for the first time), or click on the Activation icon in the system tray. The Activate Windows window opens (see Figure 3.5).

Figure 3.5Figure 3.5 Select the option Activate Windows over the Internet.

  1. The easiest way to activate the network operating system is to use the option Activate Windows over the Internet. Select this option and then click Next.

  2. The next screen provides you with the option of registering your Windows Server 2003 with Microsoft as you activate the product. Choose the appropriate option button (either to register and activate or to activate only) and then click Next. If you select to register, the next screen requests registration information. Complete the form and then click Next (this screen is bypassed if you chose to activate only).

  3. A connection is made to the Internet (and Microsoft), and your product is activated. Click OK to complete the process.

Windows Server 2003 is now activated, and you can configure the server for its various roles on the network.

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