Upgrading SQL Server 2008 R2 from Evaluation to Licensed

As a Microsoft partner, we have access to software resources to help us do our jobs while getting ourselves familiar with the MS family of products.

We had an in-house project that needed SQL Server, so we installed SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise in Evaluation mode, since we didn’t have the product key handy.

Install went fine, server works great, everyone is happy.

170 or so days go by and we run an SSIS package and notice the warning “Evaluation Version, will expire in 8 days”  Wha?  Do a quick Select @@Version and sure enough, we’re still running the evaluation version… in a production environment.  (Facepalm!)

Searching around for how to turn my eval version into a licensed version (we finally got around to requesting the key from MS) showed all sorts of solutions, none of them seemed to really fit the bill.

Some people admonished “You’re using Eval software in a  production environment!?? Serves you right!  Uninstall/reinstall!” others required odd registry hacks to make the setup program run — it all seemed so complex for what should be a pretty simple process.

Lo and behold, buried at the very end of the comments attached to one of these complex blog posts, was the simplest of solutions from a chap named Waleed Al-Qudah:

“Go to Microsoft SQL Server Configuration Tools, and navigate to SQL Server installation Center then click the Maintinance link and choose Edition Upgrade.”

Two minutes later, we were all legal.

The SQL Server Installation Center is a fairly complicated looking piece of software, and I never noticed that tab nor that option.  Needless to say, I spent a few more minutes looking through it. 🙂