How to move Terminal Services CALs from one license server to another in Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008

To move Terminal Services CALs from one Terminal Services license server to another, follow the procedures in the following sections.
The documents that you must have available
Before you start to perform the procedures that are described in the following sections, you must have the paper agreement that you received when you purchased the CALs. The agreement number or the enrollment number from the agreement will be required to receive the new CAL Pack ID that is described in the "How to move the CALs" section.
How to move the CALs
To move the CALs, follow these steps.

Note After you move the CALs, you must deactivate the old license server. (See step 10.)

Install Terminal Services Licensing on the target server.
Activate the license server.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
325869 How to activate a License Server by using Terminal Server Licensing in Windows Server 2003
On the new Terminal Services license server, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Terminal Server Licensing.
In the Terminal Server Licensing snap-in, right-click the Terminal Services license server, and then click Properties. In the Installation method list, click Telephone, and then click OK.
Right-click the Terminal Services license server, and then click Install Licenses. The Welcome to the Terminal Server CAL Installation Wizard dialog box appears.
Click Next. In the Obtain Client License Key Pack dialog box, you will find the license server ID.
Use this license server ID to obtain a CAL Key Pack ID. To install CALs on the new license server, you must have a CAL Key Pack ID. You can receive a CAL Key Pack ID from the Microsoft Clearinghouse or by visiting the following Microsoft Web site:
To contact the Microsoft Clearinghouse, use the following telephone number:
The representative at the Microsoft Clearinghouse will give you a new CAL Key Pack ID. You can also contact Microsoft Customer Support Services at the following telephone number:
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
319726 Phone numbers for Microsoft Technical Support
In the Obtain Client License Key Pack dialog box, type the CAL Key Pack ID (from step 7) in the Type the client license key pack ID in the boxes below field.
Click Next. You will receive a message that states that the CALs have been installed successfully.
After you verify that the new license server is functioning correctly, deactivate the old license server. To do this, uninstall the Terminal Services Licensing component on the old server.

Backup and license information
You should regularly back up the Terminal Services license server by using Windows Backup or a similar tool. Regular backups help protect your licensing data from accidental loss if the system experiences hardware or storage failure. When you back up a Terminal Services license server, back up both the system state data and the folder in which the Terminal Services license server is installed. By doing this, you make sure that data in both the registry and the Terminal Services license server database is backed up.

If you restore the system state data and the database to the original Terminal Services license server, any unissued licenses are restored correctly, assuming you have not replaced the operating system on the computer. If you have replaced the operating system, any unissued licenses are not restored, and an event that provides the unissued license count is logged in the System log. You can still restore the unissued licenses by using the telephone activation option in the Terminal Services License Manager tool. To switch to the telephone activation option, right-click the server in Terminal Services License Manager, and then click Properties.


Terminal Server Licensing Explained

Terminal Server Licensing is probably among the easiest for us to troubleshoot, however, there are so many different scenarios it gets confusing FAST!

The story on Terminal Server Licensing changes dramatically from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2003.  Here I’d like to see if I can explain the Server 2003 scenarios.  If you have specific questions about 2000 just ask!

A client access licensed is issued to every type of client that will access the Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server, here is a link to the legal part of this if you need it (here I am sticking to the technical facts):

This includes Windows Server 2003 client connections, Windows XP (all versions), Thin clients etc.

The other big change is there are now two types of licenses: Per User and Per Device. Built-in Licenses still exist so that the Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing Server can support/ issue licenses to Windows 2000 Terminal Servers.



This type of license is not managed right now.  What this means is when you have your terminal server configured in a PER USER Licensing mode in Terminal Server Configuration console the Terminal Server must be able to discover an activated terminal server license server.  As long as it can do that a user will never be denied a connection to the terminal server based on licensing.  You will never see the number of available licenses decremented in the Terminal Server Licensing snap in either.



When the Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server is configured to use PER DEVICE license mode it will behave just like Windows 2000 used to.  A computer will connect to the terminal server and get a temporary license, then connect again and get a permanent license.  This license will expire at 90 days.  Some point before it expires it will renew, if the client doesn’t connect in the time period before the license expires the license will go back into the available pool of licenses the Terminal Server Licensing console.



This type of license still exists on Windows Server 2003 for backward compatibility for Windows 2000 Terminal Servers.

Here is an excellent resource for additional information regarding terminal server licensing and how you can troubleshoot many issues related to licensing such as license server discovery, only temporary licensing being issued etc.:

With all that being said- one last important piece of advice- When to call the Licensing Activation Team (also known as the Clearinghouse) and when to call support.


Basically- if you need to activate licenses, change the type of activation, reactivate a license server or license pack, or to reclaim lost licenses before their expiration date that all has to be done through the clearinghouse.   They can be contacted via:

• In the United States, call (800) 426-9400 or visit the  Microsoft Licensing Program Reseller  Web site.

 • In Canada, call the Microsoft Resource Centre at (877) 568-2495.

 • If you are outside the United States or Canada, please review the  Worldwide Microsoft Licensing  Web sites or contact your local Microsoft subsidiary on the  Microsoft Worldwide Home  Web site. ]


When you get errors in the event logs about not being able to find the license server, in the license manager snap-in, or on the client workstation machines trying to connect to the terminal server  that is when you follow the link above if that doesn’t work you may need support  J

This just begins to scratch the surface- more posts later on this topic but if you are having terminal server licensing problems be sure to go to this link before you get too frustrated  J