When you install SQL Server, you would be prompted to enter a product key to install the correct Edition of SQL Server (2016, Enterprise, Standard, etc.). You will not find the product key either on MSDN or the Microsoft Volume Licensing site. In most cases, the product key is instead embedded in the MSI (Microsoft Installer) setup program. If you want to move from an Evaluation Edition to a full-blown SQL Server, then you need to extract the product key from your purchased version of SQL Server. In this post, I am going to talk about exactly how to find SQL Server Product key under different scenarios.
How to Find SQL Server Product Key
Scenario 1: Upgrading from SQL Server Evaluation Edition to a Paid Installation
When you are trying to upgrade an existing SQL Server Evaluation Edition to an Enterprise or Standard Edition using the in-place upgrade method, you would ideally need to use the “Edition Upgrade” option from the SQL Server Maintenance Menu.
Ideally, the “Product Key” page populates with the correct product key. However, in a lot of cases, you would see the “Product Key” section is blank, and that is where you need to find out exactly how and where to retrieve the product key. The solution to this is pretty simple. Follow the steps below:
- Exit the Edition Upgrade Setup completely.
- Run a regular Setup using the new media (Paid Version Downloaded from Microsoft Download Center or Volume Licensing website).
- Proceed with the “Setup Support Rules” and “Installation Type.” Once you are on the “Product Key” page, copy the product key on a notepad or somewhere secure for later usage.
In some cases, you might see a blank product key using this method also. In that case, Perform the same steps on a different PC or on a Virtual Machine.
Scenario: 2 When SQL Server is already installed
In this method, you can use Power Shell to check the Product keys on both local and remote SQL Server. Go to this location and download the Power Shell script and run it on your environment to find out the product key.